The excretory system is used to remove excess waste and other materials from the human body. Basically, your body’s goal is to always remain at homeostasis. This medical term means that your body wants to maintain a perfect equilibrium. Your excretory system organs are designed to prevent damage and other problems from occurring by keeping your body in equilibrium.
Many of your organs create waste during normal metabolic processes. Unfortunately, this waste cannot exist in your body for long or you would become extremely unhealthy. Instead of remaining in your body, the toxins and other byproducts are excreted safely. The main organs that work in your excretory system are the liver, the lungs, the large intestines and the skin.
Excretory System Organs and How They Work
The skin is a crucial component of your excretory system. It is the largest organ in the body and prevents your muscles, organs and tissues from being exposed to the outside world. When it comes to your excretory system, your skin helps by making sweat.
When you eliminate sweat, you are not just losing water. Your sweat is made up of various salts, urea and metabolic waste. While your sweat helps to cool your body, it also works to eliminate metabolic wastes. Your sweat glands collect these wastes from capillaries (tiny blood vessels) that are linked to the gland. This allows the waste to leave the blood stream, enter the sweat glands and leave the body through your sweat.
One of the main organs in your urinary system is your ureter. The ureter is a type of muscular tube that connects your bladder and kidneys. For most people, this organ will be about 25 to 30 cm in length and 3 to 3 mm in diameter. They go over the pelvic brim near the iliac arteries, which is the location where kidney stones often develop. Afterward, they traverse the lateral walls of the pelvis before reaching the bladder.
Your kidneys are located toward the back of your abdominal cavity on either side. They receive blood from your renal arteries. While your kidneys do many things, one of the main things that they do is excrete urine into your ureters. The kidneys are naturally able to filter waste from your blood stream. Once this waste is removed, it can then be sent to the urinary bladder. The urine your body releases includes urea, ammonium and other wastes that are removed by your kidneys.
Other than helping remove waste, your kidneys help your body reabsorb glucose, amino acids and water. They help to produce hormones and maintain your pH balance. The kidneys also help to regulate your blood pressure and electrolytes.
Your bladder is like an expandable bag that holds urine as your kidneys excrete it. The urine is stored within the bladder until you can go to the bathroom. To hold larger and smaller amounts of liquid, the bladder is designed to be elastic. This hollow, muscular organ is located on your pelvic floor. Once the ureters bring urine to the bladder, it can then be carried away by the urethra.
This tube connects your urinary bladder to your genitals so that you can urinate. Women have a shorter urethra than men, which is one of the reasons why women are more prone to urinary tract infections. The urethral sphincter tightens and contracts so that you can voluntarily control when you urinate.
3. Large Intestines
Your large intestines would be about five feet long if you were to stretch them out. These amazing organs are responsible for transporting waste out of your body so that it can be removed. For this to happen, the large intestines extract water from the waste. Sometimes, it can take up to 24 hours for food to finish journeying through the large intestine.
Your cells rely on cellular respiration to receive energy and remove waste. One waste product that is created during cellular respiration is carbon dioxide. This waste product works differently than other waste products, so it requires a different way to leave the body. Carbon dioxide is released from the cells in your body into the bloodstream. Afterward, the carbon dioxide travels to the alveoli in the lungs. From this point, the carbon dioxide is released by the lung tissue and comes out of your body when you exhale.
5. Your Liver
Your liver is unbelievably amazing. It helps to detoxify your body by breaking down chemicals, toxins and poisons in your body. It takes ammonia and transforms it into urea that can be filtered out by your kidneys. In addition, the liver creates bile that helps your body break down fats into more usable forms and waste. The bile created by the liver can then be stored in the gall bladder until it is needed. Meanwhile, your small intestine also works to break up waste products like ethanol, ammonia and fats.
Other than cleansing your body, your liver also helps with your glucose levels and circulatory system. It helps your body remain the right amount glucose when it is triggered by insulin levels.