Urinary System

By: Michael Kane

Urinary System

Excretion


  • Definition: Excretion is the process by which waste products of metabolism and other non-useful materials are eliminated from an organism

  • Function: The urinary system maintains an appropriate fluid volume by regulating the amount of water that is excreted in the urine

Basic Breakdown

Kidneys

  • Definition: either of a pair of bean-shaped organs in the back part of the abdominal cavity that form and excrete urine, regulate fluid and electrolyte balance, and act as endocrine glands

  • Function: The kidney and urinary systems help the body to eliminate liquid waste called urea, and to keep chemicals, such as potassium and sodium, and water in balance.

  • Other important functions of the kidneys include blood pressure regulation and the production of erythropoietin, which controls red blood cell production in the bone marrow. Kidneys also regulate the acid-base balance and conserve fluids.

How the Urinary System Works

Interesting infomation

Metabolic wastes

  • Definition: Metabolic wastes or excretes are substances left over from excretory processes, which cannot be used by the organism (they are surplus or have lethal effect), and must therefore be excreted.

  • As most healthy functioning organs produce metabolic and other wastes, the entire organism depends on the function of the system. Breaking down on one of more of the systems is a serious health condition and can harm the entire body

Nitrogenous Wastes

  • Definition: Animal wastes (particularly urine ) that contain materials high in nitrogencontent.

  • Function: Must be removed from the body, thus is most commonly transformed into urine and excret from the human body

Ammonia

  • Definition: a colorless, pungent, suffocating, highly water-soluble, gaseous compound usually produced by the direct combination of nitrogen and hydrogen gases

  • Function: Urea, creatinine, and uric acid are nitrogen-containing compounds produced as wastes during cellular activity. When cells break down amino acids, they produce ammonia as a waste product. Ammonia is very toxic to the body's cells, so the liver combines ammonia with carbon dioxide to create the less toxic urea, the most abundant of the nitrogen-containing wastes.

Urea

  • Definition: It is a colorless, odorless solid, highly soluble in water and practically non-toxic. Dissolved in water, it is neither acidic nor alkaline. The body uses it in many processes, the most notable one being nitrogen excretion.

  • Function: Urea serves an important role in the metabolism of nitrogen-containing compounds by animals and is the main nitrogen-containing substance in the urine of mammals.

Creatinine

  • Definition: a compound that is produced by metabolism of creatine and excreted in the urine

  • Function: Creatinine is a waste product from the normal breakdown of muscle tissue. As creatinine is produced, it's filtered through the kidneys and excreted in urine. Doctors measure the blood creatinine level as a test of kidney function.

Renal Vein

  • Definition: Any of the veins that accompany the renal arteries and open at right angles into the vena cava at the level of the second lumbar vertebra

  • Function: The renal veins are veins that drain the kidney. They connect the kidney to the inferior vena cava. They carry the blood purified by the kidney.

Renal Artery

  • Definition: An artery with its origin in the aorta and with distribution to the kidney.

  • Function: Renal artery stenosis is the narrowing of one or both renal arteries. “Renal” means “kidney” and “stenosis” means “narrowing.” The renal arteries are blood vessels that carry blood to the kidneys from the aorta—the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to arteries throughout the body.

Ureters

  • Definition: a muscular duct or tube conveying the urine from a kidney to the bladder or cloaca.

  • Function: A ureter is one of two uterine tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Each ureter is about ten to twelve inches long. Urine flows down partly by gravity, but mainly by waves of contractions, which pass several times per minute through the muscle layers of the urethral walls.

Urinary Bladder

  • Definition: a distensible, muscular and membranous sac, in which the urine is retained until it is discharged from the body.

  • Function: The urinary bladder is the organ that collects urine excreted by the kidneys before disposal by urination. A hollow muscular, and distensible (or elastic) organ, the bladder sits on the pelvic floor. Urine enters the bladder via the ureters and exits via the urethra.

Urethra

  • Definition: the membranous tube that extends from the urinary bladder to the exterior and that in the male conveys semen as well as urine.

  • Function: In females, the urethra is a tube that conveys urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body. In males, the urethra also functions as a urinary canal and as a passageway for cells and secretions from various reproductive organs.

Urine

  • Definition: the liquid-to-semi solid waste matter excreted by the kidneys, in humans being a yellowish, slightly acid, watery fluid

  • Function: Urine is formed in the kidneys through a filtration of blood. The urine is then passed through the ureters to the bladder, where it is stored. During urination (peeing) the urine is passed from the bladder through the urethra to the outside of the body.

  • About 1-2 litres of urine are produced every day in a healthy human, although this amount may vary according to circumstances such as fluid intake.

Urinary system diseases
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Diseases

Cystitis

  • Definition: inflammation of the urinary bladder

  • Information: It is usually caused by a urine infection. Typical symptoms are pain when you pass urine, and passing urine frequently. You may also have pain in your lower tummy (abdomen), blood in your urine and a high temperature (fever). Your urine may also become cloudy and may become smelly. Treatment options include the following: Antibiotic medication. A three- to five-day course is a common treatment for most women

Renal Failure

  • Definition: A condition in which the kidneys lose the ability to remove waste and balance fluids

Information:

Acute kidney failure can occur when:

  • You have a condition that slows blood flow to your kidneys

  • You experience direct damage to your kidneys

  • Your kidneys' urine drainage tubes (ureters) become blocked and wastes can't leave your body through your urine

Signs and symptoms of acute kidney failure may include:

  • Decreased urine output, although occasionally urine output remains normal

  • Fluid retention, causing swelling in your legs, ankles or feet

  • Drowsiness

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fatigue

  • Confusion

  • Nausea

  • Seizures or coma in severe cases

  • Chest pain or pressure

Treatment

  • For acute kidney failure typically requires a hospital stay. Most people with acute kidney failure are already hospitalized. How long you'll stay in the hospital depends on the reason for your acute kidney failure and how quickly your kidneys recover.

Glomerulonephritis

Definition: acute inflammation of the kidney, typically caused by an immune response

Causes

  • The acute disease may be caused by infections such as strep throat. It may also be caused by other illnesses.

Common symptoms of glomerulonephritis are:

  • Blood in the urine (dark, rust-colored, or brown urine)

  • Foamy urine (due to excess protein in the urine)

  • Swelling (edema) of the face, eyes, ankles, feet, legs, or abdomen.

Treatment

  • Depends on the type of glomerulonephritis you have

Pyelonephritis

Definition: Inflammation of the kidney due to a bacterial infection

Causes

  • Bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, commonly known as E. coli, often cause the infection. But any serious infection in the bloodstream can spread to the kidneys and cause acute pyelonephritis. Chronic pyelonephritis is more common in children or in patients with urinary obstructions.

Symptoms

Treatment

  • Pyelonephritis is a serious infection that always requires treatment with antibiotics.

Renal Calculi

Definition:

  • A small, hard deposit that forms in the kidneys and is often painful when passed

Kidney stones often have no definite, single cause, although several factors may increase your risk.

Causes

  • A kidney stone may not cause symptoms until it moves around within your kidney or passes into your ureter — the tube connecting the kidney and bladder. At that point, you may experience much pain to yourself

Treatment

  • For kidney stones varies, depending on the type of stone and the cause.

Uremia

  • Definition: a raised level in the blood of urea and other nitrogenous waste compounds that are normally eliminated by the kidneys

Causes

  • Uremia is caused by any condition that impairs the kidneys’ ability to filter waste products.

Symptoms

  • Uremia are related to kidney damage that prevents the kidneys from filtering out nitrogen waste. This nitrogen waste builds up in the bloodstream, poisoning the body. The symptoms of uremia are serious and may occur very quickly.

Treatment

  • Uremia usually needs to be treated in the hospital. Treatment begins with addressing the cause of low blood flow through the kidneys. Then, it focuses on removing nitrogen waste from the bloodstream and restoring blood volume and pressure. Finally, ongoing treatment may be required to prevent and address waste buildup and kidney damage.

Urethritis

  • Definition: inflammation of the urethra

Causes

  • Most episodes of urethritis are caused by infection by bacteria that enter the urethra from the skin around the urethra's opening.

Symptoms

  • The main symptom of urethra inflammation from urethritis is pain with urination (dysuria).

Treatment

  • Antibiotics can successfully cure urethritis caused by bacteria. Many different antibiotics can treat urethritis.


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