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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time. To read more about kidney function, see How Your Kidneys Work. CKD is also known as chronic renal disease.

What is kidney failure?

Healthy kidneys do many important jobs. They keep your whole body in balance. They remove waste products and extra water from your body, help make red blood cells, and help control blood pressure. When you have kidney failure, it means your kidneys are damaged. They cannot do these important jobs well enough. Having kidney failure means that:

  • 85-90% of your kidney function is gone
  • your kidneys don...

Staying on top of your kidney disease or kidney failure as a teen is a lot of work.  You are probably getting a lot of help with most of your medical needs from your parents and family. When your healthcare teams feels you are ready, you will enter the adult healthcare system. Most often, this happens around age 18. In the years leading up to that, you will need to learn skills such as filling out forms, keeping track of medications, and...

How many kidneys do I have?

Most people have two kidneys. Kidneys are inside the body. They are about the size of your fist.

Where are your kidneys?

Kidneys are in your lower back.

What do kidneys do?

Kidneys are busy! They are like washing machines for the blood in the body.  The kidneys filter the blood and take out all the waste in the blood.   The kidneys send the waste on to the bladder...

What is hyperkalemia?

High potassium (called “hyperkalemia”) is a medical problem in which you have too much potassium in your blood. Your body needs potassium. It is an important nutrient that is found in many of the foods you eat. Potassium helps your nerves and muscles, including your heart, work the right way. But too much potassium in your blood can be dangerous. It can cause serious heart problems.

What causes hyperkalemia...

If your teen has kidney disease or kidney failure, you are probably helping with most of their medical needs.  You may be filling out forms, keeping track of medications, and calling for doctor appointments. Most parents feel responsible for these tasks.  But as your teen gets older, he or she will need to manage their own healthcare needs without you.  Your goal is to help your teen get ready to make this change correctly and...

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...