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Urine is a very interesting liquid with a complex composition. Urine's characteristics have helped clinicians in the diagnosis of diseases that affect the urinary tract and other organs. Get to know more about what your urine can tell about your health.

An underestimated liquid

We think of urine as a way of getting rid of toxins that accumulate in our system, and we never pay too much attention to it. Well, urine, just as blood, provides clinicians with lots of information about our health state. Just by looking at it, your doctor can tell if you are dehydrated or if you have a bacterial infection.

Urine production

How is urine produced? The kidneys are the filters of our body. They are specially designed to let water and small molecules, like urea, pass from the blood to the urinary tract, and to hold bigger molecules, like proteins, in order for them to keep circulating in the bloodstream.

In total, our kidneys produce 1.7 liters of urine every day.

Urine is stored in the bladder and it is released when the bladder has expanded enough to let the brain know that it needs to be emptied, or in other words, that you need to pee.

In healthy people, urine tends to have a light yellow or amber color and it is odorless.

Every time you pee you release from 250 to 500 milliliters of urine, depending on how much liquid you have consumed during the day.

Urine also has a natural content of salts and other substances, such as urea and creatinine, which are both products of metabolism. Urine has a pH ranging from 5 to 7, meaning that it is slightly acid, but tends more to neutrality.

Urine volume, aspect and odor

Have you noticed that sometimes your urine looks almost transparent, and some others it looks very yellow? How it smells also changes, as well as the volume of urine you release. Why? Changes in volume, color and smell of the urine are caused by different situations, but all of them have to do with the amount of water present in urine, certain foods that we eat and the presence of bacteria.

When you are overhydrated and your body needs to get rid of water, your will certainly pee several times a day and your urine will look very pale, almost without color. On the other hand, if your body is dehydrated, it will tend to hold on to all the water it can, so your kidneys will obviously produced very concentrated urine, resulting in an intense yellow-orange color and a detectable smell, perhaps.

See Also: Urine odor: Is smelly urine a symptom of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?

Sometimes, overhydration or dehydration can give signs of kidney problems or other illnesses, because certain substances present normally in urine are either very diluted or too concentrated.

Because of this, clinicians match urine analysis results with the symptomatology and medical history of the patient, in order to avoid making a wrong diagnosis. 

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