This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
This is a symptom which accompanies many diseases of the bladder and urethra. It is due to an irritable condition of the mucous membrane of the urethra or bladder. It may often be much relieved by the daily use of the sitz bath or the ascending douche. In women, relief is frequently given by the prolonged vaginal douche.
A frequent desire to pass water is generally due to an irritable condition of the bladder in consequence of chronic catarrh of this organ. It may also be due to sympathy with irritation in the rectum, uterus, or other organs. Enlargement of the prostate gland is one of the most common causes of this symptom in old men.
The difficulty can only be relieved by treatment of the disease upon which it depends. It is generally mitigated either by warm fomentations over the abdomen, prolonged sitz baths, or, in women, a vaginal douche. (See further under "Incontinence of Urine," "Acute and Chronic Cystitis," and "Irritability of the Bladder.")
If the quantity of urine is much less than one and a half pints, or more than three pints, in twenty-four hours, there is occasion to suspect that some disease may be present
This is a very frequent symptom in fevers. The urine when scanty is also very high colored and often contains a sediment The amount of urine is diminished when the skin is very active, as in the summer time in persons who perspire very freely. A sudden cold will not infrequently produce a scanty and high colored urine.
An excessive secretion of urine may be due to diabetes, or to chronic disease of the kidneys. It is also sometimes occasioned by less serious conditions, as by extreme nervousness, great mental anxiety, and various temporary conditions.
The urine in health has a characteristic odor peculiar to itself. Peculiar odors are frequently produced by articles of food, as garlic. Turpentine, and other medicines also produce unnatural odors. The urine in dyspepsia often has a very offensive odor.
Diabetic urine has a smell resembling that of apples. When urine is retained long in the bladder, allowing decomposition to take place, or when decomposition occurs in consequence of inflammation, the urine has a pungent odor, due to the formation of ammonia.
In health the urine has a peculiar salty taste. A bitter taste indicates the presence of bile, and a sweetish taste, that of sugar. This test is seldom applied to the urine, but enthusiastic investigators of the diseases indicated by the urine, do not hesitate to resort to it. When either a bitter or sweet taste is observed, the chemical test for bile or sugar should be made.