What your urine can tell you

 

 

A previous post talked about your POOP; this one discusses what your urine can tell you.

I was taught in chemistry courses that normal human urine should be “straw colored” or very pale yellow, clear (not cloudy) and fairly odorless.  Any deviation from that color, clearness and odor is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong…

For example:

If your urine is cloudy or murky instead of clear, it could mean you have too much protein in your urine.  Too much protein in your urine indicates that your kidneys are not functioning properly due to kidney stones, a tumor, or other disease states.  Cloudy urine can also indicate a bladder, vaginal or urinary tract infection.  Urine that is so cloudy that it is almost milky can indicate the presence of fat or mucus.

Urine that is dark yellow usually indicates dehydration.  Although your first urine output of the day is typically darker yellow and  more concentrated, especially if you have had a good night’s sleep, it should not stay that way throughout the day.

Although some medications may cause orange urine, extremely dark orange urine can indicate impaired liver function caused by a blockage or obstruction, infection, cirrhosis or hepatitis.

Urine that deviates from the yellow color to pink, red or dark brown often means there is blood in the urine.  This can indicate a urinary tract or bladder infection, an enlarged prostate gland, or the presence of a tumor.

Some foods and supplements or vitamins can cause your urine to be discolored and or exhibit a pungent odor.  Examples include curry, garlic, beets, berries, asparagus and B vitamins.  Synthetic dyes in medications, vitamins, and some food can result in blue or green tinged urine.  Urine that smells like sulfur or just funny is usually food related.  Urine with an ammonia-like smell usually indicates dehydration.  Foul smelling urine usually indicates infection.  Sweet smelling urine usually indicates diabetes.

The frequency of your need to urinate is also significant.  If you cannot go almost four hours without the need to find a bathroom you should investigate this need.  The reason could be temporary like pregnancy or excessive water, caffeine or alcohol  consumption.  It can also indicate weak pelvic floor muscles, or more critically,  a bladder infection, stones, or tumors.

Remember that anything you eat, drink, swallow, breathe in or even ingest through your skin is removed from your body through your kidneys and liver into your urine.  The moral of this post is to convince you to keep an eye on what your urine is telling you.  Keep these variations in mind.  If drinking more water does not fix the variation by rehydrating your body or helping the filtration process of your kidneys and liver by diluting the offending source, be sure to seek medical advice.

 

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Power naps

Research has shown that naps are beneficial for boosting energy, increasing creativity and even improving short term memory.  Parents know children that nap during the day can maintain better behaviour and energy levels until bed time at night.  Apparently adults can benefit from naps too; the question is how long should adults nap for maximum productivity…

 

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This diagram suggests that a mere 20-minute nap can boost energy levels without feeling groggy upon waking.   After 30 minutes grogginess is a factor when waking up.  At one hour grogginess is reduced but short term memory can improve.  One hour and thirty minutes of sleep allow for a full REM (rapid eye movement) cycle,  and improved creativity upon waking.

To sum it up, it appears that a 20 minutes power nap is the way to go for adults.  Almost everyone, including me, should be able to fit twenty minutes into their day. Children, on the other hand, probably benefit more from a minimum of 90 minutes of napping.   Parents probably benefit most from their children taking longer naps too, creating a win-win situation.

Humans and animals can nap just about anywhere as depicted by these pictures…

pictures from Google Search, labelled for reuse

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My mama don’t like you and she likes everyone

“My mama don’t like you and she likes everyone” is a popular line of lyrics in Justin Bieber’s latest hit entitled Love Yourself.  My youngest son pointed out these lyrics to me recently as we were driving somewhere together.  I’m not sure if this was meant to be a compliment or criticism…

I do tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, try not to judge, and look for the best in people.  I think that is a good way to be though and find it very unattractive and demoralizing when someone is judgemental, excessively negative or critical.

As a mother of three boys, I confess to not liking all of their previous choices in girlfriends. In truth, I would not say I didn’t like them as individuals but didn’t like them for my son.  I  felt it best not to share my opinion at the time, preferring to let the boys figure it out on their own.  I guess I am a better actor than I thought!

 

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Digging out from record snowfall in Ottawa

We Canadians do like to talk about our weather, and we certainly have had lots of inspiration in the past 24 hours.  Today in Ottawa we are digging out from the record-breaking snowfall that hit us yesterday.  We got dumped with 50 cm (or 20 inches) of the white stuff, all within 12 hours…

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I live in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata, where our sidewalks, crosswalks, and even some roads are not a top priority for snow plows. Cars were buried, buses were stuck and stranded,  sidewalks, crosswalks and even lanes on the major highway through the city just disappeared…

 

Fortunately, the falling snow was light and fluffy, just lots of it. Shoveling was easy work, it just required several attempts over the span of the day.  In our yards and on our decks, fixtures like BBQs, hot tubs, and patio furniture are all buried, probably will be for a while. Even the rabbit that lives under our spruce tree has extra insulation on his home…

 

Well, my driveway is clear, but  guess what?  It’s snowing again!…

 

That darned groundhog that supposedly predicted an early spring is probably hiding  underneath all of the snow, laughing at us.

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Do you have snow tires on your vehicle?

Do you have snow tires on your vehicle?  If you do not and happen to live in Eastern Ontario, you are in trouble today and will be wishing you did. These pictures were taken when I went out to shovel my driveway for the second time today…

 

Luckily for the several cars stuck on our street, a few people were home shoveling, able and willing to perform some RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS to help move the cars out to the nearest plowed road.   That last post was very timely; as the snow is showing no signs of letting up, I have a sneaking suspicion lots of RAKs will be happening in our neighborhood today.

I think the province of Quebec has it right on this issue; snow tires should be mandatory in this and many other regions of Canada and the USA.

 

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Keep an eye on your poop

Although the title of this post is silly, it got your attention, so read on to learn what your bowel movements are trying to tell you.  In a previous post, I told you how when my sons were small and came to me complaining of a tummy ache, the first thing I would ask them was “have you had a good poop today?”  If they said no, I would cut up some apples, sprinkle them with cinnamon and serve up this healthy, nutritious, full of fiber snack with a large glass of water. This trick worked every time (except when one son actually had appendicitis, but that’s another story). More often than not, within an hour or two, they would have a good poop and would then feel much better…

Now that my sons are grown up and rarely tell me about their stomach (or other) ailments, I use the information for myself.  If you look at the chart below that categorizes poop with pictures, you will see shapes and consistency from one extreme (constipation) to the opposite (diarrhea) Stage three or four is ideal; your bowel movements should not cause pain, the poop should come out easily, without straining, and in the shape and firmness of a sausage (their words, not mine) or a snake. Regularity is the key, one of these bowel movements a day or every second day is normal.

If you do not fit into the “normal” category indicated in the chart, try increasing your daily intake of water by the glassful or from eating more fresh fruit and vegetables. Taking a pill or other forms of medication (laxatives) to soften your stools or increase their frequency is only a band-aid fix that can land you in more trouble by causing serious side effects and dependency on the medication. The same thing applies to diarrhea; medication should be a last resort, especially if you suspect the diarrhea is caused by something you have eaten or taken.

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Constipation can and does happen to anyone and everyone, young and old, but some people more readily than others. Too much sugar, too little water, too much fat, too much protein, and too little fiber all can cause problems or irregularity with your bowel movements. Medications, allergies and food sensitivities can also wreak havoc on your body, causing constipation or diarrhea. Constipation and diarrhea are your body’s way of telling you something is wrong and a warning that you should change your habits. Of course, if either condition lasts longer than a day or too, you should see your doctor as it could be a sign of more serious problems.

 

If your children automatically look for a snack as soon as they come in the door, consider having cut up fresh fruit or vegetables readily available, with or without a dip. Fresh fruit and vegetables are loaded with fiber and contain a large amount of water, both great for keeping their bowel movements in the healthy zone. Another trick I used when my children were young was to add water to their juice cups. (half and half) They would probably tell you now that it tasted awful, but it worked.  Years later, I still encourage them to drink more water and eat more fiber to maintain their health.

Although I usually eat fairly well, I like everyone else, do like to indulge in things that are not so good for me.  It does not take long for my body to react to things like junk food, excess alcohol, and lack of exercise.  Adding fiber and water back into my diet works wonders in getting me back to the right category of the chart.

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:

Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE

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Stargazing…there’s an app for that

At a bonfire on the beach in Corpus Christi Texas recently, I discovered there is an app for identifying stars and constellations in the sky.  A friend of my niece showed me how his phone could pick out and label the constellations just by holding his phone up to the star lit sky…

 

I am not sure what app or type of phone he was using that night, but I found this free app SKY VIEW for Iphones, Ipads or Ipods.  Very cool, as I love to stargaze.  For the best viewing, be sure to go somewhere that light pollution does not interfere with viewing of the stars.

This is something we are able to do at our cottage where the night sky is pitch dark and it feels like you can reach up and touch the stars in the velvety sky.

Let me know if you download such an app and how it works for you…

 

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Rebellious teens

I don’t think anyone will argue that raising rebellious teens is challenging for even the best parents.  I once told my eldest son that since there is no book available to tell parents how to react to every situation, the fact that we were winging it was something he would have to accept.   We were doing the best we could with the resources we had.  

My youngest son is now eighteen, almost out of the rebellious teen phase.  We have to patiently remind ourselves that our two oldest sons have made the transition into responsible adults, so the third son will probably get there too.  I am grateful that the rebellious stages we have encountered so far have been quite mild compared to stories I have heard from parents of other families.  

My sister was not so fortunate when her daughter was a teen.  Throughout this difficult time in my sister’s life she shared many of her worries for her daughter with me.  She wondered if she, as a mother, was doing everything that she could to prevent irreparable damage in her daughter’s life.    She learned from experience that the line between helping your children and enabling them is often blurred.  

The purpose of this post is to prove that rebelious teens can and do turn out to be responsible and successful adults.  Although I had heard that my niece had worked hard to get her life under control,  I was thrilled to see the evidence last month when visiting my sister in Texas for her BIRTHDAY.   That is thrilled and proud of both my niece and my sister for their resilience and perseverance.   Married with three children of her own, my niece, now 35 years old, appears to have her head on straight, and is doing a wonderful job of raising her children.

I hope my niece realizes the stress she put on her parents growing up, but also recognizes that her parents did the best they could.  No parent is perfect in their parenting skills.  No parent does the right thing all of the time because no parent knows the right thing to do all of the time.  The lines between helping and enabling do get blurred for parents everywhere.   I hope this knowledge and advice, as well as the fact that her well-experienced mother is a valuable resource, will help my niece when her children become rebellious teens…

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:

Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE

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The five languages of love

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Recently I heard about “the five languages of love” so decided to research the theory…

The thought process in the languages of love theory is that people vary in what they need from their partner to make them happy and content in a relationship. The five options or “languages” are listed as:

  • words of affirmation
  • acts of service
  • receiving gifts
  • quality time
  • physical touch

 

 

Simply put, if you want to be in a successful relationship, you have to know what your partner’s love language is and make sure your partner knows what your love language is, especially if they differ.  Since both people in a relationship can come from different upbringings, backgrounds, cultures etc, their individual love languages will often be different.  Acknowledging that your partner has a different love language than  you do appears to be the first step towards a successful relationship.

I would imagine that some people are content with just one language of love while others need more than one.  That’s where it might get tricky as your job in the successful relationship is to provide what your partner needs.   Some people are needier than others and needs do change throughout life. Be aware of changing needs on both sides and be prepared to adjust accordingly.  Frequent re-evaluation is highly recommended.

Do your homework.  Find out what your partner’s language of love is.  Make sure they know what yours is.  Be sure to ask them theirs and tell them yours so there is no room for misunderstanding.  Do not assume you know theirs or they know yours….

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:

Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE

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