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THE URINARY TRACT: KIDNEYS FUNCTIONS

by admin - March 27th, 2009.
Filed under: Men's Health-Erectile Dysfunction. Tagged as: , .

The kidneys are the body’s main filters. The system by which they cleanse the body of impurities—and, at the same time, salvage and recycle useful materials—is at once intricate and elegant. They work like a vast complex of drainage ditches, tributaries, and streams leading to a river. Each kidney contains more than a million building blocks, or tiny tubules, called nephrons. A nephron begins with a double-walled cup that contains a filtering knot (think of a tiny, wadded-up coffee filter) called a glomerulus. After this knot, the tubule’s course is at first convoluted; it straightens out as it approaches the center of the kidney, then tapers and passes through a series of connecting channels to reach a large collecting duct.

This elaborate filtering network enables the kidneys to manage an incredible volume of fluid each day. The body of a man who weighs 150 pounds, for instance, contains about ten to twelve gallons of water. But his kidneys process about forty-five gallons of water a day—which means this water is constantly being refined, reabsorbed, and then processed again. If the water and minerals weren’t reabsorbed, our bodies would become seriously dehydrated within a matter of hours.

So what happens to the fluid that is not reabsorbed? It continues on its way through the tubular network, to make about two quarts of urine—that’s how much the average man excretes each day. By the time it reaches the collecting ducts, it’s highly concentrated, and ready to be transported out of the body.

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