What you need to know:
- It is advisable to empty the bladder once every three hours.
- In most circumstances, you can go up to nine hours safely without passing urine.
- However, if you make it a habit to delay passing urine, you are at a higher risk of developing an urinary tract infection.
What causes kidney failure, necessitating dialysis or transplants? Can you get a kidney infection by holding urine for long? Kidneys are important organs in the body: How does one protect them? Why do doctors recommend taking a lot of water?
Kidney failure happens when the kidneys are unable to filter waste sufficiently from the blood and the waste products build up. Kidney failure can be caused by severe dehydration, lack of adequate blood supply to the kidneys, kidney damage from some medication, environmental pollutants, trauma, kidney stones, diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and kidney diseases like polycystic kidney disease and glomerulonephritis (a kidney disease that can occur due to genetics, streptococcal infection, immune disorders or cancer).
It is advisable to empty the bladder once every three hours. In most circumstances, you can go up to nine hours safely without passing urine. However, if you make it a habit to delay passing urine, you are at a higher risk of developing an urinary tract infection, and your bladder muscles can atrophy (shrink), reducing the bladder capacity which can cause urine incontinence (leaking urine). Holding urine for more than 10 hours can also make the bladder muscles unable to relax completely, leading to urine retention.
About 60 per cent of our body weight is water. Water is useful in all body functions, including carrying nutrients, helping with digestion and helping in flushing toxins out of the tissues. We lose water everyday through urine, sweat, the gastrointestinal system, breathing and other daily functions. We get fluid from food, especially fruits and vegetables, and also from other fluids and from water intake. How much water you need is dependent on many factors, both internal and external. On average, men need about 3.7 litres and women 2.7 litres of water per day. About 20 per cent of this comes from food. The rest comes from drinks including tea, coffee, juice and water. Drinks with caffeine will add to your water intake, but they may also make you pass urine more frequently.
Your body will need more water if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, if you have a fever, or have vomiting or diarrhoea, if your blood sugar is high, when you exercise or you are physically active, when you take salty or spicy foods or if the weather is hot.
Adequate water intake, in addition to helping with body functions, may also help with weight loss, maintaining skin hydration, preventing urinary tract infections, kidney stones and constipation. When you are dehydrated, it can cause fatigue, reduced concentration, headaches, altered mood, memory problems and reduced muscle performance.
By the time you feel thirsty, the body is already dehydrated. Therefore, it is advisable to take water, other fluids and a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Also, monitor your urine to know your hydration status. Your target should be clear pale-yellow urine. The more concentrated the urine, the more dehydrated you are.
I have a dandruff problem. I have tried many kinds of hair oils and shampoos without any improvement. Is there a solution for this?
Dandruff, otherwise known as seborrheic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes itching and flaky scales. It usually affects the scalp, but it can also affect other parts of the body. It has no exact known cause, but it can be affected by stress, having oily skin, having a fungal infection and also cold, dry weather. Some medical conditions and medicine can also trigger it. It worsens and gets better over time. You can use shampoos that have ketoconazole or selenium, zinc or salycilic acid. They are usually sold in pharmacies, or can be prescribed by the doctor. Also, take a lot of water, and eat a balanced diet. And try not to scratch your scalp because it can lead to infection. If it continues despite this, visit a dermatologist.
I have been treated twice this year for amoeba. I usually take all the medicine prescribed. Is it that I got the wrong medicine or that the amoeba does not go away when treated?
Amoebiasis is an infection caused by the parasite Entamoeba Histolytica. This parasite usually reaches the stomach and intestines either from infected food or water. If there are many parasites in the body, it causes diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and sometimes even blood in the stool. In most cases, amoebiasis is easily treated using a one-week course of medicine. This should be done after checking the stool for the parasite, so that you do not end up treating the wrong thing. It is possible to get another infection even after being treated, if you get into contact with infected food or water. To prevent it, make sure you constantly clean your hands, eat properly cooked food and thoroughly clean any foods that are eaten raw like fruits and vegetables.
My teenage daughter always has sweaty palms and feet, which sometimes appear cracked. Please help.
Sweating is one of the ways of managing excessive body heat. When the sweating is too much, it becomes uncomfortable, as is the case with your daughter. This is called hyperhidrosis. The excessive sweating is not considered dangerous. The constant wetness of the palms and feet makes it easier to get other skin conditions like fungal infections, eczema and even cracking. The excessive sweating in most cases is due to overactive sweat glands, due to miscommunication from the nerves. In a few people, there may be other health problems like hormonal disorders, blood sugar disorders and anxiety. Your daughter should take a lot of water and should consider wearing loose fitting clothes, cotton socks and leather shoes. She can change socks and shoes halfway through the day, if possible, and change to open shoes in the evening. She can also apply aluminum chloride/chlorhydrate solution prescribed by a doctor or from a chemist. A moisturising cream would help with the cracked soles and palms. If the sweating continues to be excessive, she can be seen by a dermatologist, for iontophoresis, which means that a mild electric current is passed to the feet and the hands through water.
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