Old Habits Are Hard To Quit - Medical Laboratory Science Humor

Old Habits Are Hard To Quit


Still Tastes The Urine To Check For Glucose

Working a double while they work on the hospital addition close to the lab which requires them to shut off the water for 8 hours? Better drink my own urine. 

Humans were very effective urine analyzers. Sweet? High glucose. Meaty? Proteinuria. Malodorous? Infection. Probably some leukocytes as well. Gums all cut up? Well those are simply from crystals. 

Physicians in the middle ages would use smells and tastes of urine for actual diagnostic purposes. Hippocrates even correctly postulated that urine was a a filtrate of blood. These top minds even crafted up a wonderfully elaborate "Urine Flavor Wheel". How else did we get Maple Syrup Urine Disease???

An English physician, Thomas Willis, said that diabetic urine was "wonderfully sweet as if imbued with honey or sugar". Man. I might have to ask my diabetic friend if I can borrow some of their urine for my next cuppa tea...

Some of the "flavors" described on the chart speak of sticky cane-sugar like urine, urine tasting and smelling of potash, "elephant urine" which refers to how turbid the resultant urine looks, astringent, sharp, yet sweet. I had to look deeper into what potash even was. Wikipedia's straightforward and hollow definition was a salt that contain potassium in water-soluble form. It was most likely referring to potassium carbonate or potassium hydroxide. The latter being even more likely.  Interestingly, it's where potassium actually derives it's most common name. As opposed to kalium, which is where potassium derives its symbol, "K". 

I suppose hematuria would have a rather metallic and ferric taste to it?

I'm not sure that Bear Gryll's common survival technique of drinking your own urine is completely foolproof. The high salt content in the urine is likely to dehydrate you further. Not to mention, urine contains waste products that the body is trying to rid of, and here you are, in the heat of the desert trying to put it back in.