Q:

What is the role of the kidney in homeostasis?

A:

The kidneys play several important roles in maintaining homeostasis, including maintaining the proper blood volume and ion balance as well as removing nitrogenous wastes from the blood. The University of New Mexico explains that the kidneys also play an important role in regulating the body’s pH. The kidney primarily accomplishes these tasks by filtering impurities, metabolic wastes and salt from the blood.

According to the BBC, the kidneys are able to maintain homeostasis in part by varying the concentration of urine. For example, when the amount of water in the blood plasma is low, the kidneys reabsorb water from the urine, returning it to the blood stream. Conversely, when the amount of water in the blood plasma is high, the kidneys do not reabsorb much water, which produces highly dilute urine. Both responses help to keep the body's water balance within the range of tolerance.

The kidneys must compensate for other biological functions and stimuli that may alter the water balance of the body, thus disrupting homeostasis. The BBC lists several such stimuli, including the external temperature, exercise and salt intake, as having the potential to change the amount of water in the body. For example, during exercise, the body's temperature rises. The body attempts to compensate for this by sweating. However, sweat results in a net loss of water, which in turn, triggers the kidneys to reabsorb more water from the urine and return it to the bloodstream.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How can a punctured lung be repaired?

    A:

    A punctured lung, also called pneumothorax, is repaired through the use of oxygen and a chest tube, which gets rid of air that accumulates between the inside of the chest and the outside of the lung, states FreeMD. Severe traumatic pneumothorax may require surgery to repair the damaged lung.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you do a kidney flush?

    A:

    To do a kidney flush, also referred to as a kidney cleanse, drink plenty of water, follow a low-protein diet and avoid consuming chocolate and caffeine. Drink plenty of cranberry and pomegranate juice, and consume detoxifying herbs, such as ginger and parsley. Speak to a doctor before beginning a kidney flush.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the products of anaerobic respiration?

    A:

    In humans, the products of anaerobic respiration are adenosine triphosphate (ATP), carbon dioxide and lactic acid. ATP is the molecule that provides energy to cells.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does the cerebrum do?

    A:

    The cerebrum plays a role in many of the body's major functions, including determining personality and intelligence, understanding and producing language, interpreting sensory input, organizing, planning and overseeing motor functions. Also called the telencephalon, the cerebrum makes up about 70 percent of the mass of the brain, covering most of the brain's other structures. The cerebrum's outer portion has a covering of gray tissue known as the cerebral cortex, and it is split into left and right hemispheres joined at the corpus callosum.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore