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Yo’ Bladder: What happens when you urinate? (A brief guide to urination).

Yo’ Bladder: What happens when you urinate? ( A brief guide to urination).

The P is silent joke urine

Did you know that both your food and drink contains water which your body takes out of your food? Your body requires water for reactions in the cell and to help regulate your core body temperature by being released as sweat when you’re hot and has a high specific heat capacity, meaning that it is hard to increase the temperature of your body preventing you from getting too hot in the first place.

Excess water, along with waste products such as urea (which is poisonous) and excess ions are then stored in your bladder. The bladder is an organ in the body containing muscle tissues which hold, and is involved in the secretion of, urine. The bladder is kind of like a muscular balloon or a sports ball such as a rugby ball or a football.

As the bladder is filling up and the bladder is stretched, a signal is sent to the brain, which then responds by telling your body that you need to pee(this process is called the micturition reflex).

bladder image
Image of a bladder.

bladder.jpg1

The main muscle involved in urination is called the detrusor muscle which  relaxes, allowing you to fill your bladder and  when the message is sent from the brain to the muscles in order for you  to urinate, your detrusor muscles contract, which causes your urine to be squeezed out.

Messages are also sent to the part of your bladder called the sphincter as well as the detrusor muscles .The Sphincter is another types of muscle that receives the information from the brain which tells the sphincter to relax and let the urine flow.

The third muscle that the brain sends messages to is called the pelvic floor muscle(labelled as the skeletal muscle) which is also ‘told’ to open up and let the liquid through.

When you finish going to the toilet after letting go of the urine, the detrusor, sphincter and pelvic floor muscles return to their normal position; the detrusor muscles relax to let liquid fill up the bladder again, the  pelvic floor muscle tightens to shut the opening of the bladder and the sphincter muscle closes.

The bladder can hold up to 1 litre of liquid which is an amazing amount. Look at your nearest 1 litre bottle and you’ll see how extraordinary that is.

However, although your bladder is great, like all your organs and important things, don’t abuse it! If you hold in your wee, the muscles of your bladder can become very weak which can therefore make it harder to release the pee.

However, there are problems which can arise, leading to your bladder not working properly. This includes:

  1. The sensors on your bladder which tell the brain that the bladder is full do not function properly. There are instances in which because of these sensors, your bladder contracts at the wrong time, causing incontinence .You may also feel the need to pee when your bladder isn’t even full!
  2. If the pelvic floor or sphincter is too weak, urine may be let out when you don’t want it to.

And…

  1. Female genital mutilation can also lead to problems of the bladder (e.g. incontinence).

bladder photos over and norm

The bladder is almost like a leather sports ball.However, unlike a ball, it's not for kicking!
The bladder is almost like a leather sports ball.However, unlike a ball, it’s not for kicking!

Now the next time you urinate at your nearest toilet, you’ll know exactly what is going on if you hadn’t already known!

Pathogens: Investigating the things that make you feel sick (Biology)

Investigating the things that make you feel sick (Biology):

Look, there are rockets on the moon!....Not! Actually, they are viruses on our cells.
Look, there are rockets on the moon!….Not!
Actually, they are viruses on our cells.

sick person

[1- Abbreviated as M. tuberculosis ,  2- Hyphae are branches that extend out of fungi, almost like a tree’s branches. An exception to this is the unicellular fungus, yeast, which does not produce hyphae but reproduces by asexual budding].

We’ve all experienced at one point in our lives a cold, flu , maybe even smallpox and if you live in the African continent, maybe malaria has affected your body. The flu, malaria, cold, etc are all classed as diseases.

Pathogens are organisms that cause disease. These organisms include bacteria, fungi, viruses and protoctists which all cause diseases in their own different ways. In this blog post, we’re going to touch on all of these organisms that cause disease, including the curious way in which malarial pathogens cause us to feel sick.

Bacteria are pathogens, disease causing organisms. They are single celled organisms that are very small in size compared to our own host cells but make up for their little size with their ability to reproduce rapidly. In the right conditions, bacteria can divide every 20 minutes. This means that by the end of the day you could have thousands of bacterial cells rampaging throughout your body and causing havoc to it! Bacterial cells cause harm by directly damaging the cells of your body or release waste products that are toxic to us .These waste products are called toxins(poisons). Examples of bacteria are the vibrio cholerae which cause cholera and the Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis1

Although some bacteria cause disease, others do not cause us harm and others are beneficial to us as they are used in the production of making medicines,  cheese, yoghurt and other food products (e.g. yeast(a fungus) is used to make wine) and to treat sewage .

Another organism on our list of pathogens is: Viruses. Viruses cause illnesses such as flu and the common cold, which are common to us today. Unlike bacteria, all viruses cause harm to the hosts that they invade, there are no such thing as ‘good viruses’. They cause harm to our cells by entering and  invading the cells, taking over the cell machinery some of the organelles and cause the cell to produce more viruses .As the number of viruses produced increases, the cell begins to swell before bursting, releasing the new viruses.

 

Urggh, germs?
Urggh, germs?

Fungi are also important pathogens. They cause diseases such as athlete’s foot or ringworm. Fungi cause these diseases in a very special way. N the diseases mentioned above, the fungi resides in the skin which sends out hyphae2 which grow to the surface of the skin, producing the characteristic spores that a person with ringworm has on their bodies..

Athletes’ foot is an infectious disease caused by fungi and much like infectious diseases caused by the other pathogens described above, in the fact that infectious diseases can spread. This means in places such as communal showers the fungus can easily be spread, if you’re not wearing the all important flip-flops, as well as by direct contact of the skin with someone who has the condition.

Athlete’s foot can also peel off as well as cause blisters if not treated as it damages the body, allowing other pathogens to enter the body also which could cause a secondary infection.

Fungus mushroom contains hyphae.
Fungus mushroom contains hyphae.
The hypae of a fungus(diagram).
The hypae of a fungus(diagram).

Protoctists are also very strange pathogens as they cause us illness by entering our cells and feeding on the parts of our cells (i.e. organelles and the membrane) while getting bigger and bigger on the organelles. This is how the malarial protoctists work, by basically trying to empty out our cells.