There's a lot you can learn about yourself every time you go to the bathroom to urinate. The color and even the smell of your pee can be a window to your health, giving you instant feedback – even an early warning – on what might be going on inside of you and which you need to know for your own good. All without having to make an appointment and then going to see your doctor. Most of you – and, really, it should be all of you – know the drill each year when you go to your doctor for your annual physical. One of the first things you are asked to do is to pee in the cup. This is so your urine can be tested in a lab environment to determine where you stand in terms of the many criteria that together constitute the state of your health. Per articles.mercola.com, urine is 95 percent water and five percent urea, uric acid, minerals, salts, enzymes, and an assortment of various other substances that you don't want accumulating in your body. Over the course of your lifetime, more than a million gallons of water (as well as water-soluble waste) are filtered through your kidneys, which is enough to fill a pretty good-sized pond.
A Few Facts about UrinationIt's fairly common for people to urinate an average of about six to eight times a day. Anything much more than that can be indicative of a condition such as an overactive bladder, a urinary tract infection (UTI), interstitial cystitis, diabetes, benign prostate enlargement, or one of several neurological diseases. Urine can also be tested for pH levels. The foods you eat, medications being taken and diseases may cause identified changes in pH. Urine has been a key diagnostic tool for many centuries – dating back 6,000 years, but keep in mind, too, before you panic at the sight of a different hue of urine when you pee, the change in color can also be related to what you just ate, medications you are taking, supplements, how much or how little water you are drinking, and recent physical activity such as a hard-charging workout. Per webmd.com, a urinalysis can tell a lot more beyond just what the color of your urine can. If you suspect a health issue, go to your doctor for urine testing. This is especially true if you see blood in your urine.
A Color Chart for UrineAlthough we're not talking about a rainbow of colors here, your urine can come out one of a wide assortment of colors, each of which could be a sign of something out of the ordinary – not just in terms of your health but also in regard to a particular food or other consumable that went down the hatch in the last 24 hours or so. Following is a color chart, mostly per clevelandclinic.org, to hang on to as a peek-as-you-pee guideline:
- No color (transparent). You're drinking plenty of water, maybe a tad too much.
- Pale straw color or transparent yellow. Normal – you are well-hydrated and healthy.
- Dark yellow. Falls within normal range, but you're headed to dehydration..
- Amber or honey. You're now dehydrated.
- Orange. This could also be a sign of dehydration (not enough water), but it could be something that needs immediate attention, such as a liver or bile condition. Then again, it could be food dye. Play it safe, and call the doc.
- Syrup or brown ale. It could be severe dehydration or liver disease. Drink some water over the next few hours and see if it clears up. If not, get to the doctor's.
- Pink to reddish. This could be one of a lot of things. Maybe it's the result of eating beets or even rhubarb or blueberries recently. Or it could be a sign of UTI, kidney disease, tumors – perhaps even lead or mercury poisoning. YOU next move is to contact the doctor.
- Blue or green. This could be a rare genetic disease or certain bacteria infecting the urinary tract, or it could be a food dye or something you ate (did you chow down on some asparagus last night?). It could also be a medication you are taking. Go see the doc.
- Black. Per articles.mercola.com, this could be a sign of a genetic disorder known as alkaptonuria, or some kind of poisoning. If you ever see black urine, get to the doctor quickly.
- Cloudy. Linked to UTI, kidney or metabolic condition or lymph fluid in the urine (a condition known as chyluria).
- Foaming/fizzing. A possible sign of a condition known as turbulent urine stream. Also associated with proteinuria, often caused by diabetes or hypertension.