June 19, 2024

Angela Onwuzoo 

Health expert have urged Nigerians to pay attention to their urine colour, noting that unusual changes in urine colour could be a sign of infection, kidney and liver problems.

According to them, Nigerians should seek medical evaluation when they consistently have urine that is dark and foamy as it could be a sign of protein in the urine (proteinuria), which requires medical intervention.

The experts said though urine colour varies, changes in it could be caused by specific health problems, urging Nigerians experiencing changes in their urine colour to see their doctor.

The experts disclosed this during exclusive interviews with Reportr Door HealthWise, stressing that the colour of the urine has a lot to tell about an individual’s health.

According to Cleveland Clinic – a medical centre focused on medical care, research and provision of health information, normal urine is yellowish, ranging from clear to deep amber.

“The colour depends on how diluted it is, meaning how much liquid you consume. All urine has a slight odour that can vary with your diet.

“Sometimes these changes are temporary and harmless. They may be the result of eating certain foods or vitamins or taking some medicines.

“Other times, changes in urine may be the result of a more serious underlying medical condition,” the clinic said.

A Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Dr. Sule Abdullahi, told our correspondent that protein, sugar, and blood are not supposed to be seen in the urine.

Abdullahi, who is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Bayero University, Kano, explained, “This urine, sometimes as you see it contains some chemicals and properties that when you look at it and analyse it can tell a lot about your health.

“There are two things to look at in the urine, glucose and protein. Ideally, you are not supposed to see glucose in the urine. When you see glucose in the urine, it becomes suspicious whether that person has diabetes mellitus.

“But sometimes in pregnant women the threshold to control sugar in the urine is lowered. So, they can see some traces of it. But if you see much of it also, you have to screen out and make sure that it is not diabetes you are dealing with.

“The other thing is that you are not supposed to see protein in the urine also because the kidney is supposed to filter and will not allow the protein to pass through.

“So when you see protein in the urine, it is telling you whether you are having kidney problems or an infection. So when you see protein, you should look at whether the person has an infection or renal disease.”

The gynaecologist further said blood is not supposed to be seen in the urine also, adding that seeing blood in the urine means there are issues.

“There is another thing that has been added in the last decades. You are not supposed to see blood in the urine, when you see it, you have to look at whether there are problems with the kidneys or in the bladder, or along the passages.

“So, one has to look for what happened. That is called hematuria – blood in the urine.

“Then you can have products of the blood in the urine. When the red blood cells are destroyed in the body, they produce bilirubin.

“So, if you see them, they will be telling you that likely, some red blood cells are being destroyed may be due to infections or other reasons or if the liver is not able to metabolize bilirubin.

“When you see it, it is either there is a liver problem or something is destroying the red blood cells,” he said.

Urging Nigerians not to joke with the colour of their urine, the health expert noted, “When you see dark colour in the urine, it is showing that there is a problem. You may have kidney problems.

“Jaundice can also appear in the urine because of liver disease. When you see the urine foaming too much, there is likely protein in the urine and it is showing that there is a kidney problem or infection in the urethra.”

A Family Physician, Dr. Jide Onyekwelu corroborated Abdullahi’s statement, saying protein in the urine is the earliest symptom of kidney disease.

Onyekwelu who is the Secretary-General of the Nigerian Medical Association said, “It is also wise to check your urine because the simplest way of knowing someone who has kidney issues is by checking the urine.

“Protein should not be in the urine and once there is a protein in your urine, then you should go and see your doctor. He needs to examine your kidneys.

“That is the earliest symptom of kidney disease – protein leaking in the urine. And to do urine analysis is very cheap. With N500 or N1000, you can do a urine analysis to know whether you have a protein in your urine or not.

“If they check and you do not have a protein in your urine, every six months, you will go and do another one. But once you see protein in your urine, you will go and see your doctor to do a proper evaluation.”

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