Excretory system diseases

The regulation of bodily fluids and the evacuation of bodily waste is controlled by the body’s excretory system, otherwise referred to as the urinary system. The excretory system is composed of several components: the kidneys, the ureters, the bladder and the urethra. All of the aforementioned areas can be affected by a disease of the excretory system, ranging from minor ailments to more serious problems: from interstitial nephritis, nephrotic syndrome or a more minor ailment like a urinary tract infection.

Interstitial nephritis is a serious condition in which the kidneys become diseased and the space between the kidney tubules becomes inflamed. This inflammation reduces the effectiveness of the kidneys in filtering and removing waste from the blood. Acute interstitial nephritis is surprisingly common as it can be caused by an adverse reaction to medication: most of us have been prescribed medication at one point or another. Chronic interstitial nephritis is far more dangerous, and can lead to very serious kidney problems, such as organ failure and permanent kidney damage. Chronic interstitial nephritis, according to a report issued by Medline Plus, is caused by long term use of medications which can harm the kidneys: aspirin and NSAIDs (non-steroid anti inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen. Symptoms include: urinal blood, fever, nausea. Treatment includes immediate withdrawal of any medications causing the nephritis, and, if the damage is serious enough, dialysis.

Nephrotic syndrome is a condition in which excessive protein is excreted in the urine, leading to the damaging of blood vessels which causes protein to leak from your blood. A number of diseases that affect the kidneys, including diabetic kidney and heart disease, can cause nephrotic syndrome, and the symptoms are as wide and varied as any set of symptoms: swelling of the limbs and eyes, weight gain and foaming in the urine. Treatments typically involve a specific course of medication such as diuretics, blood thinners, anti-biotics, immunosuppressants and tablets that lower cholesterol. The dangers of not treating nephrotic syndrome are high: high blood pressure, blood clots and even kidney failure.

A urinary tract infection is where bacteria infects one part or more of the urinary (excretory) system. Most of these infections are caused by bacteria entering the urinary system through the urethra, although in rare cases, a urinary tract infection can originate in the kidney according to the University of Maryland Medical Centre. There are several ways to discover whether someone is suffering from a urinary tract infection: a desire to urinate far more frequently than normal, abdominal pain, particularly in the lower abdomen, pelvic pain, and blood in the urine. The urine may also feel like it is burning during urination. Further symptoms indicate whether the infection has made its way to the kidneys: fever and chills, feeling nauseated and suffering from a bad back. As with most infections, antibiotics are prescribed in the treatment phase of a urinary tract infection. However, in more severe cases, it may be necessary to intravenously inject antibiotics in a hospital.

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