Join our mailing list


Most people are born with two kidneys, and they have a vital role to play in our wellbeing, but what do they do, and how can we protect our kidney health?


About your Kidneys


The kidneys are very complicated organs that control our blood pressure and the amount of liquid in our body. They also keep our blood clean and chemically balanced, putting back good things like vitamins, glucose, hormones and other important substances into the bloodstream.

The kidneys’ most important jobs include:

Removing waste products from the blood that the body doesn’t need.

Keeping the amount of water in the body constant. These excess fluids and the waste products then become urine.

They also produce essential hormones and chemicals which:

Help to control blood pressure.

Keep our blood in a neutral ‘non-acid’ state.

Create red cells from our bone marrow.

‘Activate’ the Vitamin D we get from sunlight and diet to help keep our bones and muscles healthy.

Our kidneys must maintain all of these delicate balances for our bodies to work properly.


Most people have two kidneys, which sit on either side of the spine in the small of the back, just behind the liver and intestines.

Shaped like a bean, each kidney is about 10-15cms long, a little bigger than a fist. A kidney weighs anywhere between 40 and 190 grams, and can vary in weight between your left and right kidney.

Many people are able to lead healthy and active lives with just one functioning kidney. Some may have been born with one kidney, while others may have had a kidney removed due to illness or injury.

Some people may have donated one of their kidneys to someone with kidney failure (in a kidney transplant operation).

Related content

Ready to
Start Your

Whether you’ve already decided to donate a kidney, or you are interested in finding out more about the process and what it involves, we’re here to answer any questions you might have.