It’s not exactly polite conversation, but after all of the dining out, partying, and drinking over the holidays, it’s a question worth asking yourself. Just as the eyes are windows into the soul, urine is a window into the body.
“The average adult needs about one and a half liters a day” of water, said Marshall Stoller, a professor of urology at the University of California, San Francisco. “And you want to try to pee about one and a half liters a day,” he added, so “if you sweat a lot you may need to drink substantially more.”* 1
As many of you know, the color of your pee can tell you about your health, diet and hydration. This is something along with your poop that you need to pay attention to on a daily basis.
These are some of the foods that may change the color of urine:
• Dark yellow or orange: carrots
• Green: asparagus
• Pink or red: beetroot, blackberries, rhubarb
• Brown: fava beans, rhubarb
These are some of the medicines and vitamins that can change the colour of urine:
• Yellow or yellow-green: cascara, sulfasalazine, the B vitamins
• Orange: rifampicin, sulfasalazine, the B vitamins, vitamin C
• Pink or red: phenolphthalein, propofol, rifampicin, laxatives containing senna
• Green or blue: amitriptyline, cimetidine, indomethacin, promethazine, propofol, triamterene, several multi-vitamins
• Brown or brownish-black: levodopa, metronidazole, nitrofurantoin, some anti-malarial agents, methyldopa, laxatives containing cascara or senna
If you don’t take any supplements or medicines and you are not eating color causing foods, but your urine has some color, that indicates some medical conditions:
• Yellow: concentrated urine caused by dehydration
• Orange: a problem with the liver or bile duct
• Pink or red: blood in the urine, haemoglobinuria (a condition linked to haemolytic anaemia), myoglobinuria (a condition linked to the destruction of muscle cells)
• Deep purple: porphyria, a rare inherited red blood cell disorder
• Green or blue: urinary tract infection may cause green urine if caused by pseudomonas bacteria; familial hypercalcaemia, a rare genetic condition, can cause blue urine
• Brown or dark brown: blood in the urine, a liver or kidney disorder *2
If the urine appears cloudy or murky, it may be a sign of a urinary tract infection or kidney stones.
“If you see blood in the urine, even once, it requires you to see a doctor,” Stoller said. “It could be nothing,” he said, but “it could be an early sign of a kidney stone or cancer of some sort.”*1
Based on the color of urine and the consistency of it, you may go to see a doctor and do a urinalysis. A urine analysis can show: state of hydration (spec grav), kidney disease (protein), diabetes (sugar/ketones), stone/tumor (blood), liver disease (bilirubin), infection (white cells/nitrite). Also seen under the microscope are casts, crystals, bacteria, yeast. Separate tests check pregnancy (HCG) and drug screen.*3
These are what typical urine test cover; however, the researchers from University of Alberta took seven years to document the entire chemical composition of human urine, and they found that at least 3,079 compounds can be detected in urine. Seventy-two of these compounds are made by bacteria, while 1,453 come from the body itself. Another 2,282 come from diet, drugs, cosmetics or environmental exposure. Wow, this number is insane! But it could be more as more technology is advanced. We have about 2,300 chemical compounds from what we take into the body intentionally or unintentionally. *4
Yes, your Kidney does an extraordinary job of concentrating certain metabolites from the blood. You do not want the kidney to overwork all the time to eliminate the toxins from your body. What you need to do is to avoid toxic chemicals from food (Glyphosate was banned in Sri Lanka) *5, personal care products, cleaning products, OTC pain medications, (e.g., Motrin®, Advil®, Aleve®, Tylenol®) *6, and any products that use organic solvent. Furthermore, I highly recommend a seasonal 1 week to 10 day cleansing to eliminate toxins from your body quickly. Starting 2015 with a cleanse is a great start!