Healthy Kidneys & Urinary System

Healthy Kidneys & Urinary System

Your kidneys are shaped like beans and are about the size of your fist. They play a vital role in keeping the chemicals and water in your body balanced. Your urinary system removes a waste called urea from your blood after the food you eat is broken down in your body. Problems can occur in your kidneys and urinary system from aging, from illnesses or from injury. These problems can range from minor to life-threatening. If you're having kidney or urinary tract problems, you should see your doctor for an evaluation.

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    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered

    The bladder can hold anywhere between twelve and twenty ounces of fluid, depending on the age of the person. Bladder capacity tends to decrease with age and leads to an increased frequency of urination. It is not uncommon to feel the urge to urinate when the bladder holds just eight ounces of urine, and the bladder is generally emptied when it contains anywhere up to sixteen fluid ounces. Any more than that and you’ll be in substantial pain.

    Normal frequency of urination is considered to be up to seven or eight times a day. Some people void every four hours, while others -- the lucky few as far as I’m concerned -- can sometimes last six or even eight hours. Depending upon how much you’ve eaten or drunk, you may have to go even more frequently, but not more than every two hours if you want to be considered continent.

    Don’t try to forcibly hold your urine too long. If you stretch the bladder too much, your muscles may weaken, and you may start to “dribble” as you get older. Beware: this condition is harder to fix than incontinence. Once a muscle is stretched, that’s it; there’s no way to regain your tone!

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    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered

    The bladder, a hollow muscle-lined sac located in the lower abdomen, has two main roles: to store urine and then later to eliminate it. As urine enters it, the bladder relaxes, thus allowing it to act as an expandable storage tank, continually accommodating an increasing amount of fluid without a significant increase in internal bladder pressure.

    When empty, the bladder resembles a deflated balloon. As it fills, however, the bladder continually changes shape until it resembles a pear. During storage, urine is held within the bladder by a ring of muscles at the bottom of the bladder (the urethral sphincter), which remains shut and increasingly tightens as the bladder fills. As the bladder fills, signals are sent to receptors in the cerebral cortex of the brain telling it what is occurring, while other inhibitory signals are sent from the brain to prevent premature emptying of the bladder.

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    A answered
    The kidneys play many important roles, including filtering wastes from the blood, regulating blood pressure and balancing fluid, salt and acid in the body. They are vital in producing red blood cells and vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones. Kidney health is therefore vital to overall health.
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    The kidneys have many responsibilities. One of the main responsibilities is to clean your blood and produce urine. Here's how it happens:
    • Blood enters the kidneys through an artery from the heart.
    • Then blood is cleaned by passing through millions of tiny blood filters.
    • Waste material passes through the ureter and is stored in the bladder as urine.
    • Newly cleaned blood returns to the bloodstream by way of veins.
    • The bladder becomes full and urine (which contains the waste products) passes out of the body through the urethra.
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    A answered

    Normally, humans have two kidneys. To get a sense of where they are, place your thumbs on your lowest ribs, then slide your hands backward around your torso toward your backbone. You have a kidney located there, on each side of your lower spine at about the same level as your lowest rib.

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    The function of the kidneys is to extract and filter what is considered to be waste, or unnecessary by-products of metabolism, from the body. The kidneys filter the blood at very small collections of blood vessels within the kidney itself.
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    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered

    A sphincter is a muscle that surrounds a body opening (the urethra or the anus, for example) and which should unconsciously remained tightly closed. During urination, sphincters relax and open when messages are relayed from your nerves and your brain to the pelvic floor muscles. Internal and external sphincter muscles control the storage and voiding of urine. The internal sphincter instinctively squeezes the urethra closed.

    The external sphincter is more under your control for short periods of time and can be squeezed to prevent the leakage of urine when you sneeze, cough, laugh, or do anything that puts additional pressure on your bladder. The internal and external sphincter muscles work in tandem, expanding and contracting as the bladder fills and empties. Nerves automatically relay messages to your muscles ensuring that the sphincters remain closed and that you don’t leak.

    When enough urine has accumulated in the bladder and it has filled to the point that its internal pressure has increased and its bladder wall has stretched, your nervous system sends a message to your brain, which in turn sends a message to your bladder’s detrusor muscle, telling it to relax the internal sphincter muscle. When that happens, the external sphincter muscle becomes tight, and you have a distinct urge to urinate. When you are ready to urinate, you relax your external sphincter, and urine flows.

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    The urinary system is the system of organs that produces, stores, and eliminates urine. It includes two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder, and the urethra. Urinary cancer occurs whenever one or more of these organs develop malignant cancer cells. The four types of urinary cancer, therefore, are:
    • Bladder;
    • Kidney;
    • Ureter;
    • Urethra.
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    A Urology, answered on behalf of
    The muscle that allows men to stop urinating midstream is the external striated sphincter. If a fire alarm went off and a man had to stop midstream and run out, this is the muscle that he would squeeze down to stop his stream.
     
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    The collecting duct is the last part of a long, twisting tube that collects urine from the nephrons (cellular structures in the kidney that filter blood and form urine) and moves it into the renal pelvis and ureters. Also called renal collecting tubule.

    This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.