Renal Vessels and Nerves

Human Renal System

The kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra make up the urinary system, often known as the renal system or urinary tract. There are millions of renal vessels and nerves in the human renal system. The urinary system's functions include waste elimination, blood volume and blood pressure regulation, electrolyte and metabolite control, and blood pH regulation. The urinary tract serves as the body's drainage mechanism for removing pee. The renal arteries supply the kidneys with a large amount of blood, which leaves the kidneys via the renal vein. Nephrons which are the renal vessels and nerves are functional units that make up each kidney. Wastes escape the kidney via the ureters, tubes comprised of smooth muscle fibres that transport urine into the urinary bladder, where it is stored and then ejected, after filtration and further processing. 


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Anatomy of Renal Vessels and nerves of Human Renal System

  • Location of the Renal Vessels and Nerves- The renal arteries branch off the abdominal aorta at a position opposite the upper border of the second lumbar vertebra, one on each side. Each artery divides into anterior and posterior divisions around the renal hilus, with short branches reaching the adrenal gland and ureter. The major veins bringing blood from the kidneys are frequently found in front of the corresponding arteries, almost at right angles to the inferior vena cava. Because the inferior vena cava is closer to the right kidney, the left vein is longer than the right vein. 

  • A network of lymphatic capillaries exists just inside the renal capsule, as well as a deeper network between and around the renal blood vessels. The actual renal material contains few lymphatic capillaries, and those that do exist are clearly connected with the connective tissue framework, but the glomeruli lack lymphatics. The lymphatic networks inside the capsule and around the renal blood vessels drain into the interlobular and arcuate blood vessels' lymphatic channels. The primary lymph channels flow alongside the main renal arteries and veins, eventually terminating in lymph nodes alongside the aorta and near the renal artery origins.

  • Association of Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nerves of the Human Renal System- The sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves of the autonomic nervous system supply the kidneys, and the renal nerves contain both afferent and efferent fibres, with afferent fibres carrying nerve impulses to the central nervous system and efferent fibres carrying nerve impulses away from it. Tubular sodium reabsorption, renin release, and renal vascular resistance all rise when sympathetic neurons in the kidney are activated. By moving the pressure-natriuresis curve to the right, these processes contribute to long-term arterial pressure increases. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves play contradicting roles as the renal vessels and nerves of the human renal system. The sympathetic nervous system controls the bladder's ability to store pee by expanding and relaxing the urinary bladder. On the other hand, the parasympathetic nervous system is in charge of bladder contractions and urine flow.

  • Composition and Intrarenal Arteries and Veins Among the Renal Vessels and Nerves

Arteries- Interlobular arteries break off from the arcuate arteries and spread out into the cortex, eventually ending in networks of capillaries just inside the capsule. They produce afferent arterioles along the way, which bring blood to the glomeruli, where they divide into four to eight loops of capillaries in each glomerulus. They are then reconstituted around the afferent arteriole's entry point to produce different arterioles, which transport blood away from the glomeruli. Because they have thicker muscular coatings, afferent arterioles are nearly twice as thick as efferent arterioles, but their channel diameters are nearly identical. 

Veins- The arterioles and arteries are accompanied by the renal venules (small veins) and veins, which have similar names. Because of their radial pattern, the venules right under the renal capsule are called stellate venules. They drain into interlobular venules. The tributaries of the arcuate, interlobar, and lobar veins are formed as a result of this interaction. Blood flows from the renal pyramids into the vasa recta also called vasa recta reins, which connect the arcuate veins. The lobar veins combine in the renal sinus to form veins that correspond to the main divisions of the renal arteries, and they usually combine to form a single renal vein in or near the renal hilus. 


Symptoms of Renal or Kidney Problems

The symptoms may be severe or mild depending on the health history of the individual. And any of the symptoms mentioned are not considered to be life-threatening. It is important to contact your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. They may do some kidney function tests to provide a diagnosis based on your symptoms.

  • Having difficulty sleeping

  • Exhaustion

  • The inability to focus

  • Skin that is dry and scratchy.

  • Urination may be increased or diminished.

  • Urine with blood in it.

  • Urine that is frothy

  • Eye puffiness is a condition that occurs when the skin around the eyes becomes puffy.

  • Swelling of the foot or ankle

  • A decrease in appetite

  • Cramping in the muscles


Possibility of Kidney Diseases

The above-mentioned symptoms can lead to many diseases that are related to the kidneys but can be harmful to the rest of the body as well. 

  1. Chronic Kidney diseases contributed majorly by hypertension. The renal system or the kidneys are exposed to around 20 percent of your total blood volume every minute since they are constantly processing your body's blood. It can cause increased pressure on your kidney's glomeruli or functioning units. The filtering apparatus of your kidneys are harmed by this high pressure, and their function deteriorates with time.

  2. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels harm the kidney's renal vessels and nerves and other functioning components over time, leading to kidney failure. 

  3. Kidney stones are another prevalent kidney disease. Minerals and other elements in the blood may crystallise in the kidneys, forming solid particles known as stones that are excreted in the urine.

  4. Glomerulonephritis is a condition in which the glomeruli, microscopic structures inside the kidneys that filter blood, become inflamed. Infections, medications, congenital anomalies, and autoimmune illnesses can all cause glomerulonephritis.

  5. Polycystic kidney disease is a condition in which numerous cysts, or fluid-filled sacs, form inside and on the surfaces of the kidneys, obstructing renal function.

  6. Undiagnosed and untreated cases of urinary tract infections lead to renal system failure.


Risks of A Kidney Disease 

  • People over the age of 60.

  • Those born with low birth weight.

  • Persons who have or have had a family history of cardiovascular illness.

  • Persons who have or have had a family history of high blood pressure.

  • Those that are obese.

  • If one takes over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers on a daily basis, they may be causing kidney damage. If one takes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen on a regular basis for chronic pain, headaches, or arthritis, they can harm your kidneys.


Ways to Have a Healthy Renal Pathway

  • People who are more vulnerable and have high risk must be in contact with their doctor and have renal monitoring as recommended by the expert.

  • Maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. It can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health, both of which are crucial in preventing kidney injury. 

  • Maintain a healthy blood sugar level.

  • Keep an eye on your blood pressure. A blood pressure value of 120/80 is considered normal. Between that point and 139/89, you have prehypertension. At this time, lifestyle and dietary adjustments may help lower your blood pressure.

  • Drink a lot of water- It is beneficial to your kidneys to drink plenty of water on a regular basis.

Water aids in the removal of salt and poisons from the kidneys. It also reduces your chances of developing chronic renal disease. Aiming for 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day is ideal. One also has to keep in mind that the amount of water you require is mostly determined by your health and lifestyle.

  • Kidney damage can be reduced by eating a balanced diet low in sodium, processed meats, and other kidney-damaging items. Focus on fresh, naturally low-sodium items like cauliflower, blueberries, salmon, whole grains, and more. Overweight or obese people are at risk for a variety of health problems that can harm their kidneys.

  • The blood vessels in your body are damaged when you smoke. As a result, blood flow via the renal vessels and nerves throughout your body and to your kidneys is slowed and this decline can be extremely damaging. Smoking exposes the kidneys to a higher risk of many life-threatening diseases like cancer. So one should quit such habits of being an addicted smoker. 


Conclusion

The kidneys play an important role as much if not more than the other organ systems of the body in maintaining your overall health. These organs are in charge of a variety of tasks, including the processing of bodily waste and the production of hormones. As a result, taking care of your kidneys should be a major concern in your health. The best thing you can do to keep your kidneys healthy is to live an active, health-conscious lifestyle.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the Functions of the Kidneys?

Answer. The kidneys are responsible for removing waste and excess fluid from the body. The kidneys also filter out acid created by the body's cells and keep a healthy balance of water, salts, and minerals in the blood, such as sodium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.

2. What Happens if the Kidneys Stop Working?

Answer. Your body will fill up with additional water and waste products if your kidneys cease working fully. Uremia is the medical term for this illness. Your hands or feet may enlarge. Because your body needs clean blood to function properly, you will feel fatigued and weak. If you have renal disease, or you do have a history of having weak kidneys you should see a nephrologist regularly. 

3. Is it Beneficial For Your Kidneys to Drink a Lot of Water?

Answer. Water aids in the removal of wastes from the bloodstream in the form of urine via the kidneys. Water also aids in keeping your blood arteries open, allowing blood to flow freely to your kidneys and deliver vital nutrients. Filtration, reabsorption, and secretion are all processes that the nephrons of the kidneys use to filter blood and make urine. Urine is composed of 95 percent water and 5 per cent waste materials. Urea, creatinine, ammonia, and uric acid are nitrogenous wastes discharged in urine.

4. What Foods Aid Kidney Repair?

Answer. There are many fruits and vegetables that aid in repairing the damaged kidneys. But when replenishing the renal it is important to know the adequate quantity to have. Some fruits and vegetables include Bell peppers, red, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Garlic, Onions, Apples, Cranberries and Blueberries. If possible consult a dietician or a nutritionist for better recipes recommendations to get maximum benefits from fruits and vegetables that are good for your body.