Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Is my pee normal? Does the colour of my urine reflect the condition of my health? If you are having questions like these in your mind, go through the following piece of read to get your answers.

What Does the Color of Pee Indicate & How Often Should You Pee?

What is Pee?

Most people do not observe their pee before flushing it out of sight. But the basic details of urine, like its colour, smell and frequency of urinating, can often indicate what is going on inside one’s body. Pee or urine is basically the liquid waste produced by the body, which comprises of water, salt, and chemicals called uric acid and urea. When the kidney filters toxins from the blood, urine is produced. Factors like illnesses, certain medications, and some foods affect how the urine or pee turns out.

What Is The Colour Of Pee and What Does It Indicate?

When one is normal and healthy, the colour of their urine should be pale yellow to golden. Urine gets it colour from a pigment called urochrome, which is made by the body. The urine also changes its shade to become light or dark. People who drink plenty of water or take diuretics tend to produce colourless urine. Extremely dark honey or brown-coloured urine is a sign of dehydration and individuals producing such urine should drink more fluids. Such dense coloured urine can also be indicative of a liver problem, and so patients should immediately contact a doctor if urine does not regain its normal colour in a day or two.

Although unusual but urine can also be pink, red, orange, blue or green in colour. Foods like blackberries, carrots, rhubarb and beets can turn your pee pinkish-red in colour. This can also occur as the side effect of medications like the drug for UTIs called phenazopyridine; or the antibiotic called rifampin. One must always contact a doctor if their urine is pink or red in colour since this can also indicate the presence of blood in the urine, kidney problems, prostate issues, UTI or a tumor.

Medications like the UTI drug phenazopyridine, high-dose vitamin B2, or the antibiotic isoniazid can give pee the colour of a citrus-flavoured soft drink. This colour can also be a result of dehydration or problems in the bile duct or liver. Pee can also become blue and green in colour due to dyes present in the foods which one eats. Certain medicines like the anesthetic propofol and the anti-allergen promethazine can also bring about the same result. Some rare medical conditions can also make pee green or blue. So, one should inform their doctor about this problem if the colour of pee does not normalise on its own with a few days. Consistently foamy and frothy urine is a sign of protein in the urine, which in turn implies that the individual is suffering from kidney issues. Irrespective of the colour, if the urine is foamy one should immediately contact a doctor.

How Does Pee Smell?

Usually, pee does not have a strong smell. But certain foods like asparagus, which has a smelly sulfur compound, can change the odour of the urine. Even vitamin B-6 supplements can have the same effect. Dehydration makes the pee very concentrated and makes it smell strongly of ammonia. Extremely strong-smelling urine can also be a sign of a bladder infection, diabetes, metabolic diseases and UTI.

How Often Should One Pee?

Everyone has a different pattern of urinating, but most people generally need to empty their bladders up to 8 times a day. This frequency can however change depending on what one eats and drinks. For example, intake of caffeine and alcohol can make one pee more often. One tends to pee more frequently as a side effect of certain medications. Also, pregnant women and older people pee more than normal. A sudden need to pee more often than usual can be a sign of health conditions like diabetes, UTI, interstitial cystitis an enlarged prostate in men and vaginitis in women. Sudden and uncontrollable urge to pee can indicate an overactive bladder too. This condition commonly occurs in older men and women, although not necessarily a normal part of aging. This can, however, be treated with medication and certain lifestyle changes.

Outlook

When observing any change in your pee that does not seem to be linked to a recent meal or any new medications, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should contact a doctor promptly, if such changes last for more than a day or two and are also accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting, increased thirst, side or back pain and discharge. The doctor can order for a urine test to know what’s wrong in the patient’s body. However, it should always be remembered that the colour of the pee is only a symptom of a health condition and not a disease itself.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 23, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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