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Wee colour chart: What YOUR urine colour says about your health

NHS warn 'don't ignore' blood in urine as it is a cancer symptom

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How pale or dark your urine is on any occasion can not only show how dehydrated you are but can also indicate a health condition. You should also pay attention to the smell and check for any blood. chatted to Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy to find out how healthy your urine is.

Urine contains a yellow pigment called urobilin, which is why normal urine has a yellow colour.

Dr Lee said: “If you are dehydrated, your urine will look a deeper yellow or even brown. When your urine is dilute, it looks almost clear.

“Your urine may change colour as a result of eating different foods. For example, your urine may look red or dark pink after eating brightly coloured foods such as beetroot or blueberries!”

Don’t self diagnose, your GP or practice nurse can check your urine to see what is in it.

Dr Lee explained: “They do this by dipping a special dipstick into a urine sample.

“The urine dipstick as a number of coloured squares at one end, and when dipped into the urine, these change colour depending on what is in it.

“The stick can be easily compared to a colour chart to give instant results.

“Urine dipsticks test for the presence of glucose, blood, protein, ketones, urobilinogen, bilirubin, urobilinogen, leucocyte esterase and nitrites.”

In general, the colour and smell of your urine can give you a clue about your health before you see your GP.

Here’s what YOUR urine says about your health, according to Dr Lee.

Red urine

Red urine often means blood in the urine, which may be due to a urinary tract infection.

However, Dr Lee added: “This could also be due to kidney diseases such as kidney stones, or kidney or bladder tumours.

“In men, it may be due to an abnormality in the prostate gland.”

Blue or green urine

Blue or green urine can cause a shock and isn’t normal.

Dr Lee explained: “Blue or green urine is usually due to food colourings from food that are being excreted from the body by the kidneys.”

Dark brown urine

Dark brown urine is a sign of jaundice, which can occur for a variety of reasons.

Dr Lee said: “Quite often jaundice happens because of disease in the liver, the gallbladder, or the pancreas.

“In obstructive jaundice, characteristically, you have dark brown urine along with pale, putty coloured stools.

“Jaundice can also be present as a result of viral hepatitis. People with alcoholic liver disease are likely to develop jaundice.

“When someone is jaundiced, the whites of their eyes turn yellow, and their skin also becomes yellow and itchy.”

Cloudy urine

If your urine is cloudy, you may have a urinary tract infection.

Dr Lee said: “The urine can look thick, cloudy and full of sediment.”

The smell of urine

Normal urine has a distinctive, pungent smell, however, if the urine becomes very smelly and unpleasant this often signifies an abnormality.

Dr Lee said: “It may be due to dehydration and the urine being very concentrated, or it may be because of a urine infection which can make the urine smell foul.

“In fact, spicy foods, asparagus and garlic can find their way into the urine and make it smell.

“Diabetics may have strong-smelling urine. Urine infections are more common in diabetics, plus, ketones can make the urine smell of popcorn!”

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