(From Contributor Daniel Mattei) Many people do not like to believe it, but your toilet bowl might just be the window to your health. The perfect way to know what’s going on inside is by observing what’s coming out. Almost all modern urologists and gynecologists you will visit today will tell you to keep a keen eye on the color, nature, and smell of your pee. Ideally, light lemonade color is the indicator of good kidney health and optimal hydration.
When it is red
Unless you have eaten beets and blackberries in the past few hours, your pee should NEVER be red. Sometimes, women experience red urine immediately before their period since some amount of blood from the vagina mixes with the urine before landing in the bowl. However, lingering red pee is a red flag indeed. You should opt for a doctor’s visit and urgent tests like leucocyte esterase that can inform you about your kidney health.
If it is orange
Eating carrots can turn your pee orange. Carrots usually contain beta-carotene that can wash out with urine, since the compound is highly water soluble. You can see orange color in the water for the same reason when your boil carrots or boil them. However, medications like phenazopyridine and warfarin are common medications that can also change the color of your urine from standard light yellow to orange. Unless you are experiencing explainable color change, there is no reason to panic.
Green pee is weird too
Eating asparagus, spinach and a lot of leafy green veggies can turn your pee green for a while. In fact, even if you do not eat a lot of green vegetables, you can experience green coloration in the urine due to rare instances of Proteus infection. It is a serious infection that can also cause kidney stones. Therefore, if you see your pee turn green without a generous dose of asparagus or spinach in your diet, it is surely time to call the doc.
When it’s brown, don’t flush it down
Brown pee is a sigh of porphyria that causes RBC to break down and flow out with the urine. It is a severe condition, but since it usually involves high sensitivity to light, it is typically detectable at an early age.
When your pee is feeling blue
Blue pee is rare but not as rare as a blue moon. Hypocalcaemia can change the color of pee to blue. Since it is a genetic condition that causes too much calcium deposits in the bones, doctors likely detect it in early stages (sometimes embryonic stages).
White might not be good either!
Doctors and dieticians often tell us that drinking too much water is good for our health. However, white pee does not indicate excellent urinary health. Cloudy white pee is an indicator of UTIs, and it can also be a signifier of kidney stones. Even a nasty infection can cause pus to flow out with your urine, turning it cloudy white.
The conclusion? Call your doctor the moment you see any change in color. You might not need a shade card, but you will surely need more than the usual attention.