Urine is the liquid form of waste that is excreted by the body periodically. Composed of urea, water, salt, and uric acid, this liquid is formed in the kidneys when they filter them out of the blood. The kidneys then send the urine into the urinary bladder, where it is stored before excretion. Now, while many people do not think much about their urine colour, it is important to understand that the same can indicate health problems. This is why it is important to be aware of the different urine colours and what they mean.
Urine Colours and What They Mean:
The following are the various urine colours that you should be aware of:
- Pale yellow to gold: this is a sign of healthy pee. The colour of urine comes from urochrome, which is made by your body.
- Pink or red urine: the sight of pink of red urine can be quite alarming. This is because patients often conclude that they are bleeding internally, however, this is not always the case. As is the case with poop colour, urine colour is also heavily influenced by your diet. If you have been consuming beets or carrots in high quantities, you can expect a pinkish or reddish hue. Certain medications can also add this hue to your urine, especially medicines for UTIs. If you have blood in your urine, then you must consult a doctor immediately as it can be a sign of kidney disease, prostate problems or a UTI.
- Orange: Orange urine often occurs as a result of a medication. Most commonly, patients taking high doses of vitamin B2 see this problem. It can also occur due to UTI medicines and certain antibiotics. Sometimes, this can be a sign of dehydration as well. It can also indicate bile ducts or liver problems. The best way to know for sure is to consult your doctor regarding this.
- Blue or green: Blue or green urine can be so terrifying for patients because these colours are generally not associated with urine at all! However, it is important to note that medicines can often turn your pee blue or green. Anasthetics, allergy medicines and asthma medicines can have this effect. Rare diseases can also lead to these hues in your urine, which is why taking a sample to a urologist can be really beneficial.
- Clear: Clear urine is a sign of drinking a lot of water. It is not something to worry about. Patients also experience clear urine if they are taking any diuretics.
- Foamy: Irrespective of colour, foamy urine can be dangerous. This is because it indicates that you are losing protein through your urine. This can be a sign of kidney disease. If you experience foamy urine, you should get it checked out immediately.
- Dark brown or honey coloured: Urine that is dark brown or honey coloured is your body’s way of telling you that you are dehydrated. You must increase your water intake if this is the case. If your urine colour does not improve within a few days of drinking water properly, you should ask a doctor what it means.
Does the Smell of Urine Matter?
Like colour, many people do not give much thought to the smell of their excretions. This is because they simply assume that it will smell bad. However, this is not always the case and certain smells are key indicators of health problems. You must be vigilant about the following types of urine smells:
- Sulphuric smell: a distinct sulphuric smell can occur due to something in your diet. If you have been eating a lot of asparagus, you may notice this smell in your urine. Furthermore, vitamin B6 supplements can also lead to this smell. If you do not eat asparagus or take supplements and are noticing this smell, you should contact a doctor.
- Ammonia smell: a distinct ammonia smell indicates that you might be dehydrated. You should increase your water intake if this is the case.
- Very strong, odd smell: a strong, odd smell that you cannot identify can indicate bladder infections, UTIs, and diabetes. You should get tested for the same.
Since many of this urine colour changes come with your diet, you should not panic immediately. However, if you notice these changes consistently and also develop back pain, fever, fatigue and vomiting, then you should speak to a doctor immediately.
Most people go to the bathroom an average of 8 times a day. However, this number can vary from individual to individual. People who drink a lot of water, caffeine or alcohol may need to visit the bathroom far more often than people who do not. However, if you are hardly passing any urine in a day, you should visit a doctor as it can be due to a kidney problem.
Similarly, if you notice a major increase in the frequency of your urination, you should visit a doctor. This is because this can happen due to a UTI, diabetes, enlarged prostate, kidney disease, or cystitis.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Most medical experts agree that you should drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day. Of course, this number can vary with many lifestyle factors. If you walk to work in the sun, live in tropical climates, drink a lot of coffee, drink alcohol, and exercise, you may need to replenish your body with water more often. Thus, do not just stick to a number. Try to take into consideration your daily activities and then make up for water loss accordingly. Office workers should also drink a lot of water as air conditioned air tends to be very dehydrating.
Changes in your urine colour are not always something you should worry about. This is because many of them are caused due to lifestyle factors. However, if you notice persistent changes in the colour, then you should speak to a doctor. Remember, an early intervention is often the best cure!