Urine production is vital for the removal of certain waste products produced by metabolism in the body and for the maintenance of homeostasis in the body. The kidneys produce urine by the following three precisely regulated processes: filtration, reabsorption, and secretion. Urine is composed of water, certain electrolytes, and various waste products that are filtered out of the blood through the glomeruli. The physical features of urine are evaluated carefully to detect any abnormal findings that may indicate underlying diseases in the genitourinary system. A change in urine color may indicate an underlying pathological condition, although many of the causes of abnormal urine color are benign effects of medications and foods. A characteristic and specific odor may be the result of a metabolic disease rather than a concentrated specimen or a simple urinary tract infection. Although transient changes in urine output and nocturia are usually benign conditions, persistent abnormal findings require further workup, with a thorough medical history taking. This article presents many of the conditions that physicians may encounter and will help them in the diagnosis and in establishing a treatment plan.
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