Structure and function of the renal system

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The structure and function of the renal system

Renal system: (Appendix .1 & .2)

The renal system also known as the excretory or urinary system is a collection of organs that work simultaneously to store, produce and excreteurine. The working organs in this system include the kidneys, ureters, bladder andurethra. The kidneys filter the blood to remove wastes and produce urine. The ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra together form the urinary tract, which acts as a plumbing system to remove urine from the kidneys, store it, and then release it during urination (Innerbody, 1999-2015).

Renal system functions:

According to Ivy Rose, (2015) the primary function of the urinary system is to sustain the composition and volume of bodily fluids within normal limits, this rids the body of waste products that accumulate as a result of cellular metabolism. It also regulates the concentrations of various electrolytes in the body fluids and maintains a normal pH of the blood. In addition to maintaining fluid homeostasis which is any self-regulating process by which biological systems tend to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions that are optimal for survival. in the body, the urinary system controls red blood cell production by secreting the hormone erythropoietin. The urinary system also plays a role in maintaining normal blood pressure by secreting the enzyme renin.

Other excretory systems:

Allexcretory systems within the human body are apassive biological system that removes excess, unnecessary materials from the body so as to help maintain internal chemical homeostasisand prevent damage. The dual function of all the excretory systems is the elimination of thewaste productsofmetabolismand to drain the body of used up and broken down components in a liquid and gaseous state. In humans most of these substances leave the body asurineand to some degree exhalation, and they are also expelled throughsweating (Avaminc, 2015).

Nephron Structure & Function: (Appendix .3)

As reported by Med Health (2015), a nephron is a small filtering structure in thekidneys. Each of the kidneys contain more than 1 million nephrons that help clean the blood. The function of the nephron is to help remove excess wastes, water and other substances from the blood and to also return substances like potassium, sodium, or phosphorus if these substances run low in the body. Each nephron is made of two main structures, the renal and glomerulus (kidney) tubule. The tubule (Appendix .4), is a small tube where the extra fluid, wastes and other recyclable substances like sodium and potassium filtered out from the glomerulus pass through (Kidney Healthcare, 2008-2010). The glomerulus (Appendix .4), is a tiny capillary or blood vessel. This is where the filtering of the blood occurs.Each glomeruli acts like a sieve that helps keep normal cells and proteins in the bloodstream and allows excess fluid, wastes and other substances to pass (Kidney Healthcare, 2008-2010).

Polycystic kidney disease & treatment (Appendix .5):

As stated by Mayo Clinic (1998-2015), damage to the Nephrons can lead to polycystic kidney disease (PKD) which is a progressive disorder characterized by cyst formations and enlargement in the kidney. The disease can also damage theliver,pancreasand, in some rare cases, theheartandbrain. PKD is one of the most common life-threatening genetic diseases.

Many people with PKD remain free of problems for years after the condition is diagnosed. There’s no treatment that can reverse the growth of the cysts although it’s researched. Treatment is aimed at controlling symptoms and complications and can include one or more of the following, treating high blood pressure which can slow down the progression of kidney damage (and blood glucose level if a patient has diabetes). Tackling lifestyle risk factors for example not smoking, healthy diet with a low salt intake, keeping weight in check, regularphysical activity and cutting back on alcohol. Immunisations may also be needed to prevent infection (Healthline, 1995-2015).

If persistent pain is a problem painkillers can be used. Sometimes an operation to drain or remove large cysts may be done if they are thought to be causing pressure and pain. If other cysts develop in other parts of the body and cause problems, then various other treatments may be needed such as extraction. Urine and kidney infections long termcan be treated with antibiotics (Healthline, 1995-2015).

Ureters Structure & Function: (Appendix .6)

According to D. Darling (2015), the ureters are a component of theurinary system. Urine, produced by the kidneys, travels along the ureters to the bladder. Uretersare tubes made ofsmooth muscle fibres. The ureters rise from thepelvisof each kidney, and descend on top of thepsoas majormuscle to reach the pelvis. Here, they cross in front of the iliac arteries. They then pass down along the sides of the pelvis, and finally curve forwards and enter the bladder from its left and right sides at the back of the bladder. At the entrance to the bladder, the ureters are surrounded by valves known as ureterovesical valves, which prevent the backflow of urine.

Kidney stones in the ureter & treatment: (Appendix .7)

Kidney stones are solid masses made of crystals formed from salts concentrated in the urine. Some people have high levels of minerals that help stones to form. Or the urine volume could be too low, in which case the salts are too highly concentrated to stay dissolved. Akidney stonecan move from thekidneyand become lodged inside the ureter, which blocks the flow ofurine, as well as cause a sharp painfulcramp (Uropartners, 2010).

The treatment for kidney stones depends on the type of stone and situation. Many stones that get stuck in the narrow parts of the ureter later pass on their own into the bladder and leave the body in the urine. Certain medications have been shown to improve the chance that a stone will pass. The most common medication prescribed for this reason is tamsulosin. Pain and nausea medicine may also be needed while waiting for the stone to pass (Uropartners, 2010). Surgery could be an option to remove a stone from the ureter if the stone never passes, the pain is too great or if the stone is affecting kidney function. Kidney stones should be removed by surgery if they repeated infections in the urine or if they are blocking the flow of urine from the kidney (Uropartners, 2010).

A summary of excretion process and how this differs with men and women: (Appendix .8)

As stated by Britannica (2015), the excretion process performs the function of excretion and is the bodily process of discharging wastes. The female and male urinary system are very similar, differing only in the length of the urethra. Urine is formed in the kidneys through filtration ofblood. The urine is then passed through the ureters to the bladder, where it is stored. Duringurination the urine is passed from the bladder through the urethra to the outside of the body. In a female, the urethra is about 5cm long and exits in the body between theclitorisand vagina, extending from theinternalto theexternal urethral orifice. In a male, the urethra is about 20cm long and opens at the end of thepenis.A male’s urethra provides an exit forurineas well assemenduringejaculation (Live Science, 2015).


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