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What Does The Colour Of Your Urine Say About Your Health?

By Anagha Babu

Health is something that's probably among the top priorities of everybody's life, and as they say, health really is wealth. Most of us constantly monitor and maintain our overall health, but there are others who make conscious efforts only at the onset of the disease or when they're officially diagnosed. Wouldn't it be good if we all had a mechanism to tell us when our body is gearing up for a disease? While some diseases may have visible symptoms that we take note of on time, a lot of other diseases don't show early symptoms. But did you know that urine could possibly help us detect some diseases - like diabetes, kidney or liver diseases?!

Could a waste product like urine tell us more about our health? Well, yes. Gear up, for you're also going to read why you may need more bottles of water than you're already drinking! Read on to find out how the colour and odour of our urine help us detect diseases.

A Little More About Urine That We Must Know:

• It's true that urine is a window to our overall health. It can provide us with more insights into the health of our kidney, liver, and even the heart! Besides, the colour of urine and frequency of passing urine can help us find out if we suffer from other diseases as well.

• Don't be surprised, but your urine is only 5% waste products - urea, salt, nutrients, creatinine and hormones. It's not quite waste after all. Anyhow, the whopping rest 95% is just water.

• Also, did you know that urine is actually pure/sterile? It just becomes the 'ewwww urine' only once it leaves the body because of interacting with the bacteria.

What Are The Ideal Colour And Odour Of The Urine?

The normal colour of urine could be pale yellow, lighter shades of yellow, or something in between the two. This is because urine naturally contains a pigment called as urochrome which gives it the yellow colour. But, the darker your urine is, the more you need to work on your fluid or water intake. When it comes to smell, urine is supposed to be a little pungent, although it may vary depending upon various factors like the type of food or fluids you intake, the diseases that you have, the medicines you intake and infections (if any). Even though these factors cause the colour and odour of your urine to change, if your urine is a colour that is beyond slightly dark yellow, then it's always advisable to visit the doctor.

How Does The Odour Of The Urine Determine Your Disease?

Keeping aside the factors we have discussed in the previous paragraph, if your urine qualifies under any of the smells we're going to mention, you need to worry. If it smells like ammonia, it means that you're severely dehydrated and need to drink more water. If it smells very foul, you might have a urinary bladder infection. If it smells damp or stale, you probably have a liver disease brewing up and must visit your doctor asap. If it smells somewhat sweet, chances are that you're diabetic. Urinary health is something a lot of us tend to ignore. So smell or not, it's good to visit a doctor and get a clear chit at least once or twice a year.

How Does The Colour Of The Urine Determine Your Disease?

As discussed above, the darker your urine is, the more you need to worry. Studying the colour of your urine can tell you if you suffer from kidney disease or even some other serious diseases. You can either use a urine colour chart or visit your doctor straight away.

Dark yellow to slightly brown colour - If your urine is dark yellow to brown, it means that your body is severely dehydrated. The level of dehydration could be anything between severe to very dangerous, and based on that you'll have to intake more fluids or see a doctor. More often than not, drinking more water thoroughly for a short time period would solve the problem, unless you have some other medical condition.

Very dark brown, red or orange - If your urine is any of these colours, then you may or may not have to worry. This is because the type of food can have an impact on the colour of the urine. For instance, the red colour may be because of the consumption of beetroot. But if the red colour persists longer, then you most likely have an underlying condition that is very serious - urinary infections, kidney diseases, prostate problems, and even cancer - as red colour could also be due to blood. If it is more orange and persists longer, you most likely have problems with the bile duct and/or liver.

Clear or abnormally pale - If it is abnormally pale and/or clear, then chances are that you're drinking too much water, upsetting the electrolytic balance in your body. When you drink too much water, it dilutes the sodium supply in the body, which makes the cells in the body to swell up. This leads to a condition called as hyponatremia which causes fatigue, headache, cramps, weakness or even serious conditions like seizures or coma. That's why hydrating your body is good but only to the optimum extent.

• Cloudy Urine Milky urine can signal the presence of microscopic blood. It can also be caused by a urinary tract infection, bladder infection or kidney stones. Some sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea can change your urine colour. Vaginal discharge can also make the urine cloudy. Black Black colour may be due to chemicals and health issues. You must see your doctor and get it checked.

How Much Water Should I Actually Drink In A Day?

There's no single fixed answer to this question. The amount of water your body needs will depend on your body, your medical conditions if any, the type of environment you live in, the amount of exercise you get in a day etc. On an average, in a single day, a person lets out 4 to 8 cups of urine. So you can imagine the amount of water you lose from your body that way alone. Increase your intake of water accordingly. Drink enough water so as to remain fresh and hydrated.

Is Dehydration A Big Problem?

Normal levels of dehydration, often characterized by headaches, weakness or dizziness, are usually fine and can be overcome by drinking enough amount of water on a daily basis. But if you ignore dehydration and do not drink enough water, the consequences could be serious. You could even suffer seizures or a heart stroke as a result of severe dehydration. People who suffer from medical conditions like diabetes should especially drink enough water. This also applies to those people who sweat excessively, have a fever or diarrhoea. To prevent yourself from getting dehydrated, make sure you carry around a bottle of water or two wherever you go. In addition to that, pass urine when you have the urge to. Holding urine in the bladder will make you feel like not drinking water or drinking very less water. Eat fruits, foods and vegetables that are high in water content. Stay hydrated.

Read more about: urine kidney liver heart health health
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