Let’s talk all the good things and the bad things that may be. Let’s talk about Pee.
I know you’re obsessed with poop but what about pee? Pee must tell us something about our bodies. I pee a lot and sometimes I wonder if I pee too much or if I drink too much water? I find it annoying at night to get up and pee but I’m so thirsty all the time. Maybe that’s a separate issue. Also what color should my pee be, light I think?! Is it possible I just have a tiny bladder?! Are there food I can eat that absorb better/things to avoid.
Another East End Pee-er
Doing a number one is mostly fun but sometimes as per your point above it can become a bit of a hassle. But before you get frustrated with peeing so much, let’s look at the urinary system components and their function is keeping us in homeostasis – that is keeping an internal balance despite a changing external environment.
Pee is the production of the urinary system which is comprised of the kidney’s, ureter, bladder, sphincter, and the urethra.
You can see above how the US (Urinary System) is anatomically constructed. When we eat, our body takes what it needs for energy and cell repair and whatever is leftover needs to be excreted. Poo is solid waste residue and you could consider pee the leftover liquid form of waste. The average adult excretes about 4 cups of urine each day.
Urine is full of something called Urea and Urea results when proteins are broken down. Urea travels in the blood stream to our kidney’s where the urea is removed from the blood via filters called nephrons. Go nephrons!
Urea combined with water makes up urine and when it leaves the kidney’s it moves down the ureters to the bladder. Every 15 seconds or so, a bit of urine is emptied from the kidney’s into the bladder (via the ureter).
The bladder is a cool organ which can store, in a healthy person, 2 cups of pee for up to 5 hours. That feeling we get when we have to go to the washroom is a feedback system from the nerves in our bladder to the brain which tell us in increasing urgency that we have to empty our bladder – the more full the bladder becomes, the stronger the sensation becomes.
So, let’s breakdown your questions:
Q: Do I drink too much water?
A: It’s recommended to drink 8-12 cups a day (1 cup = 8 oz). If you drink too much water it can lead to a problem called water intoxication when too much H2O causes the required amount of sodium in our body to become depleted. Athletes may need more than 12 cups a day, and if so, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting enough electrolytes which will help you to avoid the issue of water intoxication. If you’re a regular person and are drinking 12 cups a day…you’re good.
Q: Why am I always thirsty?
A: Constant and excessive thirst is actually a symptom of Diabetes – but if you’re healthy and that possibility has been ruled out, here are some other possible factors:
– Consumption of processed foods which tend to be high in sodium.
– Not drinking enough water
– Age. As we age saliva production decreases leaving our throats and mouth feeling dry.
– Anti-Histamine medications
– Breastfeeding – especially important to drink 8-12 cups of water
– Humid and hot weather
Q: I hate getting up in the night to go pee.
A: Here are some tips to avoid disturbing your sleep from waking up to urinate via strengthening your bladder. This applies to people who feel like they always have to pee during the day as well:
– if you genuinely feel like you always have to pee, speak to your doctor and discuss the possibility of an overactive bladder.
– do some kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
– build endurance. Try to prolong the period of time between urination’s by 10-15 minute blocks.
– limit food that can be bladder irritants: caffeine, soda, milk, tea, citrus, tomatoes, spicy foods, chocolate, synthetic sweeteners.
– keep your sodium intake (excluding athletes) to 2300 mg’s a day – that’s 1 tsp.
– avoid consuming more protein than is necessary. The general rule for protein consumption is between 0.5 and 0.8 grams of protein for each pound. Ie: 130 pounds x 0.8 = upper limit.
– avoid getting constipated. If that area of the body is full of poo, it decreases the size of the bladder and results in having to urinate more frequently.
Q: What colour should my pee be?
A: At least once a day, your pee should be a pale yellow. If it’s dark yellow, it suggests you may be dehydrated. If it’s totally clear, you might be drinking too much water. Neon yellow? Are you taking vitamin supplements? These can sometimes cause the urine to appear a bright yellow. Red? Could be an infection (unless you’ve eaten beets) and you should see your doctor. Murky, brown, cloudy, green, blue urine? See your doctor.
Hope this helps!
The Health Junction
THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama)
“Happiness is like peeing in your pants. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its warmth”
– Unknown Author
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