Understanding Urine

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A rarely discussed topic for many of us is our urine. Now here is something which the average person does every day, and yet few, if any of us, have the slightest inkling what the color, consistency and frequency of urination tells us about our health. Let’s do something about that.

To start with, urine is the bodily fluid that transports waste from the system (the other waste removing systems are lungs; colon; and skin). Urine is formed in the kidneys and flows down the urinary tract into the bladder. Most of us think that at this point it flows right on out of the bladder. Actually, it accumulates in the bladder until the bladder fills up and then a nerve signal is sent to the brain communicating the need to urinate. When this happens, the bladder automatically contracts and squeezes the urine out into the urethra (this is the tube urine comes out of, whether you are a man or a woman). Some folks flex or tighten their stomach muscles to increase the pressure in order to help fully empty the bladder. There is a “back-flow” valve called sphincters, which prevent the urine from flowing back upward into the bladder. A weakened sphincter, which allows backup, is one contributor to bladder infections. Frequent urination with no increase in the amount of urine is a common symptom of bladder infection.

Most people urinate about 4 to 6 times a day.

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