General Health Wednesday July 29, 2015

How Healthy Are Your Peeing Habits?

We don't drink enough water, or so the 'experts' are always telling us. They have a lot to say about what goes in, but how about that which cometh out? What makes a healthy pee?

Holding it in is bad

If you resist the need to pee you can cause problems like stretching your bladder. If this happens then you may have problems getting your pee to drain out in the future. It's also more likely you'll develop a urinary tract infection.

Going too often is bad

Sensitive bladders are common. Some folk are so attuned to their pee that even a small amount can switch on that urge to go. If you find yourself peeing a lot - more so than your co-workers, then you could try some bladder training, such as distracting yourself. This should stretch your bladder a bit.

Needing to go every 20 minutes when you've been on the shandy is normal. Alcohol increases your need to urinate, as does caffeine.

Colour Me Badd (Woo! remember them? Just me? Ok.)

If you spend a day dehydrating yourself on purpose so you don't need to stop every hour to pee on a car trip, that's fine, but dehydrating yourself every day is a bad idea. It causes confusion and your brain will probably resemble a walnut. It also causes constipation, bad skin, kidney stones and muscle damage. Give your body a break and get some water in it, Dry County is a great song, but it's not a way of life.

Too light means you are drinking too much. Do you feel dizzy? It's likely your sodium levels are a bit squiffy. Eat something salty.

Apart from dehydration the three main causes of abnormal urine colour are:

  • Food. Beetroot is an alarming red when it re-appears in your urine.
  • Drugs. Medication can change urine colour, as can vitamin supplements. Vitamin B in particular turns urine so bright that it rivals sunlight.
  • Health issues such as diabetes - could go lighter or darker, and may smell sweet like sugar.

Blood in the Urine

Seeing blood is never a good thing, unless you are desperate for your period to arrive. (We've all been in that position, haven't we girls?). If you spot blood in your pee, you may have an infection like cystitis. To be fair you'll probably feel the pain before you see the blood. Here's how to sort it out:

  • Up your water count to a gallon a minute (not really. But drink more, definitely.)
  • Get in the bath to pee.
  • Buy some of those salts that dilute your pee.
  • If you can't shift it quickly, you'll need antibiotics.
  • If you feel like a river of pee is waiting to burst its dam and all you can squeeze out is raspberry jam and agony then you either have severe cystitis or an STI like gonorrhoea. Both need antibiotics.

Water is not only essential for healthy pee, but also for our overall wellbeing. So let's fill our glasses with the good stuff and drink a toast to well-hydrated health. Cheers!

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