Compare and Contrast Respiratory and Urinary System

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The respiratory system works independently from the urinary system but the two works similarly in a number of ways. The main organ of the respiratory system is the lung, more particularly the alveoli. The alveoli are the lung’s air sacs, which are made of squamous epithelial cells whose main job is to diffuse the gases that pass through it. Together with the capillaries, they ensure that the exchange of gases between the lungs and the blood occurs seamlessly.

And if the respiratory system has the alveoli, the urinary system has the nephron. Just like the alveoli are to the lungs, nephrons are the kidney’s basic unit. Nephrons are tubular structures from which body liquids are filtered through. The loop of Henle, which is more commonly referred to as the Nephron loop, is a u-shaped tube that concentrates the salt present in the interstitum, which in turn, is the tissue that surrounds the loop.

The main job of the respiratory system in the body is to process oxygen (O2) for it to be contained in the blood and be distributed to the rest of the body. The processing of oxygen produces a by-product CO2, or carbon dioxide. The respiratory system is also responsible to excreting that gas out of the body. The urinary system assumes a job similar to that of the respiratory system. But instead of excreting out gaseous waste, it manages the liquid wastes of the body. If the respiratory system distributes oxygen in the blood, the main task of the urinary system is to regulate the balance of water and other bodily fluids.

It manages the water inside the body and filter out unnecessary by-products. Its main task is to remove, concentrate, and eliminate them out of the body. The urinary system is also required to maintain the balance of water and salt in the bloodstream. It closely works with two body hormones, the antidiuretic hormone (ADH) and the aldosterone to do the job. The main function of the ADH is to increase the absorption of water in the kidneys and put more water back in the blood. Doing such increases the concentration of one’s urine. Aldosterone, on the other hand, regulates the transmission of sodium coming from the nephron into the blood. The moment the levels of the sodium in the blood fall down, aldosterone is secreted to reverse the situation. And as a result, water flows more freely into the bloodstream through the process of osmosis.

The respiratory system is a two-way cycle. When one breathes through the nose, the air runs through the nasal passages into the esophagus until it reaches the lungs down to its most basic structures, the alveoli. Once it’s there, the exchange of gas begins and oxygen is transferred into the blood. The carbon dioxide, which is the waste product of the process, has to travel all the way back to the nasal passages and out the nose. This is why the respiratory cycle is referred to as two-way.

On the other hand, the urinary system’s cycle is considered one-way. Blood passes through the kidney so as to be filtered and processed. And when it does, urea, which is the waste product of the whole process, forms the urine. Blood travels into the kidneys until it reaches the nephrons. Once the blood is filtered and all the wastes are removed, the latter is excreted out of the body in a straight motion. There’s no need to go back up where the whole process started like how it is with the respiratory system.

Both the respiratory and urinary system works inside the body with a common objective – and that is to produce adequate amount of energy that the body can use. An adequate supply of oxygen is required so that the aerobic respiratory machinery is triggered so as to produce stored energy and convert it in a more useable form. The urinary system works similarly. The whole idea behind its processes is to breakdown proteins, fats, and sugar consumed. Large molecules such as phosphorous, sulfur, and nitrogen have to be stripped down so as to prepare them for energy conversion later on.

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