How many times did you urinate today? Most of us can’t answer this question or know the number of times is probably too few. You may be surprised to learn, however, that urine has valuable information about your health. It’s worth a gander in the porcelain throne before we flush it away forever. Here are six conditions that can be detected in our urine:
You May Be Dehydrated
Healthy urine is light in color and can even become almost clear as the day progresses. Urine that is darker yellow, even sometimes an amber coloring, can be a sign that you are dehydrated. When a person doesn’t drink enough water, their urine becomes over-concentrated with waste. This is what gives it the darker coloring. Dehydration occurs when the body does not have enough water to function normally. This condition is usually easily reversed.
You May Have Breast Cancer
Pteridines are metabolites that all humans excrete in their urine. It has been observed that cancer patients will excrete more than what would be defined as "normal." Researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a new screening method to diagnosis and determine the severity of breast cancer, using this technique. Determining the amount of pteridines in an individual’s urine would help to detect cancer before a mammogram. In future trials, researchers hope to see how effective this test is at detecting other types of cancer.
You May Have Testicular Cancer
You may have heard the popular urban legend that a home pregnancy test can detect testicular cancer in men. According to CNN, there is some truth in this. Home pregnancy tests work by detecting the hormone Beta-HCG, which is produced in a woman’s placenta when she becomes pregnant. Interestingly enough, this hormone is also excreted by some tumors, including some, but not all, testicular cancers, CNN reported. However, a home pregnancy test should not be used as a self-diagnosis test for this deadly cancer. "Current evidence does not indicate that screening the general population of men with a urine test for HCG (or with urine or blood tests for any other tumor marker) can find testicular cancer early enough to reduce testicular cancer death rates," Dr. Ted Gansler explained in an email to CNN.
You May Have Diabetes
In individuals with diabetes, sugar builds up in the blood. The large amount of blood sugar is difficult for your kidneys to filter out. The excess sugar will then be excreted in urination. Mayo Clinic lists excessive thirst and increased urination as classic diabetes symptoms as a results of this. Excess sugar can cause your urine to have a sweet smell. Pregnancy also alters the way kidneys filter your blood. Healthy Living MSN advises that this sweet smell could also be an indication that you are with child. Regardless, this symptom should not be overlooked and you should seek medical attention to determine the cause of your sweet-smelling urine.
You May Have A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that occurs somewhere in your urinary system, whether it be in your kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. Symptoms of a UTI include a frequent urge to urinate, pain when urinating, cloudy, or even pink/red-colored urine, and strong-smelling urine. This is a fairly common condition and can be diagnosed with a simple urine sample. Antibiotics are the most common treatment, and usually symptoms will clear up in a few days.
You May Have A Blood Clot
Scientists are currently working on a product that is able to detect blood clots with a simple urine test. Similar to a home pregnancy test, this strip would test for biomarks inside the urine to indicate troubles inside the body, New Scientist reported. So far, in animal trials, the strips have proven effective in their urine diagnoses. Although still being worked on, the product’s developers hope that one day the tool with be able to supply life-saving tests to those who may not have had access to such before. "Diagnostics are really a great way to help a lot of people as quickly as possible," led researcher of the product told New Scientist.