Above each kidney is an adrenal gland. These small glands make:
- cortisol, a natural steroid hormone
- aldosterone, which helps to regulate the body’s water balance
- noradrenaline, an adrenaline like hormone
If you have a kidney removed, you may have the adrenal gland above it removed too. This happens when there is a chance that cancer cells could be left behind with your adrenal gland.
The adrenal hormones are important but:
- you will be perfectly well with only one adrenal gland – your other one will make all the hormones you need
- if you have both adrenal glands removed you need to take hormone tablets every day
The kidneys remove waste products from the blood. The clean blood is then transferred back into the body and the waste products are passed out of the body in your urine when you go to the toilet.
Kidney problems are common. And the number of people with serious kidney problems, such as kidney disease and kidney cancer, is increasing.
Kidneys are vital organs that remove excess water and cleanse the blood of toxins. When the kidneys fail, waste products and fluid buildup in the body, making you feel unwell, gain weight, become breathless, and get swollen hands and feet.