Simple Kidney Vocabulary List
Bladder: An organ in your body that holds urine (pee) produced by kidneys.
Blood pressure: The force of blood pushing against the inner walls of blood vessels.
High blood pressure means the force is too high.
Chronic: Constant, long-term, does not go away.
Chronic disease: A health problem that lasts many years (or forever) and may get worse over time.
Diabetes: A disease that causes blood sugar levels to go up.
Dialysis: A procedure that filters waste products and extra water from your blood. It is one of the main treatments for kidney failure.
GFR (glomerular filtration rate): A measure of kidney function, which tests how well kidneys are working.
Inherited: Something you were born with and get from your mother or father, like red hair or blue eyes.
Kidneys: Two bean-shaped organs in your body. Kidneys clean the blood, help make red blood cells, and keep bones healthy.
Kidney disease: The loss of some kidney function. It means your kidneys cannot work as well as healthy kidneys. Kidney disease can be treated.
Kidney failure: The loss of all kidney function. It means your kidneys have stopped working. You will need a kidney transplant or dialysis treatment for the rest of your life.
Organ: A body part that does an important job. For example, the heart, kidneys, and liver are organs.
Red blood cells: Cells in your blood that carry oxygen to all parts of your body.
Risk factors: Something that increases your risk. For example, diabetes increases your risk for kidney disease.
Symptoms: A change in your body that alerts you that something is wrong. It may mean you have an illness or disease.
Treatment plan: A plan of medical care to help you get well, or to keep an illness or disease from getting worse.
Transplant: An operation to put a healthy organ in your body.
Ureters: Two tubes that carry urine (pee) from the kidney to the bladder.
Urethra: A tube that carries urine (pee) out of the bladder when you go to the bathroom.
Urinary system (also called “Urinary tract”): A system in your body that includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. It acts as a plumbing system to drain urine (pee) from the kidneys, store it, and then release it when you pee.
Urine: A yellowish liquid made by the kidneys. Your kidneys make urine as a way to remove waste products and extra water that your body.