Before you read this article, be forewarned: it may be a little gross. While the topic of bodily fluids typically elicits a chorus of “ewwws,” there is a good reason to be knowledgeable about it. Clues to the overall condition of your health and any signs of underlying conditions can often show up through substances your body naturally produces, like mucus, urine and saliva, for example. To find out some common issues your fluids may be telling you, keep reading.
Let's start off with the yuckiest one and get it out of the way. Mucus plays a very significant role in your body, keeping vital organs and tissues protected with moisture and prevented from dryness and foreign substances. Your mucus also contains antibodies that help your body identify bacteria and viruses, so your immune system can go to to work on destroying them. Linings of mucus are found in your nose, mouth, throat, lungs and gastrointestinal tract. You're probably most familiar with the form of mucus that comes out of your nose when you have a cold or sinus
infection. While you would probably rather just blow your nose and toss the icky tissue in the garbage, it's a good idea to examine the contents of your Kleenex from time to time. Your mucus can tell many different things about your health. Typically mucus is made up of a sticky and thick consistency and has a clear hue. However, when you have an infection, it can turn a yellow or green color, signifying that your immune system has sent white blood cells to the area, according to Luqman Seidu, M.D.
If you have a sinus infection, your mucus may also contain an unpleasant smell; it's a good idea to see your doctor if you think you have an infection. A red tinge to your mucus can be a bit of blood, signifying that your nose is dried out from too much blowing or picking. If you notice a large amount of blood, though, it's important to talk to your doctor. Colds and infections can also cause your nose to clog up with excess mucus, and at that point you can consider using decongestants or over-the-counter antihistamines to help solve the issue.
You're probably well aware that the purpose of your pee is to flush out toxins and waste from your body in liquid form, but your pee also holds many clues about other issues that may be going on inside your body. In a person who is well hydrated, urine typically has a very pale yellow hue to it. However, if you notice your urine is a dark yellow and slightly brownish color, this could mean that you are dehydrated and your kidneys
are not diluting your urine due to your lack of liquid consumption. Dark-hued pee could also be blood; if you notice that the color of your urine doesn't start to fade after drinking more water, it's advisable for you to see your doctor as it could signal a serious illness, such as kidney disease, an infection or even cancer. Urine that possesses a pungent aroma could be attributed to simply the foods that you've consumed recently. Certain foods, like asparagus, can produce an unpleasant scent through your urine as it's being digested. On the other hand, if your urine has a sweet scent to it, this could mean that blood sugar is being excreted, which could signal a very serious issue, according to Dr. Michael Farber, director of the Executive Health Program at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, New Jersey
. It's common for blood sugar to show up in your urine if you become pregnant, but it could also be a sign of diabetes
. As soon as you notice sweet-smelling pee, go talk to your doctor. If you're experiencing a constant urge to urinate, this can be due to many different reasons, some of them being a urinary tract infection
infection, enlarged prostate
, pregnancy or aging. If you begin to notice that you're constantly looking for a toilet wherever you go, it's advisable to see your doctor to rule out any potentially serious problems.
If you're picturing an image of someone sleeping with a string of drool hanging out of their mouth, then you've probably come to the conclusion that spit is gross. On the other hand, if you think about all of the positive things that saliva does to aid your body in everyday functions, then your opinion might change. While the majority of your saliva is comprised of water, it also contains electrolytes, cells from your mouth, proteins, viruses and bacteria. The main purpose of saliva is to lubricate your mouth and aid with digestion
, as it is the first substance that begins to break down the food you consume. Your spit also works to neutralize the acidity of food and drinks, purge excess particles and bacteria from your teeth and make your food easy to swallow. Saliva also contains phosphorous and calcium
, which can aid with restoring tooth enamel. To detect certain illnesses, doctors can examine your saliva for clues. It can tell if you've done recreational drugs and what medications are in your body, and it's also being studied to determine whether it could be used to diagnose diseases like HIV or diabetes, according to Robert Shermling of Harvard Health Publications
. The amount of saliva your body produces depends on a variety of things like your age, genes, medications you're on and your age, for example. If you've never noticed an issue with having a dry mouth or low saliva production before, and suddenly you can't stop drinking water and trying to regain that natural moisture, you could have a condition such as Sjogren's Syndrome or another that affects saliva production. In this case, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to get to the root of the issue.
Your body is an amazing vessel, housing vital organs, performing essential processes and producing its own fluids and substances to keep everything in tip-top shape. Though they may often be regarded as yucky things that are inappropriate for everyday conservation, there is a science behind the weird things our bodies do and create. Being in tune with your own body functions, processes and substances it produces is very important in understanding what's going on with your health, so try to make it a priority to become more familiar with them.
Keep checking back with us at eVitamins for more tips on healthy living and wellness, and have a great day!
eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.