Osmoregulation is the process of maintaining salt and water balance (osmotic balance) across membranes within the body. The fluids inside and surrounding cells are composed of water, electrolytes, and nonelectrolytes. An electrolyte is a compound that dissociates into ions when dissolved in water. A nonelectrolyte, in contrast, does not dissociate into ions in water. The body’s fluids include blood plasma, fluid that exists within cells, and the interstitial fluid that exists in the spaces between cells and tissues of the body. The membranes of the body (both the membranes around cells and the “membranes” made of cells lining body cavities) are semipermeable membranes. Semipermeable membranes are permeable to certain types of solutes and to water, but typically cell membranes are impermeable to solutes.
The body does not exist in isolation. There is a constant input of water and electrolytes into the system. Excess water, electrolytes, and wastes are transported to the kidneys and excreted, helping to maintain osmotic balance. Insufficient fluid intake results in fluid conservation by the kidneys. Biological systems constantly interact and exchange water and nutrients with the environment by way of consumption of food and water and through excretion in the form of sweat, urine, and feces. Without a mechanism to regulate osmotic pressure, or when a disease damages this mechanism, there is a tendency to accumulate toxic waste and water, which can have dire consequences.
Mammalian systems have evolved to regulate not only the overall osmotic pressure across membranes, but also specific concentrations of important electrolytes in the three major fluid compartments: blood plasma, interstitial fluid, and intracellular fluid. Since osmotic pressure is regulated by the movement of water across membranes, the volume of the fluid compartments can also change temporarily. Since blood plasma is one of the fluid components, osmotic pressures have a direct bearing on blood pressure.
Diseases related to kidney
Renovascular hypertension is high blood pressure due to narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the kidneys. This condition is also called renal artery stenosis.
renal artery stenosis is a narrowing or blockage of the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. The most common cause of renal artery stenosis is a blockage in the arteries due to high cholesterol. This problem occurs when a sticky, fatty substance called plaque builds up on the inner lining of the arteries, causing a condition known as atherosclerosis. When the arteries that carry blood to your kidneys become narrow, less blood flows to the kidneys. The kidneys mistakenly respond as if your blood pressure is low. As a result, they release hormones that tell the body to hold on to more salt and water. This causes your blood pressure to rise.
Simple kidney cysts are abnormal, fluid-filled sacs that form in the kidneys. Simple kidney cysts are different from the cysts that develop when a person has polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which is a genetic disorder. Simple kidney cysts do not enlarge the kidneys, replace their normal structure, or cause reduced kidney function like cysts do in people with PKD.
Simple kidney cysts are more common as people age. An estimated 25 percent of people 40 years of age and 50 percent of people 50 years of age have simple kidney cysts.
The cause of simple kidney cysts is not fully understood. Obstruction of tubules—tiny structures within the kidneys that collect urine—or deficiency of blood supply to the kidneys may play a role. Diverticula—sacs that form on the tubules—may detach and become simple kidney cysts. The role of genetic factors in the development of simple kidney cysts has not been studied.
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine. It means a person urinates when they do not want to. Control over the urinary sphincter is either lost or weakened. Urinary incontinence is a common problem that affects many people.
Urinary incontinence is when a person cannot prevent urine from leaking out. It can be due to stress factors, such as coughing, it can happen during and after pregnancy, and it is more common with conditions such as obesity.
Urinary tract infection
A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection of the urinary tract. The infection can occur at different points in the urinary tract, including:
Bladder — An infection in the bladder is also called cystitis or a bladder infection. Kidneys — An infection of one or both kidneys is called pyelonephritis or a kidney infection.
Ureters — The tubes that take urine from each kidney to the bladder are rarely the only site of infection.
Urethra — An infection of the tube that empties urine from the bladder to the outside is called urethritis.
Most UTIs are caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and then the bladder. The infection most commonly develops in the bladder, but can spread to the kidneys. Most of the time, your body can get rid of these bacteria. However, certain conditions increase the risk of having UTIs.
The following also increase your chances of developing a UTI:
- Advanced age and conditions that affect personal care habits (such as Alzheimer disease and delirium)
- Problems emptying the bladder completely
- Having a urinary catheter Bowel incontinence
- Enlarged prostate,
- Narrowed urethra,
- or anything that blocks the flow of urine Kidney stones
A kidney stone is a hard, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract. Kidney stones are a common cause of blood in the urine (hematuria) and often severe pain in the abdomen, flank, or groin. Kidney stones are sometimes called renal calculi.
The condition of having kidney stones is termed nephrolithiasis. Having stones at any location in the urinary tract is referred to as urolithiasis, and the term ureterolithiasis is used to refer to stones located in the ureters.
Diabetes insipidus is a rare disorder that occurs when a person’s kidneys pass an abnormally large volume of urine that is insipid—dilute and odorless. In most people, the kidneys pass about 1 to 2 quarts of urine a day. In people with diabetes insipidus, the kidneys can pass 3 to 20 quarts of urine a day. As a result, a person with diabetes insipidus may feel the need to drink large amounts of liquids.
Diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus—which includes both type 1 and type 2 diabetes—are unrelated, although both conditions cause frequent urination and constant thirst. Diabetes mellitus causes high blood glucose, or blood sugar, resulting from the body’s inability to use blood glucose for energy. People with diabetes insipidus have normal blood glucose levels; however, their kidneys cannot balance fluid in the body.