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Renal Veins & Arteries
Anal Sphincter
Ureters, Bladder, Urethra
Kidney Failure
Treatment - Dialysis
Diagrams 2


The Human Kidneys

The human kidneys contain many parts. Each part has it's own function:

CAPSULE - The renal capsule is the membrane that covers the kidney. It directly covers the renal cortex, which forms the outer stratum. CORTEX - The calyx is the recess in the internal medulla of the kidney which encloses the pyramids. It is used to subdivide the sections of the kidney, with distinguishes the major calyces and minor calyces (plural for calyx). The cortex is visible near the outer edge of the kidney. It is composed of urine tubes and blood vessels and is supported by a fibrous matrix. MEDULLA - The medulla is the inside part of the kidney. In real life it is a very dark red colour. This is where the amount of salt and water in your urine is controlled. It consists of billions of loops of Henlé. These work very hard pumping sodium ions. The result of this is that very concentrated urine is produced. RENAL COLUMN - The renal columns are lines of the kidney matrix which support the cortex of the kidney. They are composed of lines of blood vessels and urinary tubes and a fibrous, cortical material. PYRAMID - The renal pyramids are conical segments within the internal medulla of the kidney. The pyramids contain the secreting apparatus and tubules and are also known as the malphighian pyramids. RENAL SINUS - The renal sinus is the cavity within the kidney which contains the renal pyramid. Nerves and blood vessels pass into the renal sinus through the hilus. HILUS - The hilus is the slit-like opening in the middle of the concave border of the kidney. Nerves and blood vessels pass through the hilus into the renal sinus located inside. RENAL PELVIS - The renal pelvis is where the collecting of the urine from all parts of the kidney takes place. Basically a funnel, the broad end of the renal pelvis accepts the urine and channels it out of the hilus into the ureter to be discharged to the urinary bladder.


What Do Your Kidneys Do?

In humans, your kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They are located in the posterior part of the abdomen. There is one on each side of the spine just below the liver and spleen. The kidneys are sophisticated reprocessing machines. Every day, your kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water. The waste and extra water become urine. The wastes found in your blood come from the normal breakdown of the food you eat. Your body requires the food for energy and self-repair. After your body has taken what it needs from the food, the rest, or the waste is sent in to the blood. If your kidneys did not remove these wastes, the wastes would build up in the blood and damage your body. This is what makes your kidneys so important. Your kidneys measure out chemicals like sodium, phosphorus, and potassium and release them back to the blood to return to the rest of the body. In this way, your kidneys regulate the body's level of these substances. The right balance of these substances is necessary for life, however, excess levels can be harmful.

How The Wastes Come Out