Diseases of Excretory System

Disposal of liquid waste from human body is done by the excretory system. The system consisting of two kidneys, two ureters, one urinary bladder, and one urethra performs the work of collecting, storing and removing all the liquid waste products from the body.

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Diseases of Excretory System

Any malfunction of this system results in the waste products circulating all over the body and causing problems to the entire body. The diseases of this part of body are described below.

1. Kidney Diseases

Nephritis

Definition: Nephritis is the inflammation of one or both kidneys. Herein the organs of body get affected through autoimmune disorders. Out of the disorders, lupus nephritis is a potentially serious condition. In this, the auto immune system of the body attacks body tissues, organs and body cells. The result is pain at the start and body organ damage for continued diseases.

Causes: This is caused by the inflammation of the first part of nephron (the basic kidney unit), which is called glomerulus.

Symptoms:

  • Smelly urine
  • Pain in lower abdomen
  • Blood in urine

Treatment: Antibiotics can be used to treat this condition. When the disorder is caused by lupus, steroids may also have to be used.

Nephrosis

Definition: Also identified as nephrotic syndrome, nephrosis includes symptoms of swelling, protein in urine, low blood protein levels, high cholesterol levels and elevated triglyceride levels.

Causes: The causes of nephrosis include membranous nephropathy, immune system disorders, genetic problems, kidney malfunction, infections such as hepatitis, mononucleosis or strep throat, use of certain medications, etc.

Symptoms:

  • Swelling in face, abdomen, arm and legs.
  • Foamy urine
  • Slight weight gain due to retained fluids
  • Loss of appetite

Treatments: The treatment of nephrosis consists of removing the disorders that are causing it. It is also necessary to change the diet of the patient so the high cholesterol and triglyceride levels are controlled.

Kidney Stones

Definition: These are smaller sized deposits of calcium and can be seen in the nephrons. The stones could also increase or go down to urinary tract causing extreme pain. The stone may also get infected causing further set of complications

Causes: The main cause is change/increase in salt and mineral levels and that of other substances in urine. This may later on cause coagulation and increase size of stones. The other reason can be heredity.

Symptoms:

  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Fever or chills
  • Bloody or smelly urine
  • Sharp pain of the back or the side

Treatments: Reduced size of stones tends to pass out of body without requiring any surgery. The treatment may consist of just taking lot of fluids so that the stones are washed down. In such cases, the fluid is collected for 24 hours continuously and examined in laboratory for presence of small stones. Painkillers may also be used for alleviation of pains for the patient.

2. Ureteral Diseases

Vesicoureteral Reflux

Definition: it is said to occur when the urine flows back from bladder into ureters. Seen commonly in children, the advance in age sees the reduction on the disease.

Causes: The main reason of the disease is the defective valve between the ureters and the bladder. The defect may also be present before the birth. A secondary cause is blockage in the urinary system or malfunctioning of the urinary system.

Symptoms:

  • Pain and burning sensation while urinating
  • Pain in abdomen
  • Increased frequency of urination with very small quantities every time
  • Frequent urge to urinate.
  • Fever

Treatments: The malfunctioning valve between the ureters and the bladder is repaired with surgery. In case infection of the urinary tract is the cause of disease, it can be effectively treated with medicines. The medication is also effective in preventing the infection down to the kidneys. Surgical treatment is also required if the medicines are not effective.

3. Urinary Bladder Diseases

Cystitis

Definition: The inflammation of the bladder is known as cystitis. The bladder is the storage place for the urine until it is discharged by voluntary action of body. The urge to urinate is not an automatic action and hence bladder always has some quantity of urine. The bladder is the place where bacteria can grow easily leading to inflammation of bladder.

Causes: It may be due to reaction of some of medicines, bacterial infection, using catheter for long time in case of some diseases, undetected underlying diseases, and a result of radiation therapy.

Symptoms:

  • Pain or difficulty when urinating
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Pain or soreness of abdomen
  • Cloudy urine
  • Blood in urine

Treatments: Cystitis is normally treated with antibiotics for bacteria. The removal of contributing causes can also form part of treatment.

Bladder Cancer

Definition: When there is uncontrolled growth of cells present in bladder, it is known as bladder cancer. The end result is a tumor in the bladder.

Causes: The cause and effect in case of cancer is not yet very clear but a number of reasons are cited for this purpose and most of them are smoking, radiation, parasitic infection, exposure to chemicals known as carcinogens.

Symptoms:

  • Pain while urinating
  • Back pain
  • Pain in pelvic region
  • Frequent urge for urination without actual flow or frequent urination
  • Blood in urine

Treatments: The treatment of cancer bladder is similar to the other cancers of the body. Intravesical therapy, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy is applied coterminous with the surgery. The exact sequence is best determined by the opinion of the treatment and there is no definite line of standard treatment developed in any of countries anywhere in the world.

4. Urethral Diseases

Urethritis

Definition: Urethritis is the inflammation of the visible genital part. Urethra is tube carrying urine from bladder to outside the body. Since a part of body is exposed to elements, the possibility of infection from external causes is higher in case of urethra.

Causes: The causes of urethritis are mostly sexually transmitted diseases, including gonorrhea or chlamydia.

Symptoms:

  • Very sharp pain when passing urine
  • Itching of private parts, pain or discomfort even while not urinating
  • Difficulty in starting of urination even when urge to urinate present
  • Discharge from urethral opening
  • Urge to urinate frequently
  • Blood in urine and/or semen is a possible visible indication
  • Painful sex.

Treatments: The treatment is basically antibiotic. The exact organism that is causing the diseases is not known and hence a wide spectrum of antibiotics is used for treatment. It is difficult to treat this condition since patients tend to ignore or conceal for long due to sexual inhibitions. Hence the treatment takes longer time.

Urethral Stricture

Definition: The scarring in and around the urethra is called urethral stricture. It blocks the passageway of urine to outside. The disease is more prevalent in women compared to men.

Causes: This can be caused by infection of the urinary tract and injuries due to pelvic fracture.

Symptoms:

  • Pain when urinating
  • Reduction in urine flow
  • Urine retention in bladder
  • More time required for urination
  • The feeling of never emptying your bladder
  • Blood in urine

Treatments: Dilation of stricture, a process of cutting and removing the stricture with a laser therapy is a usual procedure in severe cases. When the area is severely affected, the treatment after removing the stricture is the reconstruction of the affected area. In not so severe cases, the area is allowed to be healed by natural process. The healing may take some days and during this time, pain killers and antibiotics may have to be used.

In most of the above diseases, you will find that blood in urine is a visible part of symptoms and if you get blood in urine, contact the doctor without delay even if you do not see any other symptoms.

This is not expected to be a complete description of the diseases of the excretory system. There are many other diseases of the system and it is better to get treated professionally from a medical doctor every time some form of disease shows up in excretory system.

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