So a doctor posts a urinalysis on Twitter and quizzes her followers on what it could mean. A variety of answers are given but she reveals that the source of her patient’s urinary frequency and urgency stems from increased carbon dioxide in lungs, lowering pH, inducing respiratory acidosis. In addition to screenshots I will retype the whole exchange below so that it can be found when searching (though we’ll never find it on Google’s search engine so long as they violate their safe harbor guidelines by being a publisher instead of a content provider…):

Archive Link: https://archive.is/tb5WU

Original link if you want to give the good doctor a follow: https://twitter.com/ColleenHuberNMD/status/1290829839096672257

A TweetChain from Colleen Huber, NMD @ColleenHuberNMD

PUZZLE:
A patient came in with urinary frequency & urgency.
Here is the urinalysis.

What do you suspect as the underlying cause?

(I will show the answer after a dozen or so replies.)

Thanks so much for very smart answers, everybody, quickly passing one dozen.

This patient wears a mask many hours per day. Here’s what happened to the urine.

Obstructed air flow keeps more carbon dioxide for extended time in masked airspace –> more carbon dioxide in lungs –>

More carbon dioxide in lungs (hypercapnia) –> lowers pH –> increasing acid condition (respiratory acidosis) overwhelms compensatory mechanisms of the body –> The kidneys now have the hard job of . . .

The kidneys now have the hard job of dumping acid. How do the kidneys get rid of bad stuff? Excrete that acid in the urine. –> Urinalysis shows very low pH, bottom of the chart: pH = 5.0. That’s about as acid as coffee. Which is fine for coffee, but . . .

But not so great for urine, which reflects what got taken from blood (remembering that kidneys’ main job is to clean the blood, by excreting less than ideal substances into urine for disposal). So the moral of the story is . . .

The moral of that story is that #masks, by way of the lungs, not only harm the brain (hypoxia), and the heart (tachycardia) and the immune system (acid favors viral replication), but also the kidneys.

I am concerned that the hematuria and proteinuria may also result from this strain on the kidneys. As nephrologist Dr. Humphries @DrsuzanneH says, “If you wear a mask, I hope you have strong kidneys.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *