Nephrology – a medical specialty concerned with the kidneys and especially with their structure, functions, and diseases.

To go to the Nephrology home page, click here

For general information on kidney disease and treatment types, refer to Kidney Health Australia’s fact sheets here or booklets from the Renal Resource Centre here.


Kidneys are vital organs. They keep you healthy by:

  • Removing waste products and excess fluid from the blood
  • Controlling your blood pressure
  • Making red blood cells
  • Maintaining strong and healthy bones

Chronic kidney disease is a process during which kidney tissue is destroyed over a long period of time. Most people are unaware of their kidney’s reducing function until close to 90% of the function has been lost. Symptons can include fluid retention, tiredness, headaches, poor memory and concentration, irritability, sleep disturbances, restless legs, itchiness, loss of appetite, nausea and weight loss. Treatments available (also known as ‘renal replacement therapy’) comprise dialysis and kidney transplantation.

Regarding dialysis, there are two forms of dialysis – haemodialysis (conducted by the patient at home or by nursing staff at a hospital facility) and peritoneal dialysis (conducted by the patient at home). Both types filter blood to remove waste products, excess salt and water, which the failed kidneys cannot do anymore.

Donate Life is an Australian Government strategy to increase community engagement and awareness in relation to organ and tissue donation. For information about Donate Life, click here.