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There is blood in my urine…

DR BOIMA

HEALTH ISSUES

Having bloody urine can be quite a scary ordeal and must be investigated by a doctor. Medically termed haematuria, bloody urine can be a sign of many conditions including serious ones.  Many people will report blood in the urine because they can see it; it is not the normal pale yellow colour they are used to, this is called “macroscopic haematuria”.

 

Sometimes only small amount of blood is present in the urine that it is invisible to the naked eye (termed microscopic haematuria) and is only apparent when a urine test is carried out for something else. This still needs to be investigated by your doctor, as healthy urine should not contain any detectable amounts of blood. Haematuria means blood is leaking somewhere in the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Ureters carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder while the urethra carries urine to the outside when one urinates.


Before you read on, it is worth considering whether blood is coming from your renal tract or it is actually coming from elsewhere. Certain foods can affect the urine colour i.e. a person who has eaten beetroot recently can have pinkish coloured urine. Some medications like rifampicin (one of TB medications) can also make the urine look red or brown. Women of child bearing years at ‘that time of the cycle’ can appear as if they have bloody urine while in fact blood it is from the vagina. Other sources of blood in the toilet bowl can be rectal bleeding as seen in haemorrhoids etc. So it is vital to ascertain if one has true haematuria lest false alarm is raised. If unsure, see your general practitioner!


Causes of bloody urine


Haematuria is not a disease but rather a symptom of an underlying condition. It may occur alone or in addition to other symptoms. Quite common causes of bloody urine include;
Urinary tract infection (UTI) – an infection can occur anywhere in the urinary tract from the kidneys (pyelonephritis) to the bladder (cystitis) and the urinary tubes. Other Symptoms may include a persistent urge to urinate, pain and burning with urination, an extremely strong-smelling urine, fever, chills, and flank pain which may be referred to the lower back


Kidney stones – they can be painless but they almost always present with haematuria. They can however block the ureters and cause renal colic (severe abdominal or back pain)
U  rethritis – this is inflammation of the urethra. It is often often caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia


Prostate Disease- an enlarged prostate i.e. benign prostatic hyperplasia is quite common in older men (due to age). An enlarged prostate gland presses on the bladder and may present with a vast of other urinary symptoms like difficulty urinating and a frequent need to urinate

 Cancers – cancers such as kidney cancer, bladder cancer and prostate cancer mostly affect adults aged over 50 and can present in addition to haematuria with other urinary symptoms and systemic manifestations like weight loss. If the haematuria is persistent despite medical intervention like antibiotics, cancers should be suspected and investigated. Biopsies can be done to confirm the type of cancer


Trauma – Kidney or bladder injury from an accident, sports or iatrogenic (caused by health professionals e.g. during bladder catheterization) can cause bloody urine
Other renal pathology – there are many conditions especially autoimmune illnesses that affect the kidneys. They may manifest with other symptoms like weakness,   high blood pressure, and body swelling, including puffiness around the eyes and leg oedema

Work-up of bloody urine

Your doctor will start by taking a medical history and performing a physical examination to analyse what may have caused the appearance of blood in your urine.  A few tests will be ordered including;
Urinalysis – a urine sample is analysed


Blood tests – including full blood count and renal function tests to look for any signs of infection or kidney disease
Imaging tests – imaging tests in the form of an ultrasound, CT scan and intravenous pyelogram (IVP) can clearly show outline of the kidneys, ureters and bladder. Kidney stones and tumours can also be appreciated

Cystoscopy- this test involves the insertion of a small tube with a camera into the bladder through the urethra to have a look of what is happening inside. Tissue samples (biopsy) may be obtained to check for the presence of abnormal or cancerous cells


Biopsy – a small tissue sample is taken either from the kidney, bladder or prostate and examined under a microscope for signs of cancers and other diseases

Treatment

Treatment is aimed at the underlying cause. If a doctor thinks that an infection is likely, they will prescribe some antibiotics possibly even before the results are back. After treatment, your doctor will recheck the urine to see if the blood is gone. If one is still having blood in the urine, they may be referred to a specialist (urologist or nephrologist) for further investigations (others mentioned above).

For comments or questions please email agboima@yahoo.com

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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