Disorders & Diseases of the Excretory System
The excretory system, which is also referred to as the urinary system, is the body system responsible for maintaining fluid and chemical balance by extracting nutrients and removing waste. The excretory system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Diseases and disorders of the excretory system can be a result of injury, infection, illness, or aging, according to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse.
Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection that can affect any part of the excretory system, but most often affects the bladder and the urethra, according to Mayo Clinic. A urinary tract infection most often develops when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and travel to the bladder where they multiply. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a strong urge to urinate, burning during urination, cloudy urine, blood in the urine, strong odor of the urine and pelvic pain. A urinary tract infection can usually be successfully treated with a series of oral antibiotics. Severe cases, in which the infection travels to the kidneys, may require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.
Kidney stones are small hard deposits that develop in the kidneys as a result of the presence of excess uric acid, calcium, oxalate, phosphate or carbonate in the urine. Dehydration is the number one risk factor for development of kidney stones, according to Medline Plus. Kidney stones usually do not cause symptoms until they move out of the kidney and into the ureter. When symptoms do appear, they include severe pain in the stomach or back, abnormal urine color, blood in the urine, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting. Kidney stones usually pass on their own and do not require any treatment. It is usually advised to drink six to eight glasses of water per day to help pass kidney stones more easily. Surgery to remove the stone may be required if the stone is too large to pass on its own, or if it is blocking urine flow and causing an infection.
Pyelonephritis is a kidney infection that is usually a result of the spread of bacteria into the bladder. The bacteria can enter the body because of catheter use, urinary tract surgery, kidney stones, enlarged prostate or abnormalities in the urinary tract that block the flow of urine, according to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Symptoms of pyelonephritis include pain in the back, side or groin, frequent urination, burning during urination, fever, nausea, vomiting and blood in the urine. Pyleonephritis can be treated with a series of antibiotics and pain medications to ease symptoms.
is an inflammation of the glomeruli, due to a number of possible causes, including things like strep throat. Symptoms include bloody urine, scant urine output, and edema (swelling/puffliness). Another, more severe form, is due to an autoimmune attack on the glomeruli. Other types of nephritis affect the tubules.
also affects the glomeruli, and is characterized by excretion of abnormally large amounts of protein (often causing “foamy” urine) and generalized edema (water retension/swelling) throughout the whole body, especially noted as “puffy” eyelids. Because these people’s kidneys often do not handle sodium properly, a low-salt diet is usually prescribed. My younger brother developed nephrosis at age 4, and to control it, had to stay on a no-added-salt diet and take prednisone on a regular basis from then until age 16, at which point, his body finally responded positively to being weaned off the drug.
is an inflammation of the bladder and most often occurs because of an infection when bacteria enters the bladder through the urethra. Women are known to have this condition more than men because the female urethra is shorter and closer to the anus than the male's and is a source of bacteria. Symptoms of cystitis are persistent frequency of urination and also suprapublic pain. The inflammations of the bladder may be characterized by pelvic pan, an urge to urinate frequently, and also hematuria. Urethral syndrome and interstitial cystitis are two common forms of this inflammation and are "nonbacterial" forms. Interstitial is an autoimmune disease of the bladder, and urethral syndrome occurs most in young women but develops into a bacterial infection.
is an inflammation of the urethra that results most of the time from a bacterial infection, often from gonorrhea. Males, especially infant males, suffer from urethritis more than females. It is an infection of the urethra, the pathway for urine and semen. Symptoms are pain, a burning sensation during urination or erection, and a discharge from the urethral opening on the tip of the penis. Most cases of urethritis can be treated with antibiotics. This is easily transmitted from one partner to another sexually.
is the unintentional voiding of urine, mostly at night, and is commonly referred to as bedwetting. Enuresis may result from a delay in development or from loss of bladder control. This may be affected by psychological or physical factors, and there seems to be no common cause. By the time most children reach puberty, they are no longer wetting the bed. There should be a careful evaluation at the start of bedwetting to conclude if there is chronic retention with dribbling incontinence due to either bladder neck obstruction or neurologic disease. A urinalysis reveals if there is an unsuspected infection. Corrections can be made in a minor form or urologic abnormalities, such as meatal stenosis, balanitis, vulvovaginitis, and posterior urethritis. Sometimes these corrections give relief. This is a common problem of childhood, and there are many causes such as improper training, nervous tensions, or even heredity.
The prostate gland
is about the size of a horse chestnut, and it opens by means of numerous ducts into the male urethra near the base of the bladder. There are layers of smooth muscle around the prostate gland that contract and force the gland's secretion into the urethra. Prostatic concretions are peculiar spherical bodies found in the cavities. This condensation of the secretion may become calcified. As a male ages, the secretion has more condensation and the secretions increase. The prostate gland tends to enlarge and brings about a constriction of the part of the urethra that passes through the gland. Sometimes a tube has to be inserted through the urethra into the bladder to facilitate the flow of urine when the constriction becomes too severe. About one third of all men past the age of sixty have this to some extent.
Many of the chronic disorders of the urinary system have been traced to tonsillitis, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and other diseases. It is very important that the kidneys be kept in normal functioning condition with sufficient water consumption. Insufficient water increases the specific gravity of the excretion, thus increasing the work of the excretory system, and leads to irritation and inflammation.
Diarrhea (from the Greek διάρροια meaning "flowing through"), also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day. It is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. The loss of fluids through diarrhea can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. In 2009 diarrhea was estimated to have caused 1.1 million deaths in people aged 5 and over and 1.5 million deaths in children under the age of 5. Oral rehydration salts and zinc tablets are the treatment of choice and have been estimated to have saved 50 million children in the past 25 years.
Secretory diarrhea means that there is an increase in the active secretion, or there is an inhibition of absorption. There is little to no structural damage. The most common cause of this type of diarrhea is a cholera toxin that stimulates the secretion of anions, especially chloride ions. Therefore, to maintain a charge balance in the lumen, sodium is carried with it, along with water. In this type of diarrhea intestinal fluid secretion is isotonic with plasma even during fasting. It continues even when there is no oral food intake.
Osmotic diarrhea occurs when too much water is drawn into the bowels. This can be the result of maldigestion (e.g., pancreatic disease or Coeliac disease), in which the nutrients are left in the lumen to pull in water. Osmotic diarrhea can also be caused by osmotic laxatives (which work to alleviate constipation by drawing water into the bowels). In healthy individuals, too much magnesium or vitamin C or undigested lactose can produce osmotic diarrhea and distention of the bowel. A person who has lactose intolerance can have difficulty absorbing lactose after an extraordinarily high intake of dairy products. In persons who have fructose malabsorption, excess fructose intake can also cause diarrhea. High-fructose foods that also have a high glucose content are more absorbable and less likely to cause diarrhea. Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol (often found in sugar-free foods) are difficult for the body to absorb and, in large amounts, may lead to osmotic diarrhea. Osmotic diarrhea stops when offending agent (e.g. milk, sorbitol) is stopped.
Jaagsiekte (yaag·zeek·te) is a chronic and contagious disease of the lungs in sheep and goats first described in 1865. Its name derives from Afrikaans and means "Chasing Sickness" such that animals afflicted with the disease are in respiratory distress as if they are out of breath from being chased. It is also referred to as Ovine Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma (OPA). During end-stage disease, animals exude a foamy white fluid from the nose which is thought to be the mode of transmission between animals. Dissected lungs from afflicted sheep are interspersed with multifocal tumors. Some of these are small discrete nodules and others will involve the entire half of a lung lobule. The disease is caused by a retrovirus called the Jaagsiekte Sheep Retrovirus (JSRV) that acutely transforms the lung epithelia into cancerous cells. Specifically, Type-2 pneumocytes and Clara Cells of the lung are the likely target for JSRV transformation. The tumors formed there exhibit the overactive secretory functions which are a hallmark of OPA.
OPA is an infectious disease of sheep and recently has been used as an animal model for human lung cancer. It is common in the UK and in South Africa. The disease has a long incubation period and is not seen until sheep reach at least 2 years of age. Clinical symptoms include weight loss, loss of appetite, and respiratory difficulty which is associated with obvious movement of the abdomen and high pitched noises. Fluid accumulates in the respiratory tract and the disease ultimately causes death. The retroviral antigen levels of JSRV are very high in OPA tumors and can be detected in the lung secretions of infected sheep. A common field assessment for Jaagsiekte is the "wheelbarrow test" where one lifts the hind legs of the animal above the head to observe lung exudate flow out the nose and mouth. This fluid contains infectious JSRV. It is thought that infected animals secrete the virus before showing clinical symptoms and the virus is therefore easily spread within flocks. The disease is histologically similar to human bronchioalveolar carcinoma which accounts for approximately 25% of all diagnosed human lung cancers.
edited by Z's La La Land
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