The amount of activity that goes on in the human body makes it comparable to a city. There is even more activity in a human body than in the busiest of cities, only all on a smaller scale. Most people are not aware of the highly complicated and orderly processes that take place in their body; the cause and effect mechanisms that are vital for the human metropolis to function properly all work involuntarily. The processes that occur so that our body can carry out the normal bodily activities of digestion, food transmission to body cells, disposal of waste products, distribution of oxygen to all the cells through respiration and many other activities are all carried out so smoothly that we are never even aware of them. We habitually answer a call of nature, never giving thought to the various-small or great-systems that are present, from the warning signal and our response to it, to the relieving process that all work in perfect harmony.
Nephrology is the study of the kidneys, the essential organ of excretion, and elements related to it. If due observation and research are thoroughly carried out on every part of the human metropolis, when the integrated hierarchical mechanisms are analyzed, it can be seen that numerous events are constantly taking place; these can open new doors to various sciences and offer us new horizons of reflection on the Divine Wisdom. In this way, these events are an interpretation of the saying “If all the seas were to be made up of ink, and all the trees were pens, they would still not be able to write down the knowledge of God,” which points to the existence of an Omnipotent Being with infinite knowledge.
One of these constant activities in our body is the excretion system which works like a well-regulated clock. In the body of a healthy adult, the bladder, after an accumulation of urine that has been filtered through the kidneys, resembles a balloon that has been inflated. The bladder enlarges according with the amount of urine that has been filtered by the kidneys. The autonomous nervous system has a significant role in the wonderful functioning of this urine storage mechanism. If we assume that an average adult urinates 5-6 times a day, we can say that the average time adults spend for urination is about 5 minutes daily. The autonomous system of a baby however, is not properly developed and has a very limited capacity of urine storage. Therefore, the bladder of a baby is frequently emptied. As for newborn babies, the number of times that they empty their bladder can be as much as 20-25 times a day. In this way, both the urine that comes from the kidneys flows to the bladder freely, and the urination channels are automatically cleaned.
In order to allow the urine flowing from the kidneys to the bladder to pass freely through the small tubes that measure between 3-7 mm (the urethra) the inner pressure in the bladder needs to be kept at low levels. This is realized in the body of a baby by the frequent emptying of the bladder, until the autonomous nervous system has properly developed. After the sixth month, the autonomous nervous system develops, the urine storing capacity of the bladder increases, and the number of urination times decreases. As the child grows, the ability to store urine and to excrete it at the proper time and place is completed in a gradual process. Being only one of the hundreds of wonders in the human metropolis, this balance is maintained as a clear reflection of Divine Mercy.
There is a fascinating cooperation between the departments of this metropolis. The urine that is excreted by the kidneys does an excellent job of cleaning all along the urinary tract, like a river cleaning the stones over which it passes. This cleaning includes not only any microorganisms, but also any gravel which might form in the urination channels. Research has proved that when bacteria are injected into the bladders of healthy people no infection is developed in the urinary tract, since the pressure of their urine excretion drives the bacteria away. The protection of the kidneys by both the expansion of the flexible bladder wall and the decrease in the pressure inside the bladder is a good example of the cooperation between the kidneys and the bladder. If the pressure was not able to be decreased by such flexibility, the kidneys could not function under the resulting high pressure. The smooth functioning of the kidneys is maintained through urine excretion in suitable amounts and at a suitable pressure. Taking all this for granted, one usually comes to realize what a blessing the excretion system is only when there is a problem.
The placenta has the duty of being the main regulator of the feeding and excretion systems of a fetus. The kidneys of a fetus also play significant roles. For instance, they balance acidity through liquid electrolytes, carry out the functions of hormone production, and growth. From the fourth month on, the fetus begins to produce urine and the bladder is filled and emptied every 30-60 minutes. The urine inside the bladder is emptied into the amniotic fluid which surrounds the fetus like a protective pad. The duty of the amniotic fluid includes protecting the fetus against the changes in the mother’s body temperature, providing space for normal development, providing suitable conditions for food and oxygen supply, and protecting the baby against any possible blows that the mother’s belly might be exposed to. The amniotic fluid in which a baby is placed is a liquid similar to urine, and it is produced for the comfort of this new guest to our world.
The blood, which is charged with transmitting nutrients and oxygen even to the remotest parts of the body, brings the toxic disposal our body has produced due to various causes on its way back to the kidneys. The blood, which bears the responsibility of maintaining the health of metropolis of the body, is continuously filtered when it reaches the kidneys. In the kidneys, the waste material is so delicately separated that it as if the kidneys know “which substance is needed in what amounts,” without meticulous calculation and infinite knowledge. Artificial kidneys supported by latest technology (like modern devices of dialysis) are never a substitute for a real kidney. A healthy kidney, which is made to serve under the veil of causes created by the Owner of infinite knowledge and power, does its duty with divine guidance. It sends what is to be disposed of to the bladder in the form of urine.
The substances urine contains are used when diagnosing illnesses, for they possess different qualities. The color, smell, and density of the urine and the substances it contains give us various clues about the health of that person. Deviations in the sensitive balance established in the excretion system are considered to be a sign of something gone wrong in the human metropolis. In other words, a urine analysis is an important indication of health, for many factors, such as our lifestyle, our eating habits, disease, and the medicines we use can effect changes on the consistency and composition of the urine (figure 1-3). The urine of a healthy person is yellow and clear. This color is derived from the urochrome pigment along with urobilin and uroerythrin. Colorless urine can be seen if there has been recent fluid consumption, or the use of diuretics, or disorders such as different types of diabetes (diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipitus, etc). The color of urine can fluctuate between yellow and clear within the day (for example, 1-2 hours after a meal it can be clear, whereas it can turn to dark orange due when one has been making heavy effort). Beetroot, artificial colorings and some drugs can turn the urine red. When the complaints of a patient are taken together with a medical examination and lab analyses, urine samples which are colored red-brown, blue-grey, milky-white or which are cloudy may all be symptoms of disease.
As we learn new things about urine we will hopefully attain a deeper comprehension of the infinite divine blessings that have been bestowed upon us, offering thanks to our Creator from new perspectives.