A to Z Health Guide

Simple Kidney Vocabulary List

Bladder: A sac in your body that holds the urine (pee) produced by the kidney.

Blood pressure: The force of blood pushing against the inner walls of the blood vessels.

High blood pressure means the force is too high.

Chronic: Health conditions that cause some long-term health problems.

Chronic disease: A disease or disorder that lasts many years (or forever) and may get worse over time.

Diabetes: A disorder in which the body cannot make insulin or cannot use it properly. Insulin is a hormone that controls how much sugar is in your blood.

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. It tells you how well your kidneys work.

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 part of your body 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.