The Functional Role of the Urinary System

The urinary system is made up of the following structures:
• 2 kidneys, which secrete urine
• 2 ureters, transports urine from the kidneys to the bladder
• The urinary bladder: stores urine temporarily
• The urethra: expels urine from the bladder to the exterior
It is also the main excretory system in the body as it produces urine, ensuring that the body gets rid of unwanted and potentially harmful substances. Filtering blood plays a vital part in maintaining homeostasis of water and electrolyte concentrations within the body.
The primary role of the kidneys is to maintain a healthy balance of water, minerals and electrolytes.The kidneys form urine, which consists of consists of 96% water, 2% urea and 2% (Uric acid, Creatinine, Ammonia, Sodium Potassium, Chlorides, Phosphates, Sulphates and Oxalates). Foods such as poultry, eggs and beans, produce urea when the proteins are broken down and transferred through the blood stream to the kidneys. Waste products are produced constantly due to the metabolism of nutrients in the cells. The kidneys help maintain a normal blood pressure, by the secretion of the hormone renin, stimulating the release of the hormone, Erythropoietin (EPO), which increases the production of red blood cells and, a type of Vitamin D called Calcitriol, which aids the absorption of calcium in the small intestines. The hormones produced also control blood pH levels: pH 7.4 is the norm for blood.
Urine is formed in the nephrons of the kidney. Each kidney contains approximately a million filtration units. The nephron is comprised of:
• The proximal convoluted tubule
• The loop of Henle
• The distal convoluted tubule
• Collecting Duct

Nephrons are connected to collecting ducts, which open into the renal pelvis. Clusters of capillaries, or glomeruli, provide the nephron’s blood supply. The blood is supplied at a high pressure, compressing the nephron so that water, amino acids, salt, glucose and waste products are expelled. The glomerular...