Excretory System Disorders and Diseases

A large number of medical conditions of varying intensity are associated with your excretory system which, if not addressed immediately, may even prove to be fatal and claim your life. As it is a universally admitted fact, “Prevention is better than cure”, you must be following the same principle to enjoy an ideal health for your entire lifespan on the planet earth. For this ahead-of-the-time strategy, you need to be well acquainted with the most commonly occurring diseases of excretory system along with their description, symptoms and effective treatment measures.


Caused by sexually or non-sexually transmitted bacterial infections, this excretory system disease may exhibit a different set of symptoms among human males and females. The most obvious diagnostic signs include frequent urination with a sensation of burning, yellowish and bloody discharge from the urethra, pain in lower part of abdomen and painful sexual intercourse, particularly, in women. Diagnosis can be assisted by the patient history, and physical as well as microscopic examination. Commonly applied and effective treatment measures include the prescription of antibiotics, administration of analgesics and the use of cranberry juice which may enhance the effectiveness of some medications.

Urinary Incontinence

Twice as common in women as in older people, this disorder of the excretory system is characterized by the complete or partial inability to control the urge to urinate. The abnormality is usually caused by medications, weakness & abnormalities of bladder, bladder shrinkage and atrophy of urethra. The diagnostic symptoms of urinary incontinence include unpredictable urination and urine-leakage when coughing or doing some activities that increase pressure on the bladder. Education, bladder training, Kegel exercises, the technique of biofeedback, administration of anticholinergic drugs, prescription of antibiotics or a surgical operation are some of the most commonly used treatment measures.

Vaginal Cancer

Occurring in women, usually, over the age of 50, it is one of the rare excretory system disorders, and represents less than two percent of all gynecologic cancers. Vaginal cancer involves the symptomatic conditions of vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods or after menopause, vaginal pain or itching, and firm, raised growth in the vagina. For accurate diagnosis, the health care providers may get help from patient’s history, gynecologic examination, Pap smear technique and colposcopy. In case the malignancy is diagnosed in the very earliest stage, a cream is recommended to be applied intravaginally that contains the chemotherapeutic medication fluorouracil, while some other commonly applied treatments include laser surgery, radiation therapy, conventional therapy, and so on.

Renal Vein Thrombosis

Abbreviated as RVT, it is one of the uncommon excretory system diseases that results in the formation of blood clot in one or both of the veins carrying the blood from the kidneys to the heart. The obvious symptoms witnessed in infants include blood in the urine, fever and chills, while those observed in adults are shortness of breath, cough with bloody sputum, chest pain, anxiety, palpitations, profuse perspiration, and so on. Some of the most effective treatment methods are the prescription of anticoagulant medications, administration of enzymes (such as urokinase and streptokinase), and for the life-threatening cases of the disorder in infants, surgical removal of the affected kidney may be required.

Acute Renal Failure

In case both of your kidneys suddenly stop functioning, the life-threatening condition is termed as acute renal failure (or acute kidney failure) which results in many mild or unbearable symptoms, namely, passing only small amounts of urine, weight gain, swelling of the ankles or some other body parts, loss of appetite, fatigue, widespread itching, bloody urine, shortness of breath, mental confusion, loss of consciousness, abdominal pain and unexplained bleeding, etc. World’s renowned kidney specialists, usually, apply the treatment measures, such as, prescription of diuretics, anti-hypersensitive drugs, intravenous injection of glucose, sodium bicarbonate or other substances, dialysis, surgical therapy and kidney transplant, etc.

Chronic Renal Failure

Also known as end-stage renal failure, this chronic disease occurs when both of your kidneys gradually cease to function. The symptoms of this life-threatening condition do not appear before 80 to 90 percent of your kidney tissues have been destroyed. After the entire failure, excessive amounts of fluid, minerals (like potassium), acid and waste materials get accumulated in the body. Such a condition leads to the symptoms of frequent urination, general feeling of poor health, swelling of ankles or tissues around the eyes, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, drowsiness, mental confusion, loss of consciousness, pale skin, and so on. Depending upon the severity, different curative measures are in vogue these days, which include controlled diet, anti-hypersensitive drugs, sodium bicarbonate, phosphate-binding calcium agents, surgical operation, dialysis and kidney transplant, etc.

Renal Artery Stenosis

Characterized by the blockage of one of the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys, the condition of renal artery stenosis leads to the irreversible damage of the tissues of the affected kidney. The major and prevailing causes of this disease include the buildup of plaque in arteries (atherosclerosis) and an inherited condition of fibromuscular dysplasia. Though it has no particular symptoms, extreme severity of the disease may show the sings of blood in urine, dull flank pain, nausea, vomiting, and so on. You can easily prevent the abnormality by maintaining a healthy weight, diet and lifestyle, and the avoidance of smoking, so that there is no buildup of plaque in the arteries. However, an unfortunate victim can be treated by the administration of cholesterol lowering drugs, surgery and percutaneous transluminal angiography, etc.

Prostate Cancer

The malignancy is characterized by the growth of cancerous cells in a walnut-size gland in men, called prostate, that is located just below the bladder and is responsible for the production of 30 percent of the fluid portion of semen. Approximately, 60 to 70 percent of all men above the age of 80 have shown, at least some microscopic evidence of prostate cancer which involves the diagnostic symptoms of blood in the urine, pain upon urination, bloody or painful ejaculation, pain in the pelvis or lower back, erectile dysfunction, frequent or urgent need to urinate, and so on. Though the typical cause of such cancer is still unknown, but age, race and family history are the strongest factors. As the disorder progresses very slowly, men in their 70s or 80s (who are thought to have localized cancer) are often recommended watchful waiting and undergo regular check up. As soon as the disease is confirmed, it is addressed with immediate aggressive treatment which may involve total surgical removal of the gland, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy.


It is an inflammatory disease of the lower portion of the digestive tract, called rectum, which connects the colon or large intestine to anus. As the condition may occur owing to a variety of causes, symptoms do vary depending upon the cause and severity of inflammation, and include frequent or painful bowel movements, straining at stool, rectal pain, bloody discharge, fever, constipation, diarrhea, blisters in or around the anus and rectum, difficulty in urination and impotence. Depending upon the causative agent and severity of the disease, your health care provider may prescribe you corticosteroids suppositories, antibiotics, antiviral drugs and over-the-counter pain relievers.


As the very name suggests, the causative agents of the disease are pinworms that are white, slender, thread-like worms, about the third of an inch and infest the intestinal tract. After someone has swallowed their eggs, the worms develop and mature in the intestine, and exit through anus to lay new eggs when the victim is sleeping. That is why pinworms are considered more of a nuisance than a serious health issue that may threaten your life. Anyhow, an unfortunate victim may show the symptoms of anal pain or itching, fidgetiness or irritability, vaginal pain, discharge or itching and restless sleep. The infected individuals can easily be treated with medications, like pyrantel pamoate and mebendazole as these are very effective in killing the germs.

About the Author

Posted by: M. Isaac / Senior writer

A graduate in biological sciences and a PhD scholar (NCBA&E University, Lahore), M. Isaac combines his vast experience with a keen and critical eye to create practical and inherently engaging content on the human body. His background as a researcher and instructor at a secondary school enables him to best understand the needs of the beginner level learners and the amateur readers and educate them about how their body works, and how they can adopt a healthier lifestyle.

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