A "Stream" of Info About Urinary Health

Source: U.S. News And World Report

Have you wanted to know more about the urinary process, but have been too embarrassed to ask? Well, from doctors Michael O’Leary, a senior urologic surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and Benjamin Davies, chief of urology at UPMC Shadyside/Hillman Cancer Center, here is a “primer on peeing!”

What color should your urine be? It doesn’t really matter. Many foods can change the color of your urine: If you down a whole bunch of beets, your urine is going to be red; asparagus can make your urine green. It’s not a barometer for your health unless you’re trying to make sure you’re hydrated. If your urine is dark yellow, you’re not getting enough fluids — it ought to be closer to clear.

How often should I urinate? There’s no “normal” amount. Healthy people with healthy kidneys produce about 68 ounces of urine a day; normal bladder capacity is from 21 to 27 cubic inches. What’s normal for one person may not be normal for another, so there’s no need to compare. But if you think you’re going more than normal, discuss it with your doctor.

Could I ever urinate too much? Yes — it could be a sign of a larger health issue. People with diabetes often will complain of urinating too much. It can also be a sign of overactive bladder, a chronic condition.

Is there a proper urine stance for men? No — they can urinate standing up or sitting down. But men who have to sit down to urinate should see a physician: it’s called credeing when you always have to use your abdominal muscles to urinate.

Is it bad to hold it in? It isn’t inherently an issue on occasion, but making it a chronic habit is not the best idea, as that’s training your bladder to hold more and more urine beyond its volume limit.

Urinating blood? DON’T ignore it. Blood in your urine is never something to ignore — It could be something ranging from having exercised in excess to a bladder or urinary tract infection to bladder or prostate cancer. Age and medical status play a part. See your doctor.

What do I do when it hurts to urinate? Painful urination could be signs of a bladder or urinary tract infection, a sexually transmitted disease, or a stricture (abnormal narrowing) of your urethra — so you should tell your doctor.

What if I feel like I have to urinate, but nothing comes out? Usually it’s due to your bladder being overactive or overly sensitive. If it happens more than occasionally, however, it could be a sign of something more serious, depending on factors like age, medical history or other symptoms you’re having at the time.

Should urine be consumed? Only if you’re fighting to survive. In the absence of any supportive scientific studies, “urotherapy,” in which you drink or apply urine in hopes of achieving clearer skin and an energy boost, isn’t advised or endorsed by any serious medical professionals.

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