Kidney Health

Learning about your kidneys is vital to living a healthy, active life while on dialysis.


The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs in the lower back. They clean waste and poisons from the blood, control blood pressure and regulate the production of red blood cells. They also control the levels of some chemicals in the blood, such as potassium and sodium.

Chronic kidney disease is a progressive condition in which the kidneys may not be ridding the body of waste through urination, producing red blood cells or controlling blood pressure. It does not require dialysis.

Chronic kidney failure is the slow, progressive loss of kidney function over a period of years. It often results in end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

End-stage renal disease is total kidney failure. As a result, the body retains fluid and harmful wastes. People with ESRD must undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Dialysis is a very effective process for cleaning the blood of wastes and poisons. There are two options for dialysis, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.