Your urinary system is an important system in your body. Among other jobs, it is tasked with removing waste and helping to maintain your fluid balance.
So when things go awry, it can have serious impacts on your health.
The Urinary System
Your body is mostly made of water and that is in constant flux. For example, you take in new water when you drink, and you also excrete water waste through urine. In fact, a surprising amount of water waste leaves your body as urine; a whopping 1 to 2 liters a day, depending on how much you take in, of course.The system that’s in charge of processing and dealing with this waste is called your urinary system, or renal system.
This system involves your kidneys and bladder, but also your ureter and urethra. Your kidneys are powerful organs that work hard to not only filter out the things that you don’t need (waste), but also to regulate blood pressure, balance fluids in the body, and control red blood cell production. Your bladder also has an important job: collecting liquid waste and releasing it from the body. And the ureter and urethra are the important tubes that all this waste flows through.
As you can see, your urinary system is an important part of your body. So as you can imagine, it’s bad news when it’s not functioning correctly. Let’s take a look at some of the problems that might arise in the urinary system and how they affect the body.
Disorder of the Urinary System
One of the most common problems that people may experience is an infection, known as a urinary tract infection (UTI).
What happens is that bacteria find their way into the urinary system, either from the digestive tract or from external means, and cause irritation and pain in the urinary system. While antibiotics are very effective at treating UTIs, left untreated, a UTI can spread from one part of the urinary system to another and cause severe pain and discomfort.Painful bladder syndrome, or interstitial cystitis, is another type of urinary system disorder. This occurs when the bladder walls become inflamed. If you have this condition, your bladder capacity may be decreased, leading you to feel like you have to urinate more often, but it may also lead to scarring of the bladder or ulcers in the bladder lining.Other types of bladder issues may arise, such as incontinence, which is when you lose some or all of your bladder control, as well as retention problems, which is when you have trouble releasing urine from your bladder.
These can be treated with medications, but also with exercises that help you re-train the muscle around your bladder and urethra.It is also possible to develop bladder cancer, which is a cancer that occurs in the lining of the bladder. This is actually a very common type of cancer in the U.S., and treatment options include surgery and chemotherapy.
The lower end of the urinary system doesn’t get all the glory, though, because your kidneys are also susceptible to problems. Kidney stones are an extremely painful condition that occur in the urinary system when a solid deposit forms in the kidney. If small enough, it may not be too noticeable as it moves through the urinary system. But if it’s a larger stone, it may block the urinary system and surgery may be required to remove it.
Metabolic acidosis is a condition where either your kidneys are not removing enough acid from your body, or your body is producing too much of it. It may eventually lead to cardiac disease, stroke, seizure, or even a coma. In contrast, metabolic alkalosis is when your body loses too much acid (think ‘acid-osis’ for ‘too much acid’ and ‘alkal-osis’ for too basic – alkaline means basic).
This has its own problems, such as confusion, tremors, muscle twitches, and nausea and/or vomiting.In extreme situations, your kidneys may no longer function at all, a condition known as kidney failure, also known as kidney disease or renal failure. When your kidneys are no longer working correctly and they can’t do their job, your blood pressure, water balance, and red blood cell production are all in jeopardy. If the onset is sudden, treatment measures can usually reverse the loss of function.
But if it happens over a long period of time, you may experience a permanent loss of kidney function.This is just a short list of the disorders that affect the urinary system and its components. But hopefully by now you have an appreciation for all that your urinary system does, and understand how a loss of function anywhere along the line can lead to serious problems throughout the rest of your body.
Your urinary system, or renal system, does more than just help you remove waste from your body.
It also does things like help regulate your blood pressure, red blood cell production, and fluid balance.Urinary tract infections (UTIs), cancers, blockages such as kidney stones, inflammation such as interstitial cystitis, acid/base imbalances such as metabolic acidosis and alkalosis, incontinence and retention issues, and even kidney failure can have serious impacts on the body. They cause pain, can restrict your body’s ability to filter out and remove waste, and in extreme circumstances shut down normal functionality all together. Many disorders of the urinary system can be treated with medication or simple therapies, while others require surgery or radiation therapy to help reverse the damage.Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site is for your information only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.