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The Excretory System

The Excretory System

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Published by Willy Butler

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Published by: Willy Butler on Mar 13, 2012
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The Excretory System
The function of the excretory system is to eliminate or excrete metabolic wastes andundigested food from our body. The organs of the excretory system are the kidneys, liver, skin,large intestines, and lungs.
1.
The kidneys excrete water and other wastes through the process of 
urination
.2.The liver discharges bile through the intestines and urea through the kidneys.3.The skin eliminates water and heat through the process of perspiration.4.The large intestine discharges food wastes through the process of defecation.5.The lungs exhale carbon dioxide and water vapor through exhalation.
The Urinary System
The urinary system includes two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder, and a urethra. The
kidneys
are bean-shaped organs located at the back of the abdominal cavity. The kidneys arean efficient blood filtration system. The
nephron
is the functional filtration unit of the kidney.There are two to three million nephrons in each kidney. Each day the nephrons filter forty to fiftygallons of plasma from the blood. 99% of this fluid is reabsorbed into the blood stream. Thekidneys excrete the remaining water and waste products through the ureters. The
ureters
aretubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, where urine is stored. The
bladder 
is ahollow organ constructed of walls of elastic fibers and involuntary muscles that acts as a reservoir for the urine until it is excreted from the body. Voiding or emptying of the bladder is accomplishedby a voluntary relaxation of a sphincter muscle at the mouth of the urethra and the involuntarycontraction of the muscles of the bladder. As the bladder contracts, urine is forced through the
urethra
and out of the body in a process known as
urination
. A
urinalysis
is a chemical examination of the urine that is often part of the routineexamination given by most physicians. The presence of white blood cells, blood, glucose, or other chemicals in the urine may be an indication of metabolic imbalance, infection, or numerousother conditions. Normal, healthy urine is a clear yellowish fluid. A change in the color of theurine, such as a reddish or brownish color, may indicate infection or other problems.The kidneys also function to maintain the body’s water balance. Another function of thekidneys is the production of the hormone
renin
, which acts to regulate blood pressure. When theblood pressure is low, the kidneys are stimulated to release more renin into the bloodstream,which causes blood vessels to contract, thereby raising the blood pressure.
The Liver 
The
liver 
is the largest gland in the body. The liver performs many of the body's chemicalfunctions. The liver neutralizes or detoxifies toxic substances that may have been absorbed fromthe intestines such as alcohol, food additives, and drugs. The main excretory function of the liver is the formation of urea, which is returned to the blood stream to be excreted by the kidneys. Theliver also produces and excretes bile through the intestines.
Questions for Discussion and Review: “The Excretory System”
1.What is the function of the excretory system?
1

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