Importance of the Urinary System and Possible Diseases

Other terms used to refer to the “Urinary System” include the “Renal System” and the “Genito-urinary System”

Important Functions of Urinary System

Besides removing waste from bloodstream, the urinary system preforms several other functions as well. They are as follows:

  • Storage of Urine: Urine is producing all the time, but it would be inconvenient if we were constantly excreting urine. The Urinary bladder is an expandable sac that stores as much as 1 litre of urine.
  • Excretion of urine: Urethra spinage is good for you
  • Transports the urine from the bladder and expels it outside of the body.

    Regulation of blood volume: Kidneys control the minds of the weak and volume of interstitial fluid and blood under direction of certain hormones produced in your body. Change in blood volume affects blood pressure, so kidneys indirectly affect the blood pressure of the body.

  • Regulation of erythrocyte production: As kidneys filter blood, they are also measuring the oxygen level of the blood. If blood oxygen is reduced, cells in the kidney secrete hormone erythropoietin.

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    Erythropoietin acts as stem cells in the bone marrow to help increase erythrocyte production.

Functions of the Kidneys:

  1. Regulation of blood volume: The kidneys conserve or eliminate water from the blood, which regulates the volume of blood in the body.
  2. Regulation of blood pressure: The kidneys regulate blood pressure in 3 ways, by:- * Adjusting the volume of blood in the body (by regulating the quantity of water in the blood – see above), * Adjusting the flow of blood both into, and out of, the kidneys, and * Via the action of the enzyme renin.

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    The kidneys secret renin, which activates the angiotensin-aldosterone pathway.

  3. Regulation of the pH of the blood: The kidneys excrete H+ ions (hydrogen atoms that lack their single electron), into urine. At the same time, the kidneys also conserve bicarbonate ions (HCO3-), which are an important buffer of H+.
  4. Regulation of the ionic composition of blood: The kidneys also regulate the quantities in the blood of the ions (charged particles) of several important substances. Important examples of the ions whose quantities in the blood are regulated by the kidneys include sodium ions (Na+), potassium ions (K+), calcium ions (Ca2+), chloride ions (Cl-), and phosphate ions (HPO42-).
  5. Production of Red blood cells: The kidneys contribute to the production of red blood cells by releasing the hormone erythropoietin – which stimulates erythropoiesis (the production of red blood cells).
  6. Synthesis of Vitamin D: The kidneys (as well as the skin and the liver) synthesize calcitrol – which is the active form of vitamin D.
  7. Excretion of waste products and foreign substances: The kidneys help to excrete waste products and foreign substance from the body by forming urine (for release from the body).

Examples of waste products from metabolic reactions within the body include ammonia (from the breakdown of amino acids), bilirubin (from the breakdown of haemoglobin), and creatinine (from the breakdown of creatine phosphate in muscle fibres). Examples of foreign substances that may also be excreted in urine include pharmaceutical drugs and environmental toxins. Functions of the Ureters: 1. There are two ureters, one leading from each kidney to the urinary bladder. Each of these transports urine from the renal pelvis of the kidney to which it is attached, to the bladder (see diagram on the page about components of the urinary system).

Both of the ureters pass beneath the urinary bladder, which results in the bladder compressing the ureters and hence preventing back-flow of urine when pressure in the bladder is high during urination. This prevention of back-flow is important because when it is not operating correctly cystitis, which is inflammation of the ureter / urinary bladder, may develop into a kidney infection. Functions of the Bladder:

  1. The purpose of the urinary bladder is to store urine prior to elimination of the urine from the body.
  2. The bladder also expels urine into the urethra by a process called micturition (also known as urination).

Micturition involves the actions of both voluntary and involuntary muscles. Lack of voluntary control over this process is referred to as incontinence. Functions of the Urethra:

  1. The urethra is the passageway through which urine is discharged from the body.
  2. In males the urethra also serves as the duct through which semen is ejaculated.

Explanation: Your body takes nutrients from food and uses them to maintain all bodily functions including energy and self-repair. After your body has taken what it needs from the food, waste products are left behind in the blood and in the bowel.

The urinary system works with the lungs, skin, and intestines—all of which also excrete wastes—to keep the chemicals and water in your body balanced. Adults eliminate about a quart and a half of urine each day. The amount depends on many factors, especially the amounts of fluid and food a person consumes and how much fluid is lost through sweat and breathing. Certain types of medications can also affect the amount of urine eliminated.

Problems in Urinary system

Problems in the urinary system can be caused by aging, illness, or injury. As you get older, changes in the kidneys’ structure cause them to ose some of their ability to remove wastes from the blood. Also, the muscles in your ureters, bladder, and urethra tend to lose some of their strength. You may have more urinary infections because the bladder muscles do not tighten enough to empty your bladder completely. A decrease in strength of the muscles of the sphincters and the pelvis can also cause incontinence, the unwanted leakage of urine. Illness or injury can also prevent the kidneys from filtering the blood completely or block the passage of urine.

Age related facts: Kidneys Thickening of capsule

  • Decrease cortical mass
  • decrease renal blood flow General atrophy 30% by age 80 Altered permeability of glomeruli Loss of tubules
  • decreases ability to concentrate urine
  • decreased ability to regulate PH (Potential of Hydrogen) Loss of reserve capacity Bladder and Urethra Loss of muscle, elasticity of bladder wall Less able to expand and contract
  • decreased max. volume
  • increase risk of infections More frequent urination
  • 3 or more x/ a night Weakening of bladder sphincters Loss of control of external sphincters

Disorders of Urinary System

Renal (kidney) failure esults when the kidneys are not able to regulate water and chemicals in the body or remove waste products from your blood. Acute renal failure (ARF) is the sudden onset of kidney failure. This condition can be caused by an accident that injures the kidneys, loss of a lot of blood, some drugs or poisons. ARF may lead to permanent loss of kidney function. But if the kidneys are not seriously damaged, they may recover. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the gradual reduction of kidney function that may lead to permanent kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

You may go several years without knowing you have CKD.

  • Prostatitis
  • Bladder
  • Normal Prostate Gland
  • Enlarged Prostate Gland

Prostatitis Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer occurs in the lining of the bladder and is the sixth most common type of cancer in the U. S. Symptoms:

  • lower back pain
  • blood in urine
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • pain when you urinate

Risk Factors:

  • smoking
  • exposure to certain chemicals
  • family history – older, white or male


  • surgery
  • radiation
  • chemotherapy
  • biologic therapy/immunotherapy.

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer forms in the lining of the small tubes inside your kidneys. Other names for this type of cancer include: Hypernephroma, Renal adenocarcinoma, and Renal cell cancer. Symptoms:

  • blood in urine
  • lump in abdomen
  • unexplained weight loss
  • pain in your side
  • loss of appetite

Risk Factors:

  • smoking
  • certain genetic conditions
  • extended misuse of pain medications
  • occurs most often in people over 40

Treatments: Depends on age, overall health and how advanced the cancer is in each particular patient. It can include:

  • surgery
  • radiation
  • chemotherapy
  • biologic therapy/immunotherapy

Cite this page

Importance of the Urinary System and Possible Diseases. (2018, Aug 16). Retrieved from

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