urinary system, function of the urinary system, kidney function, kidney anatomy, renal function

Kidneys 101: Kidneys, Carpet, and Cholesterol

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As I set out to write the second entry of my new blog, it is brought to light again how much the kidneys and the urinary system as a whole, are swept ‘under the carpet’ and ignored. Not like the ‘sexy’ cardiovascular, hormonal, or immune systems that get all the media attention.

…I really wanted to make this first official ‘educational and informative’ post a great one, one that you would refer to time and time again to understand the inner workings of the urinary system and kidneys. So I blew off the dust and opened up my anatomy and physiology book (I haven’t seen my ‘old friend’ since college) looking to find the urinary system.  Flicking and flicking through the book, I realised I am not going to find what I am looking for without looking at the table of contents, so I jumped to the table of contents page, and began scanning … and scanning … and scanning… Ahhh there it is, near the glossary at the back of the book. That may seem like a silly thing to comment on (as there has to be something that ends up at the back of the book), but it is just a small reminder that the urinary system is an aspect of the human body which goes widely overlooked.

…I am really passionate about making this a thing of the past. I really hope that through this blog I can, together with you, bring more awareness to kidney health on a large scale, to change some of the ingrained views of what it means to have kidney disease, and of course, the awareness that kidneys can be treated successfully time and time again, naturally.

So with that, let’s get started shall we? And start creating some healthy bodies, minds, and lives.

The Urinary System 101

The urinary system is comprised of four core components:

1.    Two kidneys: the kidneys are two fist sized organs that sit towards the back just under the ribcage. These two organs are the powerhouse of the whole operation, they are the doers, and they are responsible for all the life giving elements that are created by this finely tuned system.

2.    Two ureters: the ureters are the channels (long tubes) that take all the kidneys’ good work (urine) and direct it to the bladder.

3.    The bladder: is our urine storage unit. And thank God we have one. Our kidneys produce on average 1400-1600mls of urine a day (though this can range from 1000ml to 2000ml a day). That is just a tad over one millilitre a minute. Without a bladder I am sure many public situations wouldn’t go down so well without the benefit of conveniently storing it until an appropriate time to ‘relieve’ yourself. The bladder on average holds 500 – 600ml of urine.

4.    The urethra: is another channel similar to the ureters, which transports urine from the bladder to the toilet bowl during urination.

Together these four components come together to create a system that produces far more effects than simply excreting waste products from the blood. These include:

1.    Removal of wastes from the body – such as uric acid and creatinine
2.    Maintain the pH level within the body (acid-alkaline level)
3.    Regulates fluid volume
4.    Regulates electrolyte balance
5.    Maintain healthy blood pressure
6.    Red blood cell production – though the production and excretion of the hormone Erythropoietin (EPO)
7.    Reabsorption of water, glucose and amino acids
8.    Vitamin D production

And that’s just what they do directly. Imagine what your body would be like with just one of the benefits removed.

Your blood MUST maintain a very narrow pH range of 7.365 to 7.369 for your body function correctly, in fact to survive. If not, not one single other bodily process can occur. Because EVERY single biochemical process that occurs within your body is done within a fluid environment (everything from energy production to hormone production), it stands to reason that if this pH is not maintained, then the environment necessary to allow the processes simply will not be possible. Just like a flower without the right soil/drainage system the end result is death, for your body, death of cells first, then the death of your body. Cheery I know.

But simply put the urinary system is crucial, and just as much attention ought to be given to your kidney health as you do for your next cholesterol reading. But I guess that is why you are here reading this because you know this, or because you now have to know this, right? However I have some good news for you, we will be going through this together, and we will be covering a lot of content, a lot of good solid wellness content for your entire body, because your kidneys are just a reflection of your whole body health. They are one.

To YOUR Outstanding Health,
Duncan

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