Your pee colour can say a lot about your health

By November 27, 2020 November 28th, 2020 Health & Nutrition

Sourced with thanks from mindbodygreen.com

Passing urine is such routine activity that you don’t really pay much attention to the urine leaving your body.  But urine health is important and does require your attention as it foretells in advance some latent illnesses harbouring in your body. In the article below the author spells out what you should look for in your urine and what the colour of your urine indicates about your health. Team RetyrSmart

Your pee colour can say a lot about your health

Urine health may not always be top of mind, but when something changes (colour, smell, consistency), in your normal pee patterns, it can be concerning. While getting a urine sample or talking to a doctor is a good idea, there are a few things to keep in mind about what different colour urine might be signalling.

Urine colour can range from clear to brown (see chart below for the full spectrum). While some of these hues may seem a bit, well, alarming, experts share exactly what each of these pee colours means about your health.

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Your pee colour chart and what it means.

Clear 

If you thought clear urine was a sign of good health, you’re not alone. A lot of people think the more water, the better—but that’s not necessarily true.

What it means: Clear pee is one of the first indicators of over hydration. The body is attempting to get rid of the excess water you’ve ingested, says urologist Vannita Simma-Chiang, M.D.

What to do: Stop drinking until you’re thirsty again and pee returns to a normal, light yellow.

Light yellow

What it means: A light yellow urine is completely normal, Simma-Chiang says. This is the optimal urine colour to maintain.

What to do: Whatever you’ve been doing, because it’s working.

Dark yellow

What it means: Dark yellow urine is common in the morning when more than eight hours have passed since your last drink of water. It can also happen throughout the day, though, if you’ve gone too long without hydrating. Simply put, Simma-Chiang says, “It probably means you’re slightly dehydrated.”

What to do: Drink some water, and consider limiting dehydrating food and drinks.

Orange

What it means: Certain urinary tract infection (UTI) medications or multivitamins, like B12 and C, can lead to an orange-hued pee, Simma-Chiang says.

What to do: Be aware of the vitamins and medications you’re taking, and ask your doctor if you’re concerned about the colour.

Green 

What it means: Similar to orange urine, green urine may be a side effect of certain vitamins. It could also be caused by green food dye. “That’s a slight, light green,” Simma-Chiang says. “It shouldn’t be bright.”

What to do: Take note of the vitamins or food you’ve consumed. If the colour persists or seems alarming, consult with a doctor.

Blue

What it means: If you’ve visited a urologist or had a procedure done recently, you may have been given a medication called methylene blue, which will turn the urine a bright blue colour, she explains. Certain blue-dyed foods can also be the cause.

What to do: This should pass when you stop taking the medication or pee out the rest of the food dye. Call your doctor with any concerns.

Light pink to red 

What it means: Unless you’ve eaten beets recently, red or pink urine could indicate blood. “If your urine is red or has a thick blood-like consistency, that’s absolutely abnormal,” she says.

Light pink can also be an indicator of kidney stones or bleeding in the urinary tract. If you’re menstruating, it could just be menstrual blood mixing with the urine, not the urine itself.

What to do: Anything bright red is alarming, so Simma-Chiang urges calling a physician or urologist to get it examined. If you’re unsure whether or not it’s menstrual blood, call a gynaecologist.

Brown 

What it means: There might be a fistula (aka an abnormal connection) between the urinary tract and the rectum or the bowels, Simma-Chiang says. It may also indicate blood in the urine, liver disease, kidney disease, or an infection.

What to do: Call a doctor or urologist to get this examined.

When to seek medical help:

“Don’t be afraid to bring your questions to your doctor,” says biophysicist Ajay Goel, Ph.D. “Remember, your doctor has seen and heard everything, so don’t hold back when you need to discuss your concerns.”

If you think a new supplement or medication may be to blame for your strange pee colour, stop taking it (under your doctor’s guidance) and track the pee to see if anything changes.

If you’re not taking anything new but are noticing abnormal changes to your urine, talking to a doctor or getting a urine sample tested is the safest bet. Especially if urine is red, pink, brown, or has a strange smell and consistency.

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