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What can your urine tell you?

If everything is normal and healthy, the color should be straw color yellow. That hue comes from a pigment your body makes called urochrome.

Dark Color: Very dark colored urine could be a sign that you are dehydrated and need to get more fluids right away. Dark color urine may also be a warning sign of liver problems, see your doctor if it doesn’t get better after a day or so.

Clear: This indicate that the urine is too diluted. This can be caused by drinking a lot of water or taking diuretics to get rid of extra fluid. This also indicate that the electrolytes may be low and this can also be hard on the heart.

Bright Yellow: This could happen after consuming too much synthetic B-Vitamins. These vitamins do not get absorbed by the body and are flushed via urine.

Red or Pink: Some foods like carrots, blackberries, beets can turn your pee pinkish-red color. This can also be a side effect of medications or a drug for urinary tract infections (UTIs) called phenazopyridine.

If your pee is red or pink, you should see your doctor. You might have blood in the urine. It doesn’t always mean there’s a problem but it can be a sign of kidney disease, kidney stones, UTI, Prostate problem or a tumor.

Blue or Green: These hues are probably due to dyes in your food or meds, like anesthetic propofol or the allergy/asthma medicine promethazine. There could be some other reasons too, so let your doctor know if the color doesn’t go away after a short time.

Foamy: No matter what color it is, you should check in with your doctor if it consistently looks foamy and frothy. It may be a sign you have protein in your urine indicating that you may have issues with your kidneys.

Smell: Your urine usually doesn’t have a strong smell. But some foods, especially asparagus, which has a smelly sulfur compound can change the odor. When you are dehydrated and your pee gets very concentrated, it can smell like ammonia.

How often should I Pee?: Everyone is different, but most people need to empty their bladders up to ten times a day. If you notice you suddenly have to pee more often than usual, it could be a sign of a UTI, diabetes, an enlarged prostate in men, vaginitis in women or simply an overactive bladder (a common condition for older men and women). Your doctor can help you with this condition by offering lifestyle changes and/or medication.

Consult you doctor if you notice any change in your urine that does not seem to link with medication or recent meal or exercise especially if the change lasts for more that a few days.