The kidneys are a pair of vital organs that remove toxins, waste, and extra water from your blood. After substances are filtered out of blood, they travel through the ureter to the bladder for storage until they can be passed through urine.
Diseases that progressively damage the kidneys and impair their ability to function are referred to as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). If the kidneys are malformed during fetal development, they won't function as efficiently as fully formed kidneys. Genetic diseases, such polycystic kidney disease, can impair kidney function because it damages the organ's tissue. Lupus, an immune disorder, can reduce kidney function by causing inflammation in the kidney's filtration system. This is referred to as lupus nephritis. Kidney stones are accumulations of minerals that can become lodged in renal tissue, causing damage. Individuals with diabetes often experience hypertension which can decrease the functioning capabilities of the kidney. It is unclear why, but occurrence of diabetes varies depending on a persons' ethnicity.
If a person's kidney disease progresses to the point where the damage is irreversible, they may experience kidney failure. At this point, they may like dialysis or transplantation, to help their body remove toxins and waste from their blood stream.