Why should I look at my urine?

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Urine and Kidney health

As you know the kidneys make urine to flush out toxins. Good kidneys are essential to good health.

There is a campaign in the United Kingdom called Think kidney, which asks people to always look for “blood in your pee”. It is a campaign to educate people on the need to look at the urine colour before flushing the toilet.

The reason for doing this campaign is to identify early cancer in the kidney or urinary tract. At this present time, the United Kingdom has 8,000 cases of Urinary tract Cancer per year. Nigeria has 900 cases of kidney cancer per year and 1,000 cases of bladder cancer per year.

Early identification of cancer means earlier successful treatment. Certainly, urinary tract cancers are more common in people older than 50 years,  smokers, and alcohol drinkers.

Blood in urine is not normal

Everyone experiencing blood in urine should see their doctor for further testing with urine test, ultrasound or CT scan. A referral to a Urologist for specialist assessment including telescopic examination of urinary passage and bladder (cystoscopy) is advisable.

Some urine might appear darkish like blood due to either infection, dehydration, or certain food (eg beetroot) or drinks. In these situations, it is better to err on the side of caution and go to your doctor for a urine test.

Foamy urine is not normal

When urine looks milky or foamy, it may indicate excessive amounts of protein in it.

This is not normal and requires further testing with ultrasound, urine and blood tests to confirm or exclude a condition called chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Dark yellow urine is not normal

Very concentrated yellow color of urine that does not improve with water drinking can be from the gallbladder or pancreatic problems. Some medications like vitamin B supplements may turn urine yellow.

Again, ultrasound, urine and blood tests may identify the underlying cause.

How often should I urinate?

With healthy, good functioning kidneys, a person should urinate freely and without pain at least once every 4 hours while awake.

The urine should be clear, light yellow or straw-coloured without odour.

After drinking water, your kidneys will start making urine about one hour later.

We recommend water as the best liquid to ensure good kidneys, drinking at least 8 cups of water throughout the day is ideal.

 

Reference:

https://www.thinkkidneys.nhs.uk/campaign/

https://www.healthylivingpharmacies.org/index.php/health-campaigns-and-resources/blood-in-pee-campaign

 

Written by Dr. Ngozi Onuoha.

Copyright 2018, Health4Naija LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This site serves to provide information for Education. You should seek the attention of your Medical provider for any health matters.

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