10 Things Your Kidneys Do

  • Filter 200 liters of blood a day, removing two liters of toxins, wastes and water

  • Regulate the body’s hydration and water balance

  • Regulate blood pressure by controlling fluid levels and making the hormone that causes blood vessels to constrict

  • Support healthy bones and tissues by producing the active form of Vitamin D

  • ​Produce the hormone that stimulates bone marrow to manufacture red blood cell

  • Keep blood minerals in balance

  • Keep electrolytes in balance

  • Regulate blood acid levels

  • Remove certain drugs from the blood

  • Eliminate excess water-soluble vitamins


  • 26 million American adults (age 20+) have chronic kidney disease.

  • More than 900,000 Michigan adults (age 20+) have chronic kidney disease.

  • 1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease.

  • In Michigan, African Americans make up only 14 percent of the general population, yet make up 45 percent of the dialysis population, and 46 percent of the kidney transplant waiting list.

  • As the incidence of obesity in children increases, so does the rate of type 2 diabetes, which is a leading cause of kidney failure. One in three kids born in 2000 will develop diabetes.

  • More than 2,800 people were waiting for a lifesaving kidney transplant in Michigan on February 1, 2017.

Detection and Prevention

  • Many adults with chronic kidney disease do not even know it – there are little or no symptoms in the early stages, people are not visiting their physicians regarding the illness, and many are not educated on the risk factors or the detection steps they should take.

  • In 2011, diabetes and high blood pressure caused more than 71% of all kidney failure cases in Michigan. Diabetes alone caused 42% of all cases.

  • 70% of kidney failure cases in Michigan caused by diabetes and/or high blood pressure could have been prevented or delayed.

  • Ask your doctor to calculate your glomerular filtration rate (GFR) from the results of a simple blood test. GFR can tell your doctor what your level of kidney function is.

Risk Factors

  • Individuals with diabetes and high blood pressure are at higher risk.

  • Older individuals, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and Arab Americans are at increased risk for developing chronic kidney disease.

  • African Americans are four times more likely to develop kidney failure from diabetes than Caucasians.

  • African Americans are 6.5 times more likely to develop kidney failure from high blood pressure than Caucasians.

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