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What Is the Connection Between the Digestive System and Urinary System?

The digestive tract begins at the mouth and ends with the anus and includes all the organs in between.
Some of the organs of the digestive system.
A diagram of the digestive system.
The digestive system sends waste to the urinary system.
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  • Written By: Jennifer Long
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 07 August 2014
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The digestive system and urinary system are closely connected, as one leads to the other. Digestion begins through the intake of food, which travels through the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. This process is how the body absorbs nutrition from food. Everything that is broken down is sent to the kidneys through the blood. After the kidneys have filtered out the liquid waste, it goes to the bladder to be disposed of through the urine.

Many medical professionals and organizations refer to the digestive system and urinary system together because of how these systems work with each other. The digestive system breaks down food for the nutrients the body needs, and then the excretory system, which includes the urinary system, gets rid of waste. Each system has its own set of organs, but they are connected through the processes they perform.

Food enters through the mouth and travels down the esophagus to the stomach. Acids in the stomach break down the food, and it travels to the small intestine, where enzymes break it down further and nutrients are absorbed. The remaining solid waste goes to the large intestine. Liquids are absorbed through the walls of the small and large intestines and carried through the circulatory system and into part of the urinary system.

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Blood travels to the kidneys to be filtered. The kidneys reabsorb nutrients and filtering out toxins and other harmful products from the blood. The removed waste is compiled and sent to the bladder. As the waste is added, the bladder fills with urine. Once it is full, the bladder empties all of the wastes.

On its own, the digestive system’s main purpose is to digest food and provide nutrients for the body. The urinary system is responsible for removing liquid waste that the body does not need. Both systems rely on each other to ensure a person remains healthy.

Due to how the digestive system and urinary system are connected, problems can occur in one system that can also affect the other. If, for example, the digestive system cannot properly break down food, excess toxins can be passed to the urinary system. This can sometimes result in too many toxins remaining in the bloodstream. If the kidneys are not functioning at full capacity, the toxins that come from the digestive system cannot be filtered and remain in the body or are recirculated into the blood.

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Discuss this Article

anon333944
Post 7

Remember the old saying "I got a gut feeling"? Everyone should look into the research that the stomach is made up of brain cells and can reproduce them! Amazing research.

anon333586
Post 5

This is really going to help me on my school essay on the ways the digestive system and the urinary system work together.

cloudel
Post 4

I know that the two systems are connected, because by eating and drinking certain things when I have a urinary tract infection, I can help my body get rid of it. Even though the infection is in the urinary tract, the food and liquid that go through the digestive tract eventually get to it.

The infection is caused by bacteria, and eating foods with high acid content helps eliminate them. I eat yogurt and pineapple for this, and I drink cranberry juice.

There is acid in the juice, but also just drinking plenty of fluids helps flush out the bacteria. I alternate between water and cranberry juice.

DylanB
Post 3

I never really thought about what I eat affecting my urinary system. It's more natural to think that whatever you drink goes to the urinary tract and whatever you eat is handled by the digestive tract.

Really, it all goes together. What goes in comes out of both.

feasting
Post 2

@Perdido – Yes, and lots of soda and even tea can be bad for your kidneys. I have friends who almost never drink water but chug soda all day long, and they have developed big kidney stones that were incredibly painful and required surgery.

The caffeine is just too much for the kidneys to handle. A little bit doesn't hurt, but when you don't consume any water to help your urinary system flush things out, you get a buildup of toxins in your kidneys.

Perdido
Post 1
What you eat and drink affects your urinary system. I know that whenever I drink lots of tea or soda I have to urinate often. I try to avoid drinking a lot on long trips, because having to stop at a restroom every half hour or so makes the drive home a lot longer!

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