Testing It Up » November 2010

Monthly Archives: November 2010

Substance Abuse

Kids in Indonesia Start Smoking Before School Age!

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In a previous post, we shared the good news that Ardi Rizal, the two-year-old boy from Indonesia who chain-smoked 40 cigarettes a day, has finally kicked his smoking habit. NBC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo, however, has disheartening news: there are more Ardi Rizals in Indonesia who are still very much into a cigarette habit.

Schiavocampo travelled to Indonesia to meet Ardi Rizal – now a local celebrity of sorts in his town – and uncovered the fact that there were other children like Ardi who were smoking even before they went to school. She reported that Indonesia is among the countries with the worst problems with child smokers. According to government figures, around 25 percent of kids in Indonesia over the age of 3 have tried to smoke cigarettes, while 3 percent are regular smokers even before they reached school age.

Ardi RizalSchiavocampo shared that one of her research contacts said that Indonesia did not have good tobacco regulation practices. Tobacco companies serve as sponsors for such events as sporting events and music concerts, which are popular among kids and teens. Cigarettes are also relatively accessible in the country; they are cheap, and even young kids are allowed to buy them at stores.

As for Ardi, he is one of the lucky ones… since a video of him smoking away hit YouTube, Ardi has received treatment with the National Commission for Child Protection. Initially, Ardi’s mother shared that Ardi threw terrible tantrums after he was made to quit cold turkey. Play therapy helped him during his nicotine withdrawal.

Health & Wellness

Foods That Can Cause Urine Discoloration

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We have shared various medical reasons for urine discoloration. We also mentioned that urine discoloration may occur as a result of the consumption of certain foods. Author Lena Butler shared what these foods are.

B vitamins and carotene-rich foods, such as whole grains, can be a reason for one’s urine to turn bright yellow. Vitamin supplements can also have the same effect on urine.

urine sampleAsparagus, when eaten in excess, can cause urine to turn dark yellow, or turn blue or dark green. Fava beans, aloe, and rhubarb, on the other hand, can cause urine to turn brown or tea-colored; the same effect holds true when one consumes foods that contain brown food dyes.

Carrots, winter squash, and senna, as well as foods that contain dyes, are among the foods that can turn urine orange. Beets, rhubarb, boysenberries and blackberries, as well as artificial cereals, drinks and other foods containing red-colored dyes can lead to reddish or pinkish urine.

Since we already know that urine discoloration can also be a sign that one is suffering from certain medical conditions, it is suggested that one be conscious of the color of one’s urine. If one has recently consumed any of the foods mentioned above, then a discoloration of urine soon after eating may not be a cause for alarm. It is a different story, however, if one has not recently eaten these foods, and yet notices urine discoloration. Should this happen, it is best for you to consult your physician, who will most probably order more tests.

Early Disease Detection Health & Wellness

Medical Reasons for Urine Discoloration

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One of the indications that medical practitioners use to gauge a person’s health is by the examination of urine. The urine of a healthy person is usually clear, or has a slightly yellow color.

urineWhile there are various non-health-related factors that may influence urine discoloration, such as eating certain foods, a change in urine color may also serve as an indication for certain medical conditions. TestCountry.org’s Lena Butler shares some of them.

Urine that assumes a brownish hue can be an indication of the presence of several medical conditions. Liver disorders such as cirrhosis or acute viral hepatitis can cause urine to turn brown, or tea-colored. Brown urine can also be a sign of acute glomerulonephritis, a kidney disease that prevents the kidney from removing excess wastes and fluids from the body.

Jaundice is another liver disorder that may cause a patient’s urine to turn brown, or dark yellow. The disease is caused by an obstruction in the bile duct, which leads the body to accumulate bilirubin; its most common symptoms are yellowish skin, and having the whites of one’s eyes turn a shade of yellow.

Certain medical conditions, on the other hand, can cause the urine to become reddish in color. Willis tumor, an abdominal condition commonly found in children, can cause the appearance of blood in the urine, which turns it reddish.

The high levels of porphyrins excreted by a person suffering from chronic lead and mercury poisoning can also cause one’s urine to turn red.

It is therefore suggested that people be conscious about changes or discoloration to one’s urine. Consult your physician if you notice unusual discoloration that is not brought about by food.