Disorders of the Excretory System

The excretory system is an essential biological structure responsible for removing excess or waste products from the human body to maintain homeostasis. These products are results of metabolism, and they leave a human body in the form of sweat, urine and faeces. 

Even though several organs are associated with this process, the term excretory system is used for organs directly related to the expel procedure. It includes the kidneys, sweat glands, liver and large intestine. Excretory system diseases occur when one or more excretory systems stop functioning properly. It is not an ideal situation at all. Due to this, an individual can suffer from various types of ailments. 

Role of Various Excretory Systems

  • Kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products and excess water from the blood.

  • The liver breaks down spare amino acids and other toxins within the blood.

  • Additionally, the large intestine has the responsibility of eliminating solid wastes left after the digestion of food.

  • The sweat glands aids in getting rid of additional water and salt via sweat.

  • Last but not least, the lungs exhale carbon dioxide and water vapour.

As mentioned above, improper function of these organs can lead to several diseases, and some of them can be fatal.

Disorders of the Excretory System

Here is a list of some prominent diseases of the excretory system –

  1. Kidney Failure or Renal Failure

It is one of the most significant amongst urinary system diseases and disorders. It occurs when kidneys struggle to filter urine via glomerular filtration. Renal failure is further classified into two types, acute and chronic.

Acute kidney failure occurs when both the kidney suddenly stopped working. The symptoms of ARF are swelling of hands, face and feet, internal bleeding, seizures and even coma.

On the other hand, chronic renal failure is when kidneys losses their capacity gradually over time. Some of the prominent symptoms of CRF are sudden weight loss, high blood pressure, cramps, easy bruising, etc.

Kidney transplant and dialysis are the treatments available for kidney failure.

  1. Kidney Stone

Also regarded as renal calculi, kidney stones are a deposit of minerals and acid salts within the kidney. The exact reason for this disease is hard to determine as it varies from one person to another. However, some of the prominent ones are excess body weight, certain medical conditions, and regular use of various supplements and medicines.

The symptoms of kidney stone are severe pain on the sides of the abdomen, back pain and nausea. Even though it is a painful scenario, kidney stones usaully do not leave any permanent damages.

Drinking plenty of water and some prescribed drugs can cure this problem. However, in the case of bigger stones, medical procedures are required.

  1. Uraemia

Uraemia is the third name on this excretory system diseases list. This disease is a result of an increase in the urea level in blood. 

This condition occurs when the kidney losses its capability of filtering waste. The symptoms of uraemia are nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, mental confusion and a metallic taste in the mouth. 

Haemodialysis is the common treatment for this condition.

  1. Nephritis

It is another significant excretory system diseases. Here nephrons, the functional elements of the kidney, becomes inflamed. This situation is also called glomerulonephritis. The exact cause of this disorder is hard to determine, and it can develop with time.

Some prominent symptoms of nephritis are foamy urine, blood in urine, change of urine colour, etc. Regular medication and dialysis, if needed, can cure this disease.

Other notable disorders of the excretory system are renin secretion, oedema, urethritis, anuria, polyuria, etc.

The significance of a well-functioning excretory system cannot be stressed enough. It keeps an individual healthy and devoid of several major health issues.

If you want to learn more about excretory system diseases or any other topic of Biology, you can browse through our study materials available in both our website and App. You can also join our live online classes that are guaranteed to help you ace your exams.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the Examples of the Excretory System?

Ans. Some of the prominent excretory system examples are the kidneys, lungs, large intestine, sweat glands, and the liver. Together these systems are responsible for removing the excess products of the metabolism process.

2. Which Diseases Affect the Excretory System?

Ans. Diseases that affect the excretory system are nephritis, uraemia, kidney stone, polyuria, anuria, oedema, etc. These diseases are not fatal if diagnosed and treated early. A healthy lifestyle can also prevent most of these diseases.

3. What is Renal Failure?

Ans. Renal failure is when kidneys struggle to process urine via glomerular filtration. It is further categorised into two types, acute and chronic. In the case of ARF, kidney suddenly stops working, whereas in case CRF kidneys lose their abilities gradually over time.