Archived Content Notice

You are currently accessing the Think Kidneys website. Please be aware that this site is an archive and contains content from the Think Kidneys project, which concluded in 2019. As a result, the information presented here is no longer being updated or maintained.

For the most current and relevant information, we encourage medical professionals to visit the UK Kidney Association for comprehensive resources and updates in the field. Patients and their families can find valuable, patient-centric information and support at Kidney Care UK.

We would also like to inform you that the Kidney Quality Improvement Partnership (KQIP) is now part of the UK Kidney Association. For more information, please visit KQIP’s homepage under the UK Kidney Association.

We thank you for your understanding and invite you to explore these recommended resources for up-to-date insights and guidance in kidney care and health.

Think Kidneys – the national campaign to raise awareness of our kidneys – their importance for life and health and how to look after them

We want to spread the word about human kidneys and just how amazing they are.

We have tried to reach as many people as possible through the NHS and the media, and we are very pleased to have won a prestigious Health Business Award for our efforts.
Check out this blog by Karen Thomas, Head of Programmes, UK Renal Registry on the campaign – Thinking Think Kidneys

Your kidneys are amazing …

Most people have two kidneys that are about 10-12cm long, not too surprisingly are (kidney) bean shaped and sit just below the ribs at the back of the body. They are really important to us, without them we would have to have kidney dialysis or a transplant. But what do they do?

They produce urine – about 1500mls per day but that will vary according to how much we drink because the kidneys work to keep the amount of fluid in the body stable. The urine they produce is full of waste products that the body doesn’t need and varying amounts of other chemicals such as salt that the body has to have in the right balance.

To be able to produce urine the kidneys have about 25% of blood volume from every heartbeat going through the one million little filters that they contain. They then concentrate that fluid that eventually comes out as urine.

The kidneys also help to regulate blood pressure by producing and releasing special chemicals into the blood stream. They activate vitamin D that is important for healthy teeth and bones and they release the chemical that makes the bone marrow produce red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body.

The kidneys need a lot of energy to do the things that they do. Simple steps can keep them healthy for the majority of us. Keeping your kidneys healthy can be the result of living a healthy lifestyle.

You know the things we mean…..

  • keep hydrated and drink plenty
  • don’t smoke
  • keep your weight down
  • exercise regularly
  • eat a healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fish
  • reduce your intake of salt, processed foods and high sugar drinks

More facts about your kidneys

Getting help and more advice

If you are concerned about your kidney health or are affected by kidney disease there are lots of places you can go for advice or help…

your GP or pharmacist

NHS Choices

…or one of the kidney charities in England – click on the list below to find out more

We have created a series of posters which support our messages and highlight just how amazing your kidneys are. Order yours for free by completing the form below

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Public Campaign Poster Order Form

Please fill in the form below if you would like some of the posters to display in your workplace, clinic or anywhere you think they might be useful in helping people learn about their kidneys.

Show us where you display the posters – send us a photo and we’ll add it to the site to share with everyone and we’ll Tweet about it.