What Your Urine Can Tell Us About Your Health

Jun 01, 2022
misc image

What Your Urine Can Tell Us About Your Health

A common screening test you may undergo when visiting St. Michael’s Elite Hospital, located in Sugar Land, Texas, is a urinalysis. This test of your urine can pinpoint several health conditions and offer insights. We look for the presence of bacteria, glucose (sugar), blood cells, or drugs. 

But did you know that observing your urine at home can tell a lot about your health? Here’s what your urine can tell you — and your health care providers — about your health and wellness. 

Check out the color

Checking your urine color helps you determine if you’re hydrated. Light or straw-colored urine tells you that you’re getting enough fluids. Transparent yellow and dark yellow urine tells you that you should be getting more fluids. 

While dark yellow urine often indicates you aren’t getting enough water, it can also be caused by certain medications. Brownish or deep orange urine is a sign that you’re dehydrated or ate certain foods like rhubarb. Consistently dark urine that doesn’t clear by drinking more water could be a sign of liver disease. 

If your urine is nearly clear, you may be drinking too much water and diluting essential minerals in your body. 

Other colors of urine are a concern. For example, red or pink urine could be a sign of blood caused by a urinary tract infection or a problem with your kidneys or prostate (in men). If you just ate a beet salad, however, that could cause your urine to be dramatically red in color. 

Blue or green urine often results when you eat certain food dyes or medication. Rarely, it indicates a rare metabolic condition or urinary tract infection. If the discoloration persists, contact us to set up an evaluation.

Dark or black urine could be a sign of copper or phenol poisoning or cancer. Contact us right away or head to our emergency room.

Consistency matters

Urine is usually thin and transparent, regardless of the color. If your urine is cloudy or milky looking, it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or a kidney stone. 

Foamy urine may show up when you really have to go and your urine stream is excessively fast. But, if a foaminess continues, regardless of the speed of your stream, reach out because it could mean you have something going on with your kidneys. You may be getting an excess of protein, for example.

How often do you go?

Most people urinate 6-7 times in a 24-hour period. However, you may go a little more often if you drink a lot of water. Only be concerned about frequent urination if you start to notice an increase in frequency with no clear cause or if your urinary frequency interferes with the rhythm of your day. 

A sudden or urgent need to head to the bathroom is also an indication of a possible condition, like overactive bladder syndrome.

Keep in mind that increased urinary frequency and urgency can be caused by caffeine intake and pregnancy. 

More significant causes of urinary frequency include a urinary tract infection, diabetes, enlarged prostate in men, bladder cancer, and vaginal inflammation in women. If you’re concerned about how often you go, consult with us to see if we need to do more investigation into your bladder health. 

Smelly pee

When you’re well-hydrated, your urine doesn’t have much of a smell. Asparagus can give your pee a stinky smell and, if you’re dehydrated, the concentrated urine can have an ammonia aroma. 

Urine that consistently smells “off” or musty could have bacteria in it. These smells may also be a sign of liver disease. Sweet-smelling urine is a sign of uncontrolled diabetes. 

Proper hydration helps keep your urinary tract healthy. If you notice discoloration, increased frequency, or bad odors despite healthy habits, reach out to us at St. Michael's Elite Hospital in Sugar Land, Texas. Call today or use this website to set up an appointment.