Monday July 30 2018

My urine produces beer-like foam



Worried man

Worried man 

By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

My urine smells a lot and when I urinate, it produces foam like that of beer poured in a glass. Is it because I drink alcohol? Evans

Dear Evans,
Urine usually has no smell or a mild ammonia smell but the smell may become stronger if urine is more concentrated usually related to dehydration and here increasing fluid intake can help mitigate the smell.
In some cases however, a urinary tract infection, diabetes, changes in diet (eating garlic or onions), beverages such as coffee and alcohol, or even drugs including penicillin might make the urine get an unusual smell.
Checking out diabetes and a Urinary Tract infection (UTI) may be necessary but if there is no abnormality found one need not do anything more.
Urine can foam without health problems and especially when it is concentrated requiring one to take more fluids. Pregnant women may also have foamy urine without health issues or when they have protein in urine related to kidney infections (UTI) or preeclampsia. These require investigation so that they can be managed accordingly.

I suffer from severe backache

I am five months pregnant but I have serious backache. I have been taking diclofenac bought from a pharmacy but I always vomit. What can I do? Norah

Dear Norah,
Much as low back pain may be caused by other factors, it is a usual complaint during pregnancy inevitably due to changes in posture that follow the growth of the foetus.
It is important to first rule out constipation, or urinary tract infections that also commonly afflict pregnant women and also lead to back pain because proper treatment of back pain requires looking for the cause and managing it. For example, upper back pain apart from resulting from kidney problems including a urinary tract infection, may result from peptic ulcer disease.
Backache in pregnancy if found to be due to the growth of the baby may require no drug treatment. However, it may be important to engage in exercises of the back, get a back massage and having enough rest, especially if your work involves bending. You can also practise sleeping on the left side with a pillow in between the legs to reduce back pain.
Diclofenac can affect the baby and lead to miscarriages apart from worsening heart burn that accompanies pregnancy. It can also lead to peptic ulcers, especially in a pregnant woman who already has problems of heart burn.

Can garlic treat a smelly vagina?

Nowadays women are using garlic to treat a smelly vagina. Can saliva cause the bad smell and what are the other causes? Is garlic okay to use without any side effects?Winnie

Dear Winnie,
Every woman has a natural vaginal odour. However, the scent may change throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, many women will want to do away with the normal odour using several things such as scented products which will in the end worsen the odour and cause allergic reactions, among other problems. That said, a strong odour can sometimes be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection such as trichomoniasis, particularly if a woman is sexually active.
A woman’s vagina naturally has some small organisms known as normal flora that make protective acid (Dordelins lactobacilli) balancing out the bad ones such as Gardnerella vaginalis. If the balance is upset, a condition known as bacterial vaginosis will occur leading to a foul fishy odour. Using saliva in the vagina can upset the natural bacteria leading to a bad odour.
Not all vaginal odours are caused by an infection. Some of the other causes include cancer of the cervix, poor hygiene or wearing tight fitting non-cotton knickers that trap sweat and bacteria.
Also, eating certain foods including spices, onions, red meat, and dairy can alter the normal acidity of the vagina, producing a vaginal odour just as garlic can cause all body fluids to smell. Garlic contains Allicin, a compound that can stop the growth of bacteria and fungus in the vagina but may add its own smell. Eating fruits such as pineapple may however reduce this smell.
The smell may also be caused by a man’s semen especially if the man has taken long without having intercourse, or has eaten eggs, meat, garlic, or has a prostate infection all which require addressing just like any other found cause of vaginal smells.

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