Urine is the largest excretion from the body. Both Western medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) pay attention to the condition of urine as it plays an important role in the diagnosis of some diseases. However, TCM looks at the condition of urine differently, as it is like a window into the body’s health.
TCM practitioners play particular attention to the colour, smell, amount, contents, frequency and the feeling of passing urine. Through this, we can find out certain internal health issues. In this article, I am going to share with you the details of how to determine your health from your urine.
1. What is normal urination?
Generally adults should pass urine between 3 – 5 times a day, and no more than once each night. For 24 hours urination should be between 1000- 1800ml. But the amount of urination and times someone urinates changed from the weather, diet, working and living conditions and age. The look of urination should be clear or pale yellow. There should be no discomfort before, during or after passing urine. There should be no burning, pain, urge to go, hard to pass.
If you can pay attention to your urine, you can find your abnormal health issue so you can report it to your doctor or receive more medical attention.
2. What is abnormal urination?
i) Feel burning and pain when passing urine.
Some people experience this unpleasant sensation when passing urine. Chinese medicine considers that this usually this indicates that the body and lower abdomen area has too much heat, dampness (toxins). In Western medicine, this is known as a urinary tract infection. If you have the problem that we mentioned above, your body may have the following associated symptoms; dark yellow urination, frequent urination with a small amount,lower abdomen and back pain, for certain cases you may have a mild/high body temperature, lack of energy. I suggest that you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
1. Whilst you are undergoing treatment, I suggest that you avoid certain foods such as; hot and spicy, ginger, deep-fried foods, lamb, onions, garlic, prawns, avoid alcohol.
2. Get rest, drink more water and green tea. Eating a handful of watermelon everyday, whilst you have the symptoms will help greatly. (If you would like to learn more about the effects of watermelon, please see our articles on diet therapy).
3. Urinary tract infections can usually be easily fixed, however if it is persistent and your immune system is lower it can become chronic. So it is important to see your experienced TCM practitioner to fix the problem.
ii) Very dark yellow urination
This may indicate…
1. You may not drink enough water or have had excessive perspiration. If you have, please drink more fluids as it will change the colour straight away.
2. The dark colour may be associated with too much body heat. Chinese medicine considers, if the internal organs has too much heat or toxins it will cause dark yellow urination. Generally the body will have the following symptoms; red face, body feels hot, perspiration, thirst, constipation or sluggish bowel movement, smelly flatulence, insomnia, vivid dreams, very emotional. You should talk about the issue to your health practitioner such as a TCM practitioner to find out the cause of the internal heat to help cleanse and balance your body before it becomes serious. Whilst you are undergoing your treatment, you can eat the following cooling foods: pear, watermelon, eggplant, mung bean juice. (If you would like some more information, please see our articles on Diet therapy).
3. Urination maybe dark due to blood being present. Sometimes dark urination is caused by blood entering the urine. Generally the blood can be from the kidneys or urinary bladder stones. In these cases, sometimes one side of the lower back is very painful and you may have pain during urination. I suggest that you should see your doctor and be tested as soon as possible. Chinese medicine considers this to be caused by too much heat and stagnation in the urinary bladder or kidney’s.
iii) Frequent urination
1. One type of frequent urination is normal, due to drinking too much fluid.
2. Another type, is when it occurs from middle to old age males. Passing urination is very sluggish and slow but frequent. This may be caused by a prostate problem, which should be further investigated.
Chinese medicine considers, frequent urination day and night to be associated with kidney and urinary bladder weakness. These people may have the following symptoms: lower back pain, puffy ankles, knee pain, lack of energy, insomnia, waking early, disturbed sleep by frequent urination, poor memory, early onset of grey hair, lower libido, impotence, severe menopause.
3. In some children, they frequently go to the bathroom or wet the bed. This is also associated with kidney and urinary bladder weakness. Chinese medicine considers this to be due to under development.
I suggest that whilst you are undergoing treatment, you can eat certain amounts of foods, such as; walnuts, goji berries, soya bean beef soup, lamb, prawns, bean curd, chives. If you would like some more information about these foods, please see our other articles on diet therapy. You can visit your experienced TCM practitioner to balance the kidney’s and urinary bladder.
4. Some people my experience frequent urination due to a liver disorder and stress. The frequent urination occurs during the day, comes and goes, depending on the persons emotions. These people also experience the following symptoms; palpitations, shaking, hard to fall asleep or insomnia, vivid dreams, anxiety.
iv) Cloudy Urination
Chinese medicine considers cloudy urination to be associated with stagnated dampness in your lower abdomen area. Some people may experience; bloating, heavy legs and arms, loose muddy stool, lack of energy. You should check your kidney, urinary bladder, prostate. You should see your experienced TCM practitioner to balance your body.
If you can pay attention to your urination on a daily basis, it can help you to discover and seek treatment for any health issues at an early stage.