Your urinary tract is composed of two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder and the urethra that together collect, transport, store and expel urine1. Cells in the brain and the spinal cord coordinate the muscle movements required to perform these functions2.
Your kidneys participate in the elimination of waste products and toxins from the body, including urea, creatinine and uric acid3. They also make hormones such as erythropoietin to produce red blood cells and renin to control blood pressure3. The kidneys control the amount of water and electrolytes in the blood4. These electrolytes include sodium, phosphate, and potassium5. When the kidneys stop working properly, fluid starts building up, causing swelling and increased blood pressure5.