Function of the kidneys

Our kidneys filter our entire blood volume about 300 times a day - a total of about 1, 500 liters of blood. The kidneys rid the blood of various waste products. The substances dissolved in the blood, such as urea, electrolytes, sugars, acids and bases, are first filtered thanks to the kidneys and then added to the blood in a sophisticated way - depending on how much the body needs it. The remainder is excreted from the body together with decomposition products from the metabolism as urine.

Kidney and nephrons

The kidneys consist of about 1 million nephrons: These are small units in which all liquid blood components are pressed into it. These nephrons are arranged in a complex pattern so that a concentration gradient of substances that are important for the body arises between the blood and the filtered-off water mixture - this is how sugar molecules, electrolytes and water return to the blood. Other, toxic to the body or unimportant substances such as metabolic degradation products (eg uric acid) are then collected with the remaining water in larger canals and pass through the renal pelvis and the ureter into the bladder.

The urine collects in the urinary bladder - and after a certain amount of urine we feel urinary urgency. The urine is excreted through the urethra and the urethra is controlled by several muscles. Below the bladder encloses in men a walnut-sized organ, the prostate, the urethra. During ejaculation, it releases a secretion that is vital for the sperm. The kidneys are usually located to the left and right of the lumbar spine - after heavy weight loss, they can sometimes walk deeper.

Symptoms of discomfort with the kidney

If you have an inflammation, the kidneys can hurt - if you tap gently on your back around the lumbar spine, it hurts. In renal pelvic inflammation - which occurs after delayed cystitis - fever often occurs in addition. Spasmodic pain occurs in a kidney or bladder stone - the body tries to push out the stone. When the kidney quits, pollutants and metabolic end products are no longer excreted - causing fluid retention (edema) and increased blood poisoning, which can lead to confusion and even coma.

An enlarged prostate - and almost every older man has it - hinders the bladder emptying: The urethral muscles must work against a higher pressure to squeeze the urine out of the bladder - trickling urination and many toilets are the consequences. Conversely, a bladder weakness with many toilets or the inability to hold or release urine at the right time, so the urinary incontinence, a very common symptom that can have many causes.

Anamnesis, percussion and inspection

All complaints can be further limited by specific questions (anamnesis). Thus, fever and pain in the kidney area in advance can often find a bladder infection. Inspection and Percussion: Urine is usually yellow: pale yellow when we have drunk enough, and darker in thirsty situations. If urine smells unpleasant, infection is likely - is it by leaving it dark brown, the suspicion of the metabolic disorder porphyria is close. With blood in the urine one should think also of a cancer illness.

If you go to the toilet much more often than usual, it may indicate diabetes - the so-called polyuria (high urination) is a common first symptom. When kidneys ache while tapping, it is usually a kidney pelvic infection. In kidney colic (because of a stone), kidney storage can be so painful that even a light touch is too much.

Urinalysis, functional tests and CT

In addition to color, quantity and odor, the ingredients of the urine are determined during urinalysis - sugar does not usually occur in the urine and only a few cells. In gout, for example, the excretion of uric acid is maximally exhausted - the gout attack occurs because more uric acid is produced in the body than the kidney can excrete.

Functional tests: This is used primarily to check the kidney function or the ability of the bladder to hold the urine and release it with strong pressure. Blood tests and a kidney biopsy are necessary for glomerulonephritides, because it can be seen why an inflammation of the kidney tissue has developed.

Ultrasound, X-ray, Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging: In ultrasound, one can assess the shape and size of the kidneys - even cysts, a tumor or calcareous stones can be seen well. The bladder and prostate are also easy to visualize on ultrasound. Further imaging procedures are usually only used if the extent of a tumor is to be determined. A cystoscopy (bladder mirroring) is performed to clarify blood in the urine.

Kidney and bladder

In addition to inflammation of the kidney tissue (Glomerulonephritiden) and kidney stones kidney failure is particularly noteworthy. Most diseases such as diabetes or hypertension cause the gradual loss of kidney function. Conversely, the lower flow of the kidneys in inflammation leads to hypertension, because in the kidneys is an important blood pressure regulator. Since the kidney determines blood pressure and blood volume, kidney and cardiovascular diseases are often coupled.

Very common is cystitis, which occurs more often in women, but especially older men with prostate enlargement also represent a risk group dar. In addition, the bladder is also affected in Reiter's disease - this is a consequence of disease after infection.

Bladder weakness or urinary incontinence is more of a symptom because it has many causes and is divided into various forms: stress or stress incontinence (most common form), urge incontinence (also called irritable bladder) and overflow incontinence (more likely in men). Also bedwetting belongs to the incontinence - in the very early age of wet Popo then leads to diaper rash.

Kidneys and prostate

The benign prostate enlargement that almost every older man has can lead to bladder problems. To delineate is prostate cancer, which has good chances of recovery if it is detected early. Drinking a lot is the motto for stone ailments and infections. If the kidney functions only to a limited extent, control of water intake and export is particularly important, otherwise it can lead to fluid retention or poisoning of the body with metabolic degradation products.

In renal failure, the person has to dialysis. Dialysis is a kind of blood wash that removes toxic substances from the blood. Patients should also eat properly to relieve the body.

The treatment of incontinence is varied. There are medical and surgical methods - and pelvic floor exercises with many helpful exercises. With prostate enlargement, there is now the possibility to use green laser light instead of an OP - a gentle alternative for those affected. Of course, there is a special procedure for each disease with medication or surgery - you can find more information on the particular disease.

Strengthen kidneys by drinking

You can help the kidney with its flushing function by drinking a lot. Whether mineral water, apple spritzer or tap water - even coffee in moderation is quite suitable. Schools are also beginning to find that frequent drinking throughout the day keeps body and mind fit. There are many foods and medicinal plants that have a diuretic effect and thus prevent kidney stones and inflammation - asparagus, cranberry or stinging juice are just a few. The acid-base balance in the body can be influenced by the right diet - and the kidney work to lose weight.

Early detection plays an important role in many kidney and urinary tract disorders, because kidney damage in diabetes or high blood pressure affects the quality of life. Unfortunately, only about 15% of men realize prostate cancer screening. Urinary incontinence is to be prevented with pelvic floor exercises only in moderation. Patients should try not to let the illness affect them too much - even a holiday can be planned carefully without fear of embarrassing mishaps.

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