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What Your Urine Color Tells About Your Health Status

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You will notice that most doctors recommend urine tests when you go for a medical checkup. Its called a urinalysis. This is because your urine tells a lot about what is going on on your inside. The physical and chemical characteristics of your urine give a true indication of what is wrong with your health.

As a matter of fact, your urine color, odor, and consistency tell a lot about your well-being and health status.

Urine is made up of mostly water and a host of other compounds like chloride, sodium, potassium, urea, and creatinine as well as various organic and inorganic compounds.

Any slight imbalance in the concentration of these compounds can affect the color, consistency, and odor of your urine. A transparent or pale straw yellow color urine is an indicator of good health and a properly hydrated body.

Urochrome (urobilin) is the chemical that gives urine its characteristic yellow color. This yellow coloration is formed when the kidneys properly process waste products for excretion. When you take in a fluid, it dilutes the yellow pigment in the urine, so the more fluid you drink, the clearer your urine looks.

So, when you drink too little water, the body becomes dehydrated and the urine becomes concentrated giving it a deep yellow coloration. If your urine takes on other uncommon and unusual color, it could be an indication of underlying health condition. This article elucidates different urine colors and what it tells about your health status.

1. Cloudy or Murky

If your urine appears cloudy or murky, it could be an indication of kidney stones or urinary tract infection (UTI). If the underlying health condition is UTI, the urine will have pungent ammonia, foul or even slightly sweet odor. The bacteria responsible for the infection produces the fouls smell as a by-product.

Additionally, if you experience symptoms like an urge to pee frequently, but passing out only small amount of urine with pain or burning sensation when you urinate, you need to get examined for UTI.

When suffering from a UTI, consult your physician for proper diagnosis and treatment. You may need antibiotics to clear up the infection and prevent further re-occurrence.

What’s more, an excess of certain minerals such as phosphorus or calcium may also be responsible for white or milky colored urine. Foaming and fizzing urine may also be an indication of excess protein or kidney problem.

If you experience these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.

2. Orange

If your urine has a light orange color, you shouldn’t worry that much. It could be a sign of mild dehydration.

Other causes could be consuming a lot of beta-carotene rich foods, which is excreted via your urine. Supplements like vitamin B complex and other blood thinners could also be responsible for the orange-yellow coloration of your urine.

However, if you notice a fluorescent orange color, it could be an indication that something is wrong with your bile ducts or liver.

Why is that so, high levels of bilirubin due to liver inflammation, abnormalities of the liver cells or obstruction of the bile ducts can change the color of your urine to orange.

It is also worthy of note that; orange-colored urine is a possible sign of jaundice. This is usually accompanied by pale stools and yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

3. Red or Pink

If your urine has a shade of red or pink, it could be due to a variety of causes.

The first point of call could be that you ate just a few hours back. Some foods like carrots, beets, blackberries, rhubarb can give your urine a pinkish-red color.

Some of the compounds give color to these foods and are excreted in the urine. If this is the case, your urine should be back to its normal colors within a few days.

Also, medications taken to treat tuberculosis can give the urine a red coloration. However, if the red or pink color persists, it could indicate a tumor in the kidneys or bladder. In addition, if you notice blood in your urine, it could be a sign of kidney stones or UTI. It could also indicate problems with the prostate or mercury poisoning.

It is best to visit your doctor if your urine color is pink or red.

4. Neon or Dark Yellow

what urine color tells us about your health

A well-hydrated body should have transparent yellow urine, but having vibrant, fluorescent or dark yellow urine is not a good sign.

If your urine is amber or honey-colored, it could be an indication that you are not drinking enough water. In addition to dehydration, certain medications and supplements or vitamin B pills can cause this dramatic change in urine color.

However, if you are not taking any medicines, supplements or vitamins that may cause the dark yellow color and an increase in your water intake does not change the color of your urine, then it may be due to some underlying health condition.

Some of these conditions could be blood in the urine (hematuria), hemolytic anemia, and hepatitis.

5. Brown

Dark brown or cola-colored urine can be due to diet, medication or certain health issues. Eating a large amount of aloe vera, fava beans or rhubarb can change your urine color to brown.

Some drugs such as antimalarial drugs, laxatives, and muscle relaxants can also cause this change in urine color. Muscle injury due to extreme exercise could lead to a rare health condition called rhabdomyolysis, which can change your urine color to dark brown.

In addition to these, certain kidney and liver disorders like liver cancer, cirrhosis, and acute hepatitis can give your urine a dark brown color.

This mainly occurs due to excessive secretion of bilirubin from the liver into the urine. Sometimes, brown urine could be related to porphyria, a rare, inherited disorder of the red blood cells. If your urine out of a sudden turns brown, consult your physician immediately for diagnosis.

6. Green

Eating some foods like asparagus can change the color of your urine to a greenish color. Green beer, artificial food coloring, and black licorice can also cause this green coloration of urine.

Also, some medications can cause your urine to turn green, but this is only if such medication contains dyes. Diarrhea can also give a greenish tint to your urine color.

Furthermore, green urine color can be a pointer to a specific form of a UTI called a Proteus infection. The bacteria responsible for this infection can also cause kidney stones, so don’t hesitate to visit your doctor.

7. Blue

What Your Urine Color Tells About Your Health Status

Though this is very rare, however, some people may notice a bluish tinge in their urine.

It could be due to a rare genetic health condition known as hypercalcemia (high concentration of calcium in the blood). Also, dyes can cause your urine to have a bluish tinge, but this only occurs if you have a high concentration of dye.

Any medication that contains a blue dye could also contribute to this coloration.

8. Colorless

If your urine is colorless, it could be a sign of over-hydration, meaning you are drinking too much water.

Drinking excess water can disturb the electrolyte balance in your body. Also, excessive alcohol may also cause your urine to be absolutely transparent, as it is a diuretic

However, if you are experiencing frequent urination with clear urine even when not drinking enough water, it could be a sign of diabetes.

Read next: Type 2 Diabetes Causes: 10 Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes.

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Health

12 Simple Home Remedies for Cold And Flu

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You’ve come here to learn how to beat cold, probably flu at home with nothing but simple natural home remedies, we’ve got you. Cold and Flu occurs as a result of a very high or low temperature, which stops your immune system from functioning at the normal capacity.

Its very easy to catch a common cold or the flu, as easy as it is to get one, it is quite easy to shake them off at home by yourself. There are some useful home remedies that can be of help during this condition.

Here’s twelve of those remedies you’ll find useful in dealing with cold and flu.

1. Steam Therapy

cold

All you need to do is to breathe easy with steam. Pour just-boiled (100c) water into a large container. Cover a towel over the top of your head to trap the steam, then breathe in through your nose for seven to 10 minutes.

Don’t get your face too close to the water, to avoid scalding your skin or inhaling the hot vapor. In order to make it more effective, add five to 10 drops thyme oil or eucalyptus oil to the water. Your eyes should be closed as you breathe in the steam, because both essential oils and steam may irritate your eyes.

In order to make it more effective, add five to 10 drops thyme oil or eucalyptus oil to the water. Your eyes should be closed as you breathe in the steam, because both essential oils and steam may irritate your eyes.

In other to moisturize the nasal passages, breathing in the steam helps a lot during a shower. You can also use eucalyptus oil with a few tissues and hold them under your nose whenever you feeling congestion.

2. Chicken Soup

stock soup

This is a long lasting remedy that has been tried, and it’s still working well. It stops certain white blood cells (neutrophils) from gathering and causing inflammation, which prevents large amounts of mucus from being produced. Adding freshly chopped garlic to your soup gives the system a powerful boost as it kills germs and

Adding freshly chopped garlic to your soup gives the system a powerful boost as it kills germs and stimulates the release of natural killer cells, which are part of the immune system’s germ-fighters.

Use Red (chili) pepper flakes in your soup to increase the decongestant broth power. Broth or Stock? Check out this post for their differences and your best option.

3. Nose Blowing

Blowing your nose in cold conditions helps to get mucus out – but when blowing too hard, it pushes the phlegm in the ears with the germs it carries. This results in ear problems.

The best way to do it is by closing one nostril with a finger and then blowing your nose a nostril at a time gently into a tissue.

4. Drink More Water

drink water
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All you need to do is, drink as much water as you can.

Drink nine glasses of 250 mL or more to keep mucous membranes moist and other common flu symptoms. Fluids help thin mucus, which makes it easier to expel.

5. Try Wet Socks

Putting on wet socks to bed is a soggy strategy that can help ease a fever and clear congestion by drawing blood to the feet, and by so doing, it increases blood circulation. (Blood stops progress in areas of greatest congestion.)

Method involved: Warm your feet in hot water. Then soak a pair of cotton socks in water (cold), wrings them out and slip them on. But put a pair of dry wool socks over the wet ones. The wet socks would be dry and warm in the morning, and you should feel awesomely better

6. Salt Water (saline) Nose Rinsing

A rinsing the nose with salt water (saline nasal rinse) – This is an effective way to ease nasal congestion and also helps clear out viruses and bacteria from the nose.

Boil water and allow to cool down or warm. Salt solutions can be mixed up at home, then use a pint of salt in a teaspoon, allow to dissolve in the warm water. Then rinse into the nose.

Special devices can be used for this, (such as bulb syringes), or from a clean cupped hand.

7. Rest and stay warm

healthy african woman
Image: Envato Elements

Trying to fight a cold or flu heats up your energy – so, all you need do, is to take some rest and stay warm as the body’s immune system does its work.

This doesn’t mean you are giving in to cold or flu – but just doing the natural.

8. Gargling

Soar throat can be eased with salt water gargle.  Mix up the solution with a teaspoon of salt dissolved into a pint of boiled water that’s been allowed to cool, then use it to rinse your throat or mouth.

9. Warm drinks

Warm drinks helps relieve a mucus blocked airways and helps soothe the nose and throat. Cold and flu remedies really involve the use of boiled water – but trying a cup of tea also makes you feel better.

10. Menthol

12 Simple Home Remedies for Cold And Flu

The smell of Menthol products are strong and can cut through blocked noses. A little quantity of its, cream or gel under the nose can help open up blocked nasal passages and can stop a lot of nose blowing.

Using a pillow helps you get the correct posture when sleeping, keeping the head in a raised position can help clear congested airways in the nose.

12. Eat well

Good nutrition helps the body fight infections. Fruits with vitamin (vitamin C) may be especially beneficial – and try to stick to your portions of fruit and vegetable rather than turning to comfort foods.

The above Home Remedies for Cold and Flu is of utmost benefit when facing situations like this. Try them out and keep a sound and healthy living.

Read 9 Kidney Cleansing Foods For Optimum Kidney Function Next.

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OCD: Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

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Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), ever heard of it? Whether never or a few details here and there, we’ve written everything you need to know about OCD in this post.

While getting your regular routine done or just sitting down quietly, you suddenly found yourself lost in thought for a long period of time.

You then eventually feel the need the carry out a particular act, only for you to realize you have done this same particular thing over a thousand times today and you still feel the urge to do it again just to relieve you of the persistent thought that occupied your mind.

If this is the case, then you may have OCD but don’t fret because you will discover the detailed explanation of OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder), causes of OCD, the several signs and symptoms that may indicate you truly have OCD and 6 tips that works on how to treat it naturally.

What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health disorder in which you uncontrollably think (obsessions) and behave (compulsions) or perform some routines repeatedly.

These thoughts or obsessions can be strong enough to interfere with your daily and normal activities and when you try to ignore them, it only leads to distress, fatigue and anxiety. You then eventually try to ease yourself by performing compulsive deeds to relief your stress but your thoughts keep coming back after your endeavors to stop it.

You may be aware of the fact that your obsessions and compulsions are unrealistic but you just cannot stop yourself from this OCD cycle.

If that is the case, you do not need to cringe anymore because today is your fortunate day for you will discover certain ways to get rid of obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD naturally.

What Are The Causes of OCD?

The exact cause of OCD is not fully known but there are certain claims that some factors . a role in the condition.

These factors include:

  • Genetics: Studies have shown that individuals with family members who have OCD also have higher chances of developing OCD. So you are more likely to have this disorder if any of your close relatives has it because of your genes.
  • Biological factors: Changes in the brain functions or the body chemistry may result to developing OCD.
  • Environmental factors: Certain environmental situations like abuse, illness, relationship matters, death of a loved one, work or school issues may lead to higher chances of developing the symptoms of OCD.

Signs and Symptoms of OCD

If you have OCD, you may either experience obsessive thoughts regularly or compulsive actions or even both. Some people experience one of the two while others experience both and this is the common case.

Obsessions include:

  • Unwanted thoughts that comes to your mind repeatedly
  • Fear of contamination by touching other things or fear of dirt
  • Need for preciseness, orderliness or symmetry
  • Aggressive thoughts or fear of causing harm to yourself or others
  • Fear of being embarrassed

Compulsions include:

  • Constant counting
  • Washing, showering, cleaning or bathing excessively
  • Repeatedly checking things such as doors to make sure they are locked, oven or stoves to ensure they are off.
  • Arranging things in a particular and precise way.
  • Continuous whispering of specific words, phrases or prayers.

NB: Although all habits are not obsessions and compulsions but if you are unable to control these thoughts and behaviors, you spend at least one hour a day on them, you don’t derive any pleasure at all but a feeling of relief from anxiety they cause and experience major problems in your day to day activities then you have OCD.

Medical/Clinical Treatment of OCD

Antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRI) are the medicines that are usually prescribed to patients with OCD.

The medicines are in tablets and capsule form. The several antidepressants approved by the FDA include fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine etc. They help you treat the symptoms of OCD by increasing the level of a chemical called serotonin in your brain.

It may take up to 12 weeks before you begin to notice improvement and some people may be treated for up to a year or more. The common side effects of these medications include dizziness, diarrhea, feeling agitated, headaches and low sex drives.

The use of this drug is not suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women. So if you’ll please consider using any of the natural treatments explained below.

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

ocd treatment using therapy session
image: Envato Elements

Researches have proven that the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is by far a superior and effective form of treatment compared to all other forms of treatment.

Over 70% of patients with OCD are tremendously helped by cognitive behavioral therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy does not have any risks or side effects associated with it and this means you should greatly consider it as a big option for treating your OCD.

Good news about this treatment is the fact that you can be treated through cognitive behavioral therapy if you are pregnant. You can read more about the benefits of CBT for OCD in pregnancy.

For most people, CBT alone is the right remedy for OCD while in some individuals, CBT plus medication is the solution.

Unlike other traditional psychotherapy (discovered to have little impact on patients over the past 15 years) in which the patient’s problems and past are discussed, CBT involves the active participation of the patient and therapist in revealing the fundamental beliefs in the present moment. In other words, CBT is more interested in this present rather than the past.

CBT aims to help you change how you think, feel and behave because they lead to distress and increased anxiety.

It starts by fist listing out all your difficulties and symptoms in full details. The list is then used as a basic tool in form of CBT treatment known as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) which is also called exposure therapy.

Starting from the least symptom, CBT aims to change the meaning you give to your intrusive thoughts, try new ways of thinking about them, which will in-turn help you change your . towards them.

The exposure therapy is often carried out for one hour or more in which you are exposed and asked to stay and face your symptom until your anxiety reduces. Although challenging, it is done in a gradual and supportive manner.

Once you are able to fully handle the least phase in a confident and overcoming way, you’ll then be ready to move to the next phase. It continues gradually until you have tackled all the items and symptoms on your list.

Full treatment may require 10 to 20 or even more sessions. So consult your therapist to know more about CBT.

2. Social Support

Therapy in Support Group
Therapy group, Image: Envato elements

Friends, families, colleagues, psychologists and professional therapist’s social support can . a vital role in helping a patient to overcome obsessive-compulsive disorder and prevent re-occurrence.

Social support means having family, friends and other people to turn to in times of crisis or need. Aside from the role it .s to deal with OCD, it is important for maintaining good physical and mental health.

It is known to reduce psychological and physiological implications of stress.

As an individual with OCD, you may often feel unhappy, depressed, anxious, isolated or embarrassed about your condition. Getting support and being around other people might just be very helpful in relieving your condition gradually.

If you don’t tell most people the challenges you are facing, there is no way they can help you with it.  You do not have to wait for people to make the first move before come into your life. So, find individuals you can reach out to, connect and interact with good people both offline and online, hang out with your families and friends and build long and beneficial relationships.

Social support will make you feel more secured, give you a sense of belonging, enhance your sense of self-worth and improve your condition.

3. Exercise

exercising
Stretching and exercising, Image: Envato elements

One of the wonderful ways to keep your OCD under control is regular exercising.

Why? This is because exercise is good for your mental health, physical health, it helps you get your mind to focus on other things, boosts your confidence, enhances your self-esteem, handle stress and reduce the symptoms of general anxiety disorder. Exercise also helps you reduce fatigue and improve alertness.

There are many evidences and proves that shows that exercise is very helpful and it is an important remedy for reducing the symptoms of OCD.

There are great benefits of exercise for you and other people with this condition and other forms of stress or anxiety.

Y., tai chi, walking, swimming, jogging or aerobic workouts 3 to 5 times a week for at least 20 minutes regularly can perform wonders when it comes to getting rid of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

4. Meditation

how to use meditation for OCD

Meditation is another integral way of naturally treating OCD because it significantly improves OCD symptoms within a short period of time. It doesn’t have any side effect and it is an effective method.

Meditation enable you get hold of your mind, control anxiety, control your thoughts, and eventually reduces the rate at which obsession, impulses and compulsion controls your mind.

It is important that you learn how to meditate in the right way that helps you treat OCD and improve your overall health.

Personally, I advise you enroll in a guided meditation class. It will help you learn meditation from an experienced teacher and help you get social support explained in number 2 tips that work.

5. Healthy Eating

stock soup

Your diet .s an important role in your general well being. To a significant extent, having a good diet will help you reduce anxiety and stress associated with OCD.

It is essential that you avoid certain unhealthy foods and drinks because they may help you reduce stress. Having a poor diet can lead to fatigue, moodiness and even weight gain.

Foods that are rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid such as bananas and potatoes can be beneficial for you.

There are certain foods that enhance calmness. Include them in your diet too. Low-fat dairy products like milk and yogurt can do this for you.

  • Add lots of fruits and vegetables to your diet for they are high .s of antioxidants. They’ll help you prevent overeating and promote fullness.
  • Include fish, nuts, whole grains in your daily diet.
  • Avoid excessive sugar because it leads to fatigue.
  • Refined carbohydrates, refined fats, processed snacks that contain high artificial additives can add to anxiety.

6. Abstinence from Caffeine and Alcohol

coffee may help you burn fat fast by increasing metabolism
Image: Rich Supplements

Although some people may get intermittent relief when they take alcohol, it still fails to get rid of their condition and can lead to addiction. So I see no reason why you should add to your conditions while trying to get rid of one.

The best thing you can do is to limit its intake and not depend on it as a cure but instead, allow your body system to fight against the symptoms on its own.

According to WebMD, drinks that contain caffeine can make stressful situation look more intense. This is a valid reason why you should gradually reduce the amount of caffeine you take daily until you can finally stop using it.

A sudden stoppage of caffeine intake can make concentration tough and cause headache.

Drinks such as Tea, Coffee, chocolate, and soda all contain caffeine .Consider taking non-caffeinated beverages instead. Green tea extract is a sweet example. Coupled with all of the tips aforementioned, you should be able to treat OCD naturally if you take the right steps.

Thoughts? Please share your feedback using the comment form below.

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