The kidneys sit at the back of the abdomen, on either side of the spine and just below the ribcage. They are behind the peritonium — a membrane that lines the abdominal cavity — so medical professionals sometimes refer to their location as "rectoperitoneal."
The 12 thoracic vertebrae are stacked above five lumbar vertebrae. The kidneys usually extend from the final thoracic, T12, to the third lumbar vertebrae, L3, making each kidney about three vertebrae in length.
The stomach is positioned in front of the kidneys, as is the liver. The large intestine runs below and a little in front of the kidneys.
Want to know more about these organs? Facty Health has plenty of content on keeping your kidneys healthy and recognizing related health conditions. Here's what you'll find here:
What are the kidneys? What makes them so important? Facts About the Kidneys explains this vital part of the excretory system. It's all you wanted to know, and more.
Up next: habits that keep your kidneys in good health.
Like most of organs and body systems, drinking plenty of water and regular exercise will help keep the kidneys in tip-top shape so they can do their important work to the best of their ability. Habits for Better Kidney Health offers lots of steps you can take.
Read on: The best foods for healthy kidneys.
Healthy food contributes to a healthy body — everyone know this. But did you know there are specific Foods That Support Your Kidneys?
Up next: learn more about kidney stones.
Most people who develop kidney stones get them when uric acid crystallizes and blocks the flow of urine through the body. It's a painful condition, and recognizing the Signs of Kidney Stones quickly can make sure treatment and relief aren't far away.
Read on: what causes kidney cysts?
Round pouches of fluid on or in the kidneys are called kidney cysts. Though a "simple" cyst can cause no problems and might even go unnoticed, some people experience significant health problems. Here are 10 Causes of Kidney Cysts.
Up next: calling out kidney pain
Because the kidneys are tucked into the center of the body, it can be hard to point to pain caused by this organ in particular. Furthermore, there are many possible Causes of Kidney Pain.
Read on: identifying kidney infections
If bad bacteria reaches the kidneys, an infection can result. They are not that common, and it is important to see a doctor quickly in order to identify if the infection is in the kidneys and treat it promptly. Remember these 10 Kidney Infection Signs.
Up next: what's uremia?
One potential side effect of chronic kidney issues is uremia, a high level of urea and other waste in the blood. Treatments for uremia vary depending on the cause.
Read on: kidney filtration and Fanconi syndrome
One kidney-related disease most people have never heard of is Fanconi syndrome. This condition can result in nutrient deficiencies and other problems. Read our article on Kidney Filtration and Fanconi Syndrome to learn more.
Up next: understanding kidney disease
Kidney disease has serious symptoms and side effects. Learn more about this disease with our in-depth article on understanding Stage 3 Kidney Disease.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.