MOST of us don't give them much thought but it's important to look after your kidneys.
About 600 million people worldwide have some form of kidney damage.
Chronic kidney disease is predicted to increase by 17 per cent over the next decade and is now recognised as a global public health issue.
If detected early and managed appropriately, the deterioration in kidney function can be slowed or even stopped.
But awareness of kidney diseases is still very low and many people underestimate the vital role that their kidneys play.
About 1.7 million Australians have clinical evidence of chronic kidney disease and there are 20,766 people in Australiawho are on renal replacement therapy, says Kidney Health Australia.
The three most common causes of kidney disease requiring kidney replacement therapy in Australia are diabetes, inflammation of the kidney and high blood pressure.
Kidney disease can affect people of all ages and origins and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Kidney Awareness Week was marked from May 25 to May 31 this year and is designed to promote a message of early detection, prevention and support.