The excretory system of the human-body consists of two kidneys (Vrrka in Ayurveda), ureter (Gavini in Ayurveda), urinary-bladder (Mutrashya in Ayurveda) and urethra. Kidneys have an important role in the management of blood-pressure. Kidney stone is the commonest disease seen in clinical practice.
Fig: Anatomy of human urinary system
Anatomy of the urinary system
A comprehensive description of the components of the urinary system is narrated below:
- Kidneys: A pair of kidney is anatomically situated in the posterior part of the abdominal cavity. The function of the kidneys is separation of certain materials from the blood. These substances when dissolved in a certain amount of water constitute urine.
A prominent layer of fibrous tissue surrounds the kidneys and the function of this tissue is for protection. The shape of kidneys resembles with beans-shaped and are into two distinct parts: a. Cortex and b. Medulla.
The kidney is basically made of uriniferous tubules, which are nothing but the structural and functional unit of the kidneys. Uriniferous tubules are meshed up with the network of blood-capillaries. Uriniferous tubules are held together in position by the connective tissue. Minutely, the kidney constitutes several nephrons. Kidneys have been blessed with a rich blood- supply.
- Ureters: These tubular structures help in conducting urine from the kidney to the bladder.
- Urinary bladder: This component of the urinary system acts as a reservoir of urine.
Physiology of the excretory system
- The kidneys help in maintaining chemical-composition of the body fluids (including the extra-cellular as well as intracellular).
- The kidneys in addition to removing the metabolic waste play a major role in the elimination of nitrogenous wastes, salts and excess of water and minerals.
- Above all, the kidneys perform a vital role in short as well as long-term management of blood-pressure.
- Man flushes out 1.5 liters of urine in a day.
- It is yellow in colour and its colour is dependent on the concentration.
- Urine consists of water and other substances (inorganic as well organic).
Excretion of the urine
- The urinary tubules produce urine and drain it in a regular fashion into the kidney. From here it enters into the urinary bladder.
- Sphincters (lock like mechanism) are meant for prevention of the backflow of the urine.
- As there is a collection of the urine, the muscular walls of the bladder undergo distension.
- Reflexes do come into action and there is an urge to discharge the urine.
Some common diseases of the urinary system are outlined below:
- In Ayurveda, it is known as vasti-shotha.
- Cystitis is the inflammation of the urinary bladder.
- Coli, a bacterium, normally, present in the gut is helpful for normal functioning of the intestine.
- During intercourse the bacteria enter the bladder via the urinary tract.
- The disease is more common in women, but rarely found in men also. Less intake of fluid is also responsible for incidence of cystitis.
- In cystitis there is an intense urge to urinate.
- If not cured properly, it can lead to haematuria and dysuria.
- Cystitis and cancer may be common reasons for dysuria. Over activity of the urinary bladder is the common reason of dysuria in women.
- Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea may cause dysuria, but due to availability of effective treatments such causes are rare today.
- The chief feature of dysuria is burning-sensation while passing the urine.
- Haematuria refers to the presence of red blood corpuscles in the urine.
- Haematuria can be caused by a number of factors like a stone in the kidney or urinary bladder, cystitis, injury to the kidney.
- When a person with a history of kidney stone tries to void urine, the stone may scratch the organ resulting in haematuria.
- The blood is dusky and dark brown colour. Pain in the low back is common and may radiate to thigh.
Kidney stone or Ashmari (Renal calculi)
- Kidney stone is a common problem.
- Kidney stones are mainly composed of calcium. Oxalate, triple-phosphate, urates are comparatively less common.
- In rare cases, the kidney-stone forms of amino acids like cysteine.
- Chief complaint of kidney stone is pain appearing suddenly, starting from the back and radiating to the thighs.
- Nausea and vomiting are sometimes seen in clinical practice.
- Some patients may complain of severe constipation.
- Stone can be formed in the ureter and urinary-bladder also. In these cases the pain radiates from the thighs to genitals.
- Haematuria (blood in the urine) is the main feature of kidney stone.
Excess urination or Prameha (Polyuria)
- Vasopressin or antidiuretic hormone secreted by the pituitary gland regulates the handling of kidney by water.
- When a large quantity of water is taken the blood gets diluted. In response the release of the antidiuretic hormone is inhibited.
- The consequence of this is more excretion of water in the urine. A process known as diuresis.
- Some times polyuria is encountered in pathological conditions like diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus.
- Diuretics (drugs used for promoting urination and for treatment of high hypertension) produce copious urination.
Precautions and diet in Kidney diseases
- In case of Painful micturition, fluid intake should be more. Shali variety of rice, roasted green grams, cow milk, mango, cucumber, cardamom, and isabgol are beneficial for dysuria. Peas, curd, white grams, hing or asafoetida, boiled vegetables, banana, and intercourse are contraindicated.
- In case of hematuria, one should consume green fruits and vegetables. Fluid intake should be on higher side. Hot water bath, tea and sexual intercourse should be avoided. Lifting of heavy weights is strictly prohibited.
- In case of kidney-stones, less intake of water contributes to the incidence of kidney stones. 8-10 glasses of water daily are helpful to flush out the stones from the kidney.
- Oxalates rich foods such as spinach, cauliflower, strawberries should be avoided.
The kidney plays important role in the treatment of blood-pressure. Anatomical and physiological significance of the kidneys is vital. In case of diagnosis of kidney disease, control of blood pressure is of prime significance. Restricted salt intake and taking medicines regularly are the key factors.
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