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What Organ Is On Top Of The Kidneys

Why Do Doctors Examine The Contents Of The Stone

What are kidneys and how do they work?

There are four types of stones. Studying the stone can help understand why you have it and how to reduce the risk of further stones. The most common type of stone contains calcium. Calcium is a normal part of a healthy diet. The kidney usually removes extra calcium that the body doesn’t need. Often people with stones keep too much calcium. This calcium combines with waste products like oxalate to form a stone. The most common combination is called calcium oxalate.

Less common types of stones are: Infection-related stones, containing magnesium and ammonia called struvite stones and stones formed from monosodium urate crystals, called uric acid stones, which might be related to obesity and dietary factors. The rarest type of stone is a cvstine stone that tends to run in families.

What Are The Treatments For Adrenal Gland Disorders

Different types of adrenal gland disorders have different treatments. They include medicines and surgery. Radiation therapy is sometimes a treatment for tumors. There are treatments to cure certain adrenal gland disorders. For other disorders, treatments can manage your symptoms.

NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

What Are Common Tests To Check The Health Of My Kidneys

Healthcare providers use several tests to measure kidney function and diagnose kidney problems. Your provider may recommend:

  • Advanced imaging: An X-ray, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound or nuclear medicine image can show kidney abnormalities or obstructions .
  • Blood tests: Blood tests show how well your glomeruli filter your blood.
  • Kidney biopsy: During a kidney biopsy, your healthcare provider removes a small amount of your kidney tissue to examine it under a microscope.
  • Ureteroscopy: Your healthcare provider passes a tube through your urethra into your bladder and ureters to look for abnormalities.
  • Urinalysis: A urinalysis analyzes your pee. It measures specific substances, such as protein or blood.

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How Can I Keep My Kidneys Healthy

Its important to have regular checkups and blood and urine tests to measure your kidneys health. You can reduce your risk of developing a kidney problem by:

  • Avoiding or quitting smoking and using tobacco products. Your provider can help you find ways to quit.
  • Cutting out excess salt, which can affect the balance of minerals in your blood.
  • Increasing daily exercise, which can reduce high blood pressure.
  • Limiting your use of NSAIDs. NSAIDs can cause kidney damage if you take them too much.
  • Watching your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.

Blood Supply Of The Kidney & Nephrons

How Many Kidneys Are in the Human Body?

The kidneys are well vascularized and receive about 25 percent of the cardiac output at rest. Blood enters the kidney via the paired renal arteries that form directly from the descending aorta and each enters the kidney at the renal hila. Once in the kidney, each renal artery first divides into segmental arteries, followed by further branching to form interlobar arteries that pass through the renal columns to reach the cortex . The interlobar arteries, in turn, branch into arcuate arteries, cortical radiate arteries, and then into afferent arterioles. The afferent arterioles deliver blood into a modified capillary bed called the glomerulus which is a component of the functional unit of the kidney called the nephron. There are about 1.3 million nephrons in each kidney and they function to filter the blood. Once the nephrons have filtered the blood, renal veins return blood directly to the inferior vena cava. A portal system is formed when the blood flows from the glomerulus to the efferent arteriole through a second capillary bed, the peritubular capillaries , surrounding the proximal and distal convoluted tubules and the loop of Henle. Most water and solutes are recovered by this second capillary bed. This filtrate is processed and finally gathered by collecting ducts that drain into the minor calyces, which merge to form major calyces the filtrate then proceeds to the renal pelvis and finally the ureters.

Figure 25.1.3

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What Tests Check The Health Of My Adrenal Glands

If youre experiencing symptoms of possible adrenal gland issues, your healthcare provider can order certain blood and urine tests that measure the level of different adrenal hormones.

If the results reveal abnormal levels, your provider may order imaging tests such as CT scans or MRIs .

Your regular healthcare provider may refer you to an endocrinologist, a specialist in hormones and diseases of the endocrine system.

What Is The Endocrine System

Your endocrine system is a network of several glands that create and secrete hormones.

A gland is an organ that makes one or more substances, such as hormones, digestive juices, sweat or tears. Endocrine glands release hormones directly into your bloodstream.

Hormones are chemicals that coordinate different functions in your body by carrying messages through your blood to your organs, skin, muscles and other tissues. These signals tell your body what to do and when to do it.

The following organs and glands make up your endocrine system:

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Anatomy Of The Adrenal Glands

An adrenal gland is made of two main parts:

  • The adrenal cortex is the outer region and also the largest part of an adrenal gland. It is divided into three separate zones: zona glomerulosa, zona fasciculata and zona reticularis. Each zone is responsible for producing specific hormones.

  • The adrenal medulla is located inside the adrenal cortex in the center of an adrenal gland. It produces stress hormones, including adrenaline.

The adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla are enveloped in an adipose capsule that forms a protective layer around an adrenal gland.

Tubular Reabsorption And Secretion

What Is a Kidney Transplant?

Tubular reabsorption occurs in the PCT part of the renal tubule. Almost all nutrients are reabsorbed, and this occurs either by passive or active transport. Reabsorption of water and some key electrolytes are regulated and can be influenced by hormones. Sodium is the most abundant ion and most of it is reabsorbed by active transport and then transported to the peritubular capillaries. Because Na+ is actively transported out of the tubule, water follows it to even out the osmotic pressure. Water is also independently reabsorbed into the peritubular capillaries due to the presence of aquaporins, or water channels, in the PCT. This occurs due to the low blood pressure and high osmotic pressure in the peritubular capillaries. However, every solute has a transport maximum and the excess is not reabsorbed.

In the loop of Henle, the permeability of the membrane changes. The descending limb is permeable to water, not solutes the opposite is true for the ascending limb. Additionally, the loop of Henle invades the renal medulla, which is naturally high in salt concentration and tends to absorb water from the renal tubule and concentrate the filtrate. The osmotic gradient increases as it moves deeper into the medulla. Because two sides of the loop of Henle perform opposing functions, as illustrated in Figure 22.8, it acts as a countercurrent multiplier. The vasa recta around it acts as the countercurrent exchanger.

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Differences Between The Adrenal Medulla And Cortex

Inside the Adrenal Gland: The Medulla and Cortex.

The Adrenal Medulla: The adrenal medulla comes from the neural crest . It contains homogenous sheets of cells organized into nests. Cells have large varied nuclei and abundant cytoplasm packed with numerous secretory granules containing catecholamines and other substances specific to chromaffin cells.

The Adrenal Cortex: The adrenal cortex is of mesodermal origin and is derived from the adrenogenital ridge . The adrenal cortex is organized into three layers, each with a different function:

Transection of a portion of normal adrenal tissue displaying the adrenal cortex , medulla , and surrounding fat.

  • The most superficial layer is the zona glomerulosa, responsible for aldosterone production.
  • The middle zone is the zona fasciculata, containing radial columns of lipid-laden cells that primarily produce cortisol.
  • The inner layer, zona reticularis, stores cholesterol for steroidogenesis and the secretion of small amounts of sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone.

How Do My Kidneys Filter Blood

Each kidney contains more than a million filtering units called nephrons. Each nephron consists of:

  • Glomeruli: Glomeruli are groups of tiny blood vessels that perform the first stage of filtering your blood. They then pass filtered substances to the renal tubules. The name for this process is glomerular filtration.
  • Renal tubules: These tiny tubes reabsorb and return water, nutrients and minerals your body needs . The tubules remove waste, including excess acid and fluids through a process called diffusion. Your body sends the remaining waste through your kidneys collecting chambers. Eventually, it leaves your body as pee.

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Can Children Get Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are found in children as young as 5 years. In fact, this problem is so common in children that some hospitals conduct ‘stone’ clinics for pediatric patients. The increase in the United States has been attributed to several factors, mostly related to food choices. The two most important reasons are not drinking enough fluids and eating foods that are high in salt. Kids should eat less salty potato chips and French fries. There are other salty foods: sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, and even some sports drinks. Sodas and other sweetened beverages can also increase the risk of stones if they contain high fructose corn syrup.

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What Hormones Do The Kidneys Produce

PHOTO OF THE HUMAN KIDNEYS

The kidneys make two main hormones, vitamin D and erythropoietin.

Vitamin D is essential for a number of different functions in the body. Most of the vitamin D that is in the blood is inactive and it is modified by the kidney and other tissues to activate it. Active vitamin D stimulates the uptake of calcium from food, is important for the maintenance of healthy bones and also helps to regulate the response of the immune system to infection.

Erythropoietin is produced when oxygen levels in the blood are low. It acts in bone marrow to stimulate the production of mature red blood cells, to maintain healthy oxygen levels in our tissues.

The kidneys also produce prostaglandins, hormone-like substances, made from lipid . The substances are one way in which the production of renin is stimulated. Renin is an enzyme, also produced by the kidneys, that plays an important role in the reninangiotensinaldosterone hormonal system, which helps to control blood pressure. In addition to making hormones, the kidneys also respond to a number of hormones including vitamin D, aldosterone, prostaglandins, cortisol, parathyroid hormone and calcitonin.

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Types Of Kidney Stones

There are four main types of stones:

  • Calcium oxalate: The most common type of kidney stone which is created when calcium combines with oxalate in the urine. Inadequate calcium and fluid intake, as well other conditions, may contribute to their formation.
  • Uric acid: This is another common type of kidney stone. Foods such as organ meats and shellfish have high concentrations of a natural chemical compound known as purines. High purine intake leads to a higher production of monosodium urate, which, under the right conditions, may form stones in the kidneys. The formation of these types of stones tends to run in families.
  • Struvite: These stones are less common and are caused by infections in the upper urinary tract.
  • Cystine: These stones are rare and tend to run in families. What are Cystine Stones?
  • Clinical Relevance: Variation In Arterial Supply To The Kidney

    The kidneys present a great variety in arterial supply these variations may be explained by the ascending course of the kidney in the retroperitoneal space, from the original embryological site of formation to the final destination . During this course, the kidneys are supplied by consecutive branches of the iliac vessels and the aorta.

    Usually the lower branches become atrophic and vanish while new, higher ones supply the kidney during its ascent. Accessory arteries are common . An accessory artery is any supernumerary artery that reaches the kidney. If a supernumerary artery does not enter the kidney through the hilum, it is called aberrant.

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    Kidney Disease And Disorders

    Kidney diseases and kidney problems are usually treated by a nephrologist. Kidney stones are sometimes treated by a urologist. Here is a list of some of the more common kidney problems:

    • Glomerulonephritis inflammation of the glomeruli
    • Hydronephrosis excessive fluid within the kidney caused by blocked urine flow
    • Pyelonephritis infection of the kidney
    • Kidney Stones usually form in the kidneys, but can form anywhere in the urinary tract
    • Kidney Cancer
    • Nephrosis a process that can lead to kidney failure
    • Polycystic Kidney Disease a disorder of the kidneys that result in multiple fluid filled cysts within the kidneys tissues
    • Renal Hypertension if the kidneys for some reason do not get enough blood, they set off a series of events leading to high blood pressure
    • Renal Infarction similar to a heart attack, but in the kidney, caused by blockage of kidney vessels
    • Renal Vein clot clot in the vein that carries blood from the kidney, can be fatal

    Further Reading And Web Resources

    Kidneys (Anatomy): Picture and Function

    There are hundreds of sites on the internet that explain basic biology, immunology and other medical terms.

    The following sites may be useful on anatomy:

    In the US, a 39-year-old man on death row donated his body to science. After he was executed, his body was frozen, cut into one-millimetre-thick slices, and photographed. The data were made available in 1994 on the Internet by the US National Library of Medicine.

    To view two- and three-dimensional representations of the human body based on these data, visit these sites:

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    What Causes Kidney Damage

    Your kidneys perform several important functions within your body. Many different disorders can affect them. Common conditions that impact your kidneys include:

    • Chronic kidney disease: Chronic kidney disease may lessen your kidney function. Diabetes or high blood pressure usually causes CKD.
    • Kidney cancer: Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer.
    • Kidney failure : Kidney failure may be acute or chronic . End-stage renal disease is a complete loss of kidney function. It requires dialysis .
    • Kidney infection : A kidney infection can occur if bacteria enter your kidneys by traveling up your ureters. These infections cause sudden symptoms. Healthcare providers treat them with antibiotics.
    • Kidney stones: Kidney stones cause crystals to form in your urine and may block urine flow. Sometimes these stones pass on their own. In other cases, healthcare providers can offer treatment to break them up or remove them.
    • Kidney cysts: Fluid-filled sacs called kidney cysts grow on your kidneys. These cysts can cause kidney damage. Healthcare providers can remove them.
    • Polycystic kidney disease: Polycystic kidney disease causes cysts to form on your kidneys. PKD is a genetic condition. It may lead to high blood pressure and kidney failure. People with PKD need regular medical monitoring.

    Countless other disorders can affect your kidneys. Some of these conditions include:

    What Do The Kidneys Do

    Your kidneys have many important functions. They clean toxins and waste out of your blood. Common waste products include nitrogen waste , muscle waste and acids. They help your body remove these substances. Your kidneys filter about half a cup of blood every minute.

    In the process:

  • Blood flows into your kidneys through a large blood vessel called the renal artery.
  • Tiny blood vessels in your kidney filter the blood.
  • The filtered blood returns to your bloodstream through a large blood vessel called the renal vein.
  • Pee travels through tubes of muscle called ureters to your bladder.
  • Your bladder stores pee until you release it through urination .
  • The kidneys also:

    • Control the acid-base balance of your blood.
    • Make sugar if your blood doesnt have enough sugar.
    • Make a protein called renin that increases blood pressure.
    • Produce the hormones calcitriol and erythropoietin. Calcitriol is a form of vitamin D that helps your body absorb calcium. Erythropoietin helps your body make red blood cells.

    An adrenal gland sits on top of each kidney. It produces hormones, including cortisol, which helps your body respond to stress.

    Cortisol also plays a role in:

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    When Should I See My Doctor About My Adrenal Glands

    If you have concerning symptoms such as high or low blood pressure and unexplained weight loss or weight gain, reach out to your healthcare provider. While many conditions could cause these symptoms, it could be an issue with your adrenal glands.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Your adrenal glands produce many important hormones that are necessary for everyday bodily functions. If you have any adrenal disorder-related symptoms or want to know if you have any risk factors for developing an adrenal condition, dont be afraid to talk to your healthcare provider. Theyre there to help you.

    What Are The Early Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Adrenal Gland Problems

    Human anatomy diagram with kidneys

    The symptoms of adrenal gland issues vary depending on which hormones are affected. Many of the symptoms of adrenal disorders are similar to those of other illnesses.

    Signs and symptoms that are relevant to the bodily processes your adrenal gland hormones affect include:

    • Blood pressure symptoms: High blood pressure or low blood pressure .
    • Sexual characteristics symptoms that affect females and prepubescent males: Growing facial hair and or balding, developing acne, having a deeper voice and becoming more muscular.

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    What Are The Parts Of The Kidney

    Your kidneys are highly complex organs with many parts. The main parts of your kidney anatomy include:

    Kidney capsule

    The renal capsule consists of three layers of connective tissue or fat that cover your kidneys. It protects your kidneys from injury, increases their stability and connects your kidneys to surrounding tissues.

    Renal artery

    The renal artery is a large blood vessel that controls blood flow into your kidneys. For most people at rest, the renal kidneys pump a little over 5 cups of blood to your kidneys each minute.

    Renal cortex

    The outer layer of your kidney, where the nephrons begin. The renal cortex also creates the hormone erythropoietin , which helps make red blood cells in your bone marrow.

    Renal medulla

    The renal medulla is the inner part of your kidney. It contains most of the nephrons with their glomeruli and renal tubules. The renal tubules carry urine to the renal pelvis.

    Renal papilla

    These pyramid-shaped structures transfer urine to the ureters. Dehydration and certain medications especially nonsteroidal anti-inflammatorydrugs may damage your renal papilla.

    Renal pelvis

    This funnel-shaped structure collects urine and passes it down two ureters. Urine travels from the ureters to the bladder, where its stored.

    Renal vein

    This vein is the main blood vessel that carries filtered blood out of your kidneys and back to your heart. Each of your kidneys has a renal vein.

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