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Fluid Balance and Blood Pressure

Fluid Balance and Blood Pressure

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This lesson will explain how the kidneys regulate blood pressure and fluid balance.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to this lesson today on fluid balance and blood pressure. Today you'll be learning about how the kidneys help to regulate fluid balance and blood pressure. Specifically, you will be looking at:

  1. The Kidneys’ Role
  2. The Hormone ADH
  3. The Hormone Aldosterone
  4. Diuretics
  5. Renin

1. The Kidneys’ Role

The kidneys can concentrate urine and by concentrating urine they allow for the regulation of blood volume and also blood pressure; blood volume has a profound affect on blood pressure. The higher blood volume becomes the higher blood pressure becomes and vice versa. If blood volume drops, then blood pressure will drop. Kidneys essentially concentrate urine or dilute it, depending on the body's needs and what levels blood volume and blood pressure are at.


2. The Hormone ADH

Hormones can help to adjust the amount of water that is in urine, to help maintain this volume of cellular fluids. One hormone that plays a role in this functions is ADH, which stands for antidiuretic hormone.

Term to Know

    • Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH)
    • A hormone secreted from the posterior pituitary gland that stimulates the kidneys to retain water, the receptors for ADH are located on the distal convoluted tubules and collecting ducts. High levels of ADH cause a person’s urine output to decrease and its color to become darker and more concentrated.

ADH, antidiuretic hormone, is released when less water is taken in than is lost. ADH helps the kidneys conserve water which in turn, makes the urine more concentrated. ADH acts on the distal tubules and connecting ducts of a nephron. ADH is helping urine become more concentrated to help conserve water. When ADH levels are low, then you'll have more dilute urine and when ADH levels are higher, urine will be more concentrated. By adjusting the concentration urine, the body can regulate and adjust blood volume and pressure.

ADH secretion is actually an example of a negative feedback loop. If you remember, a negative feedback loop detects a stimulus and reverses it. Let's say your body is losing water, you're going to end up decreasing your blood volume and increase the sodium levels in your blood. ADH, or antidiuretic hormone,is released stimulating the kidneys to absorb more water. More water being reabsorbed by the kidneys will cause an increase in blood volume.

ADH is causing water to be reabsorbed back into the body, and as that water is reabsorbed into extracellular fluids of the body, causing blood volume to increase. As blood volume increases, blood pressure will increase with it and cause the secretion of ADH to lower.

This is a negative feedback loop because our stimulus was our body losing water, causing our blood volume to decrease and sodium concentration to increase. This is our stimulus and we detected this change causing ADH to be released to reverse the situation and maintain water homeostasis and blood pressure.


3. The Hormone Aldosterone

Aldosterone is a hormone that causes urine to become concentrated. It mostly targets collecting ducts and distal tubules. This causes cells in the distal tubules and collecting ducts to reabsorb sodium at a faster rate, which then indirectly causes the body to reabsorb more water. Causing an increase in sodium reabsorption will also cause the body to retain water because water follows salts. Aldosterone helps to concentrate urine like ADH, but it acts in a different part of the nephron.

Term to Know

      • Aldosterone
      • Nicknamed the “salt-retaining hormone," aldosterone stimulates the kidneys to retain sodium while simultaneously excreting potassium in the urine.

4. Diuretics

A diuretic is a substance that reduces reabsorption of sodium and promotes loss of water in urine. By reducing sodium reabsorption the body is losing more water because of the diuretic. Caffeine is a good example of a diuretic; you may notice that when you drink a lot of caffeine you urinate more often.

Term to Know

    • Diuretic
    • A medication or substance that increases a person’s urine output.

5. Renin

Renin is an enzyme released when the blood volume is reduced. If blood volume drops then blood pressure is also going to drop with it; causing the enzyme renin to be released. Renin stimulates the secretion of a hormone that concentrates urine and increases the amount of water that's reabsorbed. Doing this increases blood volume again and therefore brings blood volume and blood pressure back to a normal level.

Term to Know

    • Renin
    • An enzyme found in blood that plays an important role in increasing blood pressure during hemorrhaging and diarrhea.

Summary

This lesson has been an overview on the kidneys’ role in fluid balance and blood pressure. Specifically, the hormones ADH and aldosterone. You also learned about diuretics and renin.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Renin

    An enzyme found in blood that plays an important role in increasing blood pressure during hemorrhaging and diarrhea.

  • Diuretic

    A medication or substance that increases a person’s urine output.

  • Aldosterone

    Nicknamed the “salt-retaining hormone," aldosterone stimulates the kidneys to retain sodium while simultaneously excreting potassium in the urine.

  • Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH)

    A hormone secreted from the posterior pituitary gland that stimulates the kidneys to retain water, the receptors for ADH are located on the distal convoluted tubules and collecting ducts. High levels of ADH cause a person’s urine output to decrease and its color to become darker and more concentrated.