Effects of Aging on Bladder and Kidneys

Effects of Aging on Bladder and Kidneys




Changes in the kidneys:
As the kidneys age, following events occur:

  • Blood vessels supplying the kidneys can become hardened, causing the kidneys to filter blood more slowly
  • Nephrons filter waste material from the blood
  • Number of filtering units (nephrons) decreases
  • Overall amount of kidney tissue decreases


Changes in the bladder:

  • Blockage of the urethra: In women this is due to weakened muscles causing the bladder or vagina to fall out of position (prolapse).  In males the urethra can become blocked by an enlarged prostate gland
  • The bladder muscles weaken
  • The bladder wall changes with the elastic tissue becoming tough and the bladder becoming less stretchy.  The bladder cannot hold as much urine as before

In a healthy aging person, kidney function remains normal.  Illness, medications, and other conditions can affect the ability of the kidneys to function properly.


Common Problems:

  • Aging increases the risk to kidney problems as well as bladder problems
  • Bladder and other urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Bladder control issues (urinary incontinence or retention or leakage)
  • Chronic kidney disease


If you have any of the following problems visit your care doctor:

  • Signs of a urinary tract infection, including chills or fever, nausea and vomiting, low back pain, extreme tiredness
  • Trouble urinating
  • Urinary urgency (Sudden urination need)
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Very dark urine or fresh blood in the urine


Aging Changes of Urinary System


Business of Aging Kidneys


How Aging Affects the Bladder


7 Tips for a Healthy Bladder



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