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    Kidneys (Anatomy): Picture, Function, Conditions, Treatments

    See a detailed image and learn about what the kidneys do. Get a list of conditions that affect them, tests on them, and treatments for them.

    The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs on either side of your spine, below your ribs and behind your belly. Each kidney is about 4 or 5 inches long, roughly the size of a large fist.

    The kidneys' job is to filter your blood. They remove wastes, control the body's fluid balance, and keep the right levels of electrolytes. All of the blood in your body passes through them about 40 times a day.

    Blood comes into the kidney, waste gets removed, and salt, water, and minerals are adjusted, if needed. The filtered blood goes back into the body. Waste gets turned into urine, which collects in the kidney's pelvis -- a funnel-shaped structure that drains down a tube called the ureter to the bladder.

    Each kidney has around a million tiny filters called nephrons. You could have only 10% of your kidneys working, and you may not notice any symptoms or problems.

    If blood stops flowing into a kidney, part or all of it could die. That can lead to kidney failure.

    Kidneys (Anatomy): Picture, Function, Conditions, Treatments

    Source : www.webmd.com

    Anatomy of the Urinary System

    Detailed anatomical description of the urinary system, including simple definitions and labeled, full-color illustrations

    How does the urinary system work?

    The urinary system's function is to filter blood and create urine as a waste by-product. The organs of the urinary system include the kidneys, renal pelvis, ureters, bladder and urethra.

    urinary diagram

    The body takes nutrients from food and converts them to energy. After the body has taken the food components that it needs, waste products are left behind in the bowel and in the blood.

    The kidney and urinary systems help the body to eliminate liquid waste called urea, and to keep chemicals, such as potassium and sodium, and water in balance. Urea is produced when foods containing protein, such as meat, poultry, and certain vegetables, are broken down in the body. Urea is carried in the bloodstream to the kidneys, where it is removed along with water and other wastes in the form of urine.

    kidney diagram

    Other important functions of the kidneys include blood pressure regulation and the production of erythropoietin, which controls red blood cell production in the bone marrow. Kidneys also regulate the acid-base balance and conserve fluids.

    Kidney and urinary system parts and their functions

    Two kidneys. This pair of purplish-brown organs is located below the ribs toward the middle of the back. Their function is to:

    Remove waste products and drugs from the body

    Balance the body's fluids

    Release hormones to regulate blood pressure

    Control production of red blood cells

    Diagram of the bladder

    The kidneys remove urea from the blood through tiny filtering units called nephrons. Each nephron consists of a ball formed of small blood capillaries, called a glomerulus, and a small tube called a renal tubule. Urea, together with water and other waste substances, forms the urine as it passes through the nephrons and down the renal tubules of the kidney.

    Two ureters. These narrow tubes carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Muscles in the ureter walls continually tighten and relax forcing urine downward, away from the kidneys. If urine backs up, or is allowed to stand still, a kidney infection can develop. About every 10 to 15 seconds, small amounts of urine are emptied into the bladder from the ureters.

    Upon examination, specific "landmarks" are used to describe the location of any irregularities in the bladder. These are:

    Trigone: a triangle-shaped region near the junction of the urethra and the bladder

    Right and left lateral walls: walls on either side of the trigone

    Posterior wall: back wall

    Dome: roof of the bladder

    Diagram of the bladder layers

    Two sphincter muscles. These circular muscles help keep urine from leaking by closing tightly like a rubber band around the opening of the bladder.

    Nerves in the bladder. The nerves alert a person when it is time to urinate, or empty the bladder.

    Urethra. This tube allows urine to pass outside the body. The brain signals the bladder muscles to tighten, which squeezes urine out of the bladder. At the same time, the brain signals the sphincter muscles to relax to let urine exit the bladder through the urethra. When all the signals occur in the correct order, normal urination occurs.

    Facts about urine

    Normal, healthy urine is a pale straw or transparent yellow color.

    Darker yellow or honey colored urine means you need more water.

    A darker, brownish color may indicate a liver problem or severe dehydration.

    Pinkish or red urine may mean blood in the urine.

    Anatomy of the Urinary System

    Source : www.hopkinsmedicine.org

    What Does Kidney Pain Feel Like? Stones, Back Pain, and Infection

    Your kidneys are fist-sized organs to the right and left of your backbone under the lower part of your ribcage. When your kidney hurts, there’s likely something wrong with it, but how can you tell if it’s your kidney that’s the problem? Learn the symptoms that can point to a kidney problem.

    UTI diagnosis

    If you suspect that you have a UTI based on your symptoms, contact your doctor. Your doctor will review your symptoms and perform a physical examination. To confirm a diagnosis of a UTI, your doctor will need to test your urine for microbes.

    The urine sample needs to be a “clean catch” sample. This means the urine sample is collected at the middle of your urinary stream, rather than at the beginning. This helps to avoid collecting bacteria or yeast from your skin, which can contaminate the sample. Your doctor will explain to you how to get a clean catch.

    When testing the sample, your doctor will look for a higher number of white blood cells in your urine. This can indicate an infection.

    Your doctor will also do a urine culture to test for bacteria or fungi. The culture can help identify the cause of the infection. It can also help your doctor choose a treatment.

    If your doctor suspects the UTI is viral, special testing may need to be performed. Viruses are rare causes of UTIs but can be seen in people who have had organ transplants or who have other conditions that weaken their immune system.

    Upper tract UTIs

    If your doctor suspects that you have an upper tract UTI, they may also need to do a complete blood count (CBC) and blood cultures, in addition to the urine test.

    A blood culture can make certain that your infection hasn’t spread to your blood stream.

    What Does Kidney Pain Feel Like? Stones, Back Pain, and Infection

    Source : www.healthline.com

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