A lot if you know what to look for, particularly the red flags
The color of urine, its odor and consistency are indications of how your body filters what it takes in and how your lifestyle affects that process. Urinalysis provides insights into what food and drinks you’ve been consuming and what ailments you may have. Using these clues to be aware of what is occurring in your body can help you take better care of yourself and catch red flags of diseases or infections early.
As the kidneys do their important job of filtering out excess vitamins, proteins and sugars, all of the water-soluble toxins filter into your urine to leave the body. The typical color of urine is a shade of yellow. Paler shades mean you’re properly hydrated, while dark yellow urine indicates you’re not drinking enough. (Note that medications such as diuretics or foods such as carrots can influence the color as well.)
When urine is darker, some individuals worry that may indicate internal bleeding. However, even a small amount of blood in the urine will overpower the natural yellow color and turn all liquid in the toilet quite red.
Blood in the urine can often be painless or come and go, but that doesn’t mean you should put off seeing a doctor. Blood in urine is a sign of a serious condition, such as an infection, bladder stone, kidney stone or cancer.
The typical healthy individual uses the restroom six to eight times a day, depending on fluid intake. It is good to be aware of how many times you’re using the restroom or if an increase in urgency occurs, as this can also be the body’s way of letting you know there is an underlying condition such as overactive bladder, urinary tract infection or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Take care of your bladder by drinking plenty of water, using the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge and keeping an eye out for warning signs of a change in the color or smell of urine, as well as the frequency or urge to urinate. If you have any concern that would cause you to ‘Google’ what a change to your urine may mean, save yourself the headache and visit a doctor. A short visit with a urologist can alleviate pain and worry, and provide a diagnosis and care plan for you.
Concerned about your urine color? Make an appointment with us today.