The contents of this article may be repulsive to some. Reader discretion is advised.
United States - 53-year-old Carrie from Colorado Springs has a habit that she just can't kick - she loves drinking her own urine.
Documented by TLC Discovery Channel, Carrie's obsession with urine doesn't just stop at drinking it. She brushes her teeth with urine, rubs urine on her face, through her hair and even baths in it.
She believes that aged urine kept for a week is a terrific substitute for lotion, as it moisturises her skin and keeps her skin supple. She also believes that urine is brightening her teeth "from the inside-out."
What's more horrifying is that Carrie even washes her eye-balls with urine, a practice which she says "burns" her eyes.
She also puts some into a neti pot - an instrument for nasal irrigation - to drink nasally.
She says drinking her urine allows her to taste the different things going through her body. Her addiction has made her give up some foods that she used to love eating, such as asparagus, as they make her urine taste foul.
After four years of drinking pee, she says her urine tastes like water to her, and is sometimes even a little "lemony".
Packed full of toxins
Packed full of toxins
Carrie doesn't just drink pee because she loves the taste. Her addiction began two years after being diagnosed with skin cancer in January 2004.
She was diagnosed with Stage 3 malignant melanoma, and had 16 lymph nodes surgically removed. Doctors found cancer in three of her lymph nodes, and told her that even with chemotherapy, she would only have a year left to live.
Carrie decided against chemotherapy, and took the radical decision to instead try out urine therapy - an age-old but widely discounted practice of using urine in several ways to prevent or cure sickness, enhance beauty, or cleanse one's bowels.
"The first time I drank my urine, I didn't throw up, and it wasn't horrible. So I thought, you know what, I can do this," she said. At first it was just a cup in the morning. Soon, she progressed to drinking four cups a day, or two litres.
Today, she is convinced that the cancer is in remission and that urine therapy cured her. However, Carrie has not seen a doctor in six years to prove that the cancer is indeed in remission.
Carrie has also never consulted a physician about her unorthodox therapy, preferring to rely on the Internet as a source of information.
Some practitioners believe that urine has anti-cancer properties as urine contains tumor proteins. It is hypothised that by introducing urine into the body, he body will begin making antibodies against the cancer antigens to try to destroy the cancer, according to an article published in Medical Hypotheses.
However, there are no medical studies that prove that urine prevents, treats or cures cancer, MedicineNet.com reported.
"She is her own doctor," her daughter Branda said. Carrie says that ever since she started drinking her own urine, she has noticed an increase in energy, while her joints and muscles feel strong.
But her daughters are deathly afraid that they might lose their mother if she continues the habit, and have repeatedly asked Carrie to at least seek a doctor's opinion on urine drinking.
Urine contains the toxins urea nitrogen and creatinine, and consuming too much of these toxins can lead to dehydration and kidney failure.
However, Carrie gets upset everytime they try to talk to her about it, they said.
Carrie admits that she has noticed some negative effects from urine drinking, but said that continuing to drink urine makes the effects disappear after time.
She is convinced that urine is "jam-packed" with vitamins and minerals, and adamantly believes that she'll die if she stops the therapy. "I will never stop drinking my urine," she said.
"It's your body's own perfect medicine," she said.
Pica or OCD?
Pica or OCD?
Doctors and psychiatrists interviewed by various news outlets have expressed their views on what Carrie could be suffering from.
Interviewed by Fox News Channel, psychiatrist Dr Keith Ablow said that Carrie could be suffering from a form of Pica disorder - where sufferers compulsively eat various inorganic things, like dirt or fabric, that offer little or no nutritional value.
He added that she appears to display the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), as Carrie spends a large amount of her time obsessing about urine.
Ablow hypothesised that Carrie might be addicted to drinking her own urine as it allows her to not think about the stressful parts of her life.