The kidneys regulate the body’s fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base balances while removing toxic substances from the blood and excreting them in urine. The kidneys also play a significant role in erythropoietin and prostaglandin synthesis, in insulin degradation, and in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Many common disease processes and injuries can interfere with normal renal function. Some of these disorders can result in renal failure (see Chapter 36). Because of the potential seriousness of any renal problem, the client and his or her significant others have physical as well as psychological needs. You need to know about the whole person and the person’s family and maintain awareness of appropriate interventions.