Kidneys and Urinary Tractenteenshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/T-kidneyUrinary-enHD-AR1.gifThe kidneys perform several functions that are essential to health, the most important of which are to filter blood and produce urine.kidneys and urinary tract, kidney, how the body works, anatomy, kidney diseases, reproductive system, ureters, bladder, urethra, urinary tract infections, high blood pressure, renal failure, kidney transplants, nephritis, bladder, urine, urochrome, urea, nephrons, glomerulus, nephrotic syndrome, utis, infections, kidneys, kidnee, pee, piss, urinary, yourinary, yurinary, urunary, uranary, urinaree03/05/200109/20/201809/02/2019Larissa Hirsch, MD09/10/2018d0d97a22-7118-4082-acae-02dd5319be95https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/kidneys.html/<h3>What Are the Kidneys and Urinary Tract?</h3> <p>The urinary tract is one of the systems that our bodies use to get rid of waste products. The kidneys are the part of the urinary tract that makes urine (pee). Urine has salts, toxins, and water that need to be filtered out of the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/blood.html/">blood</a>. After the kidneys make urine, it leaves the body using the rest of the urinary tract as a pathway.</p> <h3>What Are the Parts of the Urinary Tract?</h3> <p>People usually have two kidneys, but can live a normal, healthy life with just one. The kidneys are under the ribcage in the back, one on each side. Each adult kidney is about the size of a fist.</p> <p>Each kidney has an outer layer called the <strong>cortex</strong>, which contains filtering units. The center part of the kidney, the <strong>medulla</strong> (pronounced: meh-DUH-luh), has fan-shaped structures called <strong>pyramids</strong>. These drain urine into cup-shaped tubes called <strong>calyxes</strong> (pronounced: KAY-luh-seez).</p> <p>From the calyxes, pee travels out of the kidneys through the <strong>ureters</strong> (pronounced: YUR-uh-ters) to be stored in the <strong>bladder</strong> (a muscular sac in the lower belly). When a person urinates, the pee exits the bladder and goes out of the body through the <strong>urethra</strong> (pronounced: yoo-REE-thruh), another tube-like structure. The male urethra ends at the tip of the penis; the female urethra ends just above the vaginal opening.</p> <h3>What Do the Kidneys Do?</h3> <p>Kidneys have many jobs, from filtering blood and making pee to keeping bones healthy and making a hormone that controls the production of red blood cells.</p> <p>The kidneys also help regulate blood pressure, the level of salts in the blood, and the acid-base balance (the pH) of the blood. All these jobs make the kidneys essential to keeping the body working as it should.</p> <h3>How Do the Kidneys and Urinary Tract Work?</h3> <p>Blood travels to each kidney through the <strong>renal artery</strong>. The artery enters the kidney at the <strong>hilus</strong> (pronounced: HY-luss), the indentation in middle of the kidney that gives it its bean shape. The artery then branches so blood can get to the <strong>nephrons</strong> (pronounced: NEH-fronz) &mdash; 1 million tiny filtering units in each kidney that remove the harmful substances from the blood.</p> <p>Each of the nephrons contain a filter called the <strong>glomerulus</strong> (pronounced: gluh-MER-yuh-lus). The fluid that is filtered out from the blood then travels down a tiny tube-like structure called a <strong>tubule</strong> (pronounced: TOO-byool). The tubule adjusts the level of salts, water, and wastes that will leave the body in the urine. Filtered blood leaves the kidney through the renal vein and flows back to the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/heart.html/">heart</a>.</p> <p>Pee leaves the kidneys and travels through the ureters to the bladder. The bladder expands as it fills. When the bladder is full, nerve endings in its wall send messages to the brain. When a person needs to pee, the bladder walls tighten and a ring-like muscle that guards the exit from the bladder to the urethra, called the <strong>sphincter</strong> (pronounced: SFINK-tur), relaxes. This lets pee go into the urethra and out of the body.</p> <h3>What Can Help Keep the Kidneys and Urinary Tract Healthy?</h3> <p>To help keep your kidneys and urinary tract healthy:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Get plenty of exercise.</li> <li>Eat a nutritious diet.</li> <li>Stay <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/dehydration.html/">hydrated</a>.</li> <li>For girls: Wipe from front to back after pooping so germs don't get into the urethra.</li> <li>Avoid bubble baths, sitting in the tub after shampoo has been used, and scented soaps. These can irritate the urethra.</li> <li>Wear cotton underwear.</li> <li>Promptly change out of wet bathing suits.</li> <li>Go for regular medical checkups.</li> <li>Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements or herbal treatments.</li> <li>Let the doctor know about any family history of kidney problems, diabetes, or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/hypertension.html/">high blood pressure</a>.</li> <li>Let the doctor know if you have any swelling or puffiness, have pain with peeing, need to pee often, have foamy urine or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/hematuria.html/">blood in the urine</a>, or are <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/constipation.html/">constipated</a>.</li> </ul> <div class="rs_skip rs_preserve"><!-- TinyMCE Fix --> <script src="//familysurvey.org/misc/javascript/js_apps/kh-slideshows/kh-slider.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script src="//familysurvey.org/misc/javascript/js_apps/kh-slideshows/bodybasics-flash-kidneys-en.js" type="text/javascript"></script> </div>Los riñones y las vías urinariasNuestros cuerpos producen distintos tipos de productos de deshecho, como el sudor, el dióxido de carbono, las heces (también conocidas como deposiciones o cacas) y la orina (o pipí).https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/teens/kidneys-esp.html/389593ac-60bf-4352-a678-19af495af047
Blood Find out about the mysterious, life-sustaining fluid called blood.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/blood.html/4cbf9380-e4e4-445c-92a9-93f01a97516b
Blood in the Urine (Hematuria)Hematuria is pretty common, and most of the time it's not serious. Find out what causes blood in the urine and what to do about it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/hematuria.html/1a7a52a4-6c14-4897-87a4-eeeb3d3cd0b1
Bones, Muscles, and JointsOur bones, muscles, and joints form our musculoskeletal system and enable us to do everyday physical activities.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/bones-muscles-joints.html/d55a922b-e87a-49e0-82ae-0c5a0773cee9
Digestive SystemMost people think digestion begins when you first put food in your mouth. But the digestive process actually starts even before the food hits your taste buds.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/digestive-system.html/c0f765e4-a9d9-43fc-983b-b0b49ed76cfd
GlomerulonephritisWith glomerulonephritis, tiny filtering units in the kidneys stop working properly, causing problems like too much fluid in the body and swelling. Most of the time it can be treated. Find out more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/glomerulonephritis.html/a3bf3907-d553-460e-92a5-ecbae0da926d
Kidney DiseaseSometimes, the kidneys can't do their job properly. In teens, kidney disease is usually due to infections, structural issues, glomerulonephritis, or nephrotic syndrome. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/kidney.html/4f21e885-14a9-4b12-a514-66998f93043c
Kidney StonesKidney stones mostly happen to adults, but sometimes teens can get them. Find out what kidney stones are, how to treat them, and ways to help prevent them.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/kidney-stones.html/52e208a2-626b-4e2e-8491-a5cba5a9099b
Kidney TransplantIf the kidneys stop working, a person will need either dialysis or a transplant. Get the facts on kidney transplant in this article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/kidney-transplant.html/0eaed509-b5fe-430b-839e-8ae36bf4971b
Spleen and Lymphatic SystemThe lymphatic system is an extensive drainage network that helps keep bodily fluid levels in balance and defends the body against infections.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/spleen.html/e8bb4409-b076-452d-88a9-95109093f178
Urinary Tract InfectionsA urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common reasons that teens visit a doctor. Learn about the symptoms of UTIs, how they're treated, and more in this article.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/uti.html/a97f6174-4629-4696-b5bc-a461856cdd95
kh:age-teenThirteenToNineteenkh:age-youngAdultEighteenPluskh:clinicalDesignation-nephrologykh:clinicalDesignation-urologykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-nephrologyBody Basics for Teens: Cancerhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/cancer-center/body-basics/25592b63-66c6-41c2-a10f-b37fb9000216Body Basics for Teens: Sports Medicinehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/sports-center/body-basics/0d5f9161-8da9-481c-898e-c0b8e24ae5e3Interactive for Teenshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/interactive/b305f527-4975-4e0b-8017-d7c53f49d0e7Body Basics Libraryhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/your-body/body-basics/b8bcb07a-02ec-4e7d-a125-cf86a24d95f0