Urinary Tract Infection
WHAT: A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that affects the urinary tract (the organ that stores and releases urine).
HOW: UTIs occur when germs, usually bacteria, enter the urethra and then the bladder. The infection can eventually spread to the kidney.Symptoms include cloudy or bloody urine, a strong need to urinate and a low fever.
FIX IT: If you do feel any of the symptoms above, doctors can distinguish between a small infection or a kidney one -- in most cases, patients are put on antibiotics.
WHAT: A interstitial cystitis (IC) is a painful condition that causes inflammation of the bladder's walls.
HOW: Experts say an IC can be caused by a bacterial infection, however, some say the cause of this disease is unknown. Symptoms include a painful pelvis and in some cases, urinating more than 60 times a day.
FIX IT: Currently, there is no cure for IC, but there are treatments depending on the individual to often ease the pain.
Healthy Urine Colours
Dr. Michael Robinette, a urogloist at Toronto General Hospital, says there are several ways to determine a healthy urine colour. "Healthy urine is a pale yellow. If your urine is white, you're drinking too many fluids. However if your urine is too dark, your urine is concentrated and you should be drinking more fluids." he says.
When Your Urine Isn't Yellow
If your urine is bloody, you most likely have an infection. However, there are some foods that can change the colour of your urine naturally. "Beets make the urine red and some vitamin B medication can make it green," Dr. Robinette says. Other urine-changing foods include asparagus, blackberries, carrots and rhubarb.
WHAT: Kidney failure is a medical condition when your kidneys fail to filter toxins and waste items from the blood.
HOW: Kidney failures can occur from existing infections, burns or diseases. But in most cases, causes differ depending on the individual. Symptoms include bruises, bloody stool and changes in mental mood.
FIX IT: Treatments include flushing out toxins from your body and restoring your kidney's functions. In some cases, dialysis or even a transplant may be needed.
WHAT: Also known as a renal calculus, kidney stones are solid crystals that are formed in the kidney. Even though these crystals are more common among men, some women can also develop kidney stones.
HOW: For the most part, kidney stones can be genetic and stone sizes can also differ. Most people may not realize they have kidney stones until they urinate. Urination can be painful, bloody and cause nausea.
FIX IT: Treatment also differs depending on the stone's size. Some doctors may perform blood tests or abdominal exams while others recommend drinking six to eight glasses of water to let the stones pass.