Kidneys and the Urinary System

Kidney Disorders

The kidneys and urinary system keep chemicals, such as potassium and sodium, and water in balance by removing a type of waste, called urea, from the blood. Urea is produced when foods containing protein are broken down in the body. Kidney Disorder Overview ›

What is Renal Failure?

Renal failure refers to temporary or permanent damage to the kidneys that results in loss of normal kidney function. There are two different types of renal failure—acute and chronic. Acute renal failure has an abrupt onset and is potentially reversible. Chronic renal failure progresses slowly over at least three months and can lead to permanent renal failure. The causes, symptoms, treatments, and outcomes of acute and chronic are different.

Read more about kidney failure

The Warning Signs of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a stealth illness. It may often be silent for many years—until it has reached an advanced stage. When you get a checkup, it's important to make sure your health care provider includes tests of your kidney function, experts say. This is especially true if you have some of the conditions that can increase your risk for kidney disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Kidney Disorder Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Personal Story Network: Living with Kidney Cancer

There are many challenging decisions, emotions, and aftereffects that follow a diagnosis of kidney cancer. If you, or someone you know has been diagnosed with kidney cancer, you may find some comfort in reading a first-hand account of a few brave survivors, caregivers, and committed professionals on the forefront of kidney cancer care.

Read their stories on the Personal Story Network

Prevention of Kidney and the Urinary System Disorders

Symptoms of kidney disease may include frequent headaches, fatigue, itchiness all over the body, blood in the urine, loss of appetite, nausea with or without vomiting, puffiness around the eyes, and swelling of hands and feet. Darkened skin, muscle cramps, pain in the small of back just below the ribs (not aggravated by movement), and high blood pressure are also symptoms of kidney disease. Know the Warning Signs to Prevent Kidney Disease ›

Prepare for Your Appointment

Doctor visits on average last 13 minutes. Make the most of your time with your doctor with pre-visit planning. Your doctor will appreciate the active role you are taking in your health. Follow the ABCs of doctor visits: Arrive early. Be prepared. Communicate. Search HealthGrades for Top Rated Local Urologists and Nephrologists ›

Decision Guides for Kidney, Bladder and Urologic Symptoms

The medical term for blood in the urine is hematuria. Urine that contains blood can appear pink, red, maroon, or even have a dark smoky color that looks like cola. You may or may not see blood clots, which can look like coffee grounds. Rarely, red urine may be caused by certain foods or medicine. Your doctor will want to test a sample of your urine to confirm that its red color is caused by blood. Urinary tract infections, kidney stones and prostate problems are common reasons for this symptom. Less commonly, blood in the urine can indicate a more serious condition. All men who experience blood in the urine as a new problem should see their doctor. Even if you've had blood in the urine in the past, contact your doctor again. This guide is intended to provide helpful information while you are awaiting further evaluation from your physicians. Begin Evaluating Your Symptoms of Blood in the Urine ›

Your Guide to Kidneys and the Urinary System


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