We know that pee can tell us if we are dehydrated or pregnant, but scientists say that it can reveal so much more. What can our pee really tell us?

SeekerPublished: July 10, 2018Updated: July 11, 2018
Published: July 10, 2018Updated: July 11, 2018

It’s translusent, sterile, amber-colored and generated by your kidneys. We can learn so much about ourselves with just a cup of pee. When you think of a urine test, you probably think about drug and pregnancy tests. Pregnancy tests measure human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) that is a hormone produced only while you’re pregnant. And common drug tests look for the presence of multiple drugs in a panel deemed “SAMHSA-5.”

But those are just two testing methods, and there are over 3000 different compounds in your urine. Think of all the things you could learn! Currently we know that pee is a pretty good gauge of what’s going on in your urinary system on a basic level. Pee is 95% water, and metabolites, but the rest could be things like glucose, ketone bodies, nitrites, proteins, and hormones just to name a few.

However, we’re not really supposed to find these compounds in your pee. High glucose could mean diabetes, proteins could be chronic kidney disease, and any nitrites are likely urinary tract infection. But doctors are also scanning your pee for a few other key things: volume, color, and odor.

Volume could tell them how hydrated (or not hydrated) you are, color can indicate if someone’s kidneys are functioning properly, and cloudy urine can mean a UTI. A very strong odor could mean a serious infection. Now that might seem like a lot already, but remember we’re working with 3,000 compounds, here. Scientists have not let this go to waste and they’re working on detecting gastrointestinal cancers. And the metabolites in our pee could help us do that. 

This video, "We know that pee can tell us if we are dehydrated or pregnant, but scientists say that it can reveal so much more. What can our pee really tell us?", first appeared on seeker.com.

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