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You don’t need to be a doctor to tell if your wee is unhealthy, just take a glance at your urine after you’ve gone to the toilet. Unhealthy urine could be a sign of a health condition or it might suggest that you’re lacking something. Not sure what you’re supposed to see and what’s a problem? Express.co.uk chatted to Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy to find out the five signs your wee is unhealthy.
Healthy wee should be yellow, but there’s a fine line between too dark or too pale.
Dr Lee explained: “Urine contains a yellow pigment called urobilin. This is why normal urine has a yellow colour.
“If you are dehydrated, your urine will look a deeper yellow or even brown, but when your urine is diluted 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!”
How often you go to the toilet can tell you a bit about your general health too.
The NHS said it is normal to go to the toilet between four and eight times during the day and once at night.
Any more and you could have urinary incontinence or overactive bladder syndrome, and any less could be a sign of dehydration, infection, trauma or a different condition.
Sometimes the colour and smell of your urine is indicative of a medical condition, side effects of stopping lamictal so it’s important to know the signs of unhealthy wee.
If your urine is not normal, your GP or practice nurse can check your urine to see what is in it.
Dr Lee said: “They do this by dipping a special dipstick into a urine sample.
“The urine dipstick has 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.”
The 5 signs YOUR wee is unhealthy
Red urine often means blood in the urine, which is obviously not healthy.
Dr Lee said: “Blood in the urine may be due to a urinary tract infection.
“This could also be due to kidney disease such as kidney stones, or kidney or bladder tumours.
“In men, it may be due to an abnormality in the prostate gland.”
It’s blue or green
Blue or green urine is not natural, but not always as scary as it seems.
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.”
If your wee continues to be blue or green for more than a day or you’re concerned, you must seek medical help.
It’s dark brown
Dark brown urine is a sign of jaundice, which can occur for a variety of reasons.
Dr Lee said: “Quite often, jaundice is because of disease in the liver, the gall bladder, 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 and 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 means that your urine isn’t transparent or clear, it looks a little murky.
If your urine is cloudy, you probably have a urinary tract infection.
Dr Lee said: “With urinary tract infections, the urine can look thick, cloudy and full of sediment.”
It has a strong smell
Wee is never going to smell nice, but keep tabs on any changes in the aroma.
Dr Lee said: “Normal urine has a distinctive, pungent smell, however if the urine becomes very smelly and unpleasant this often signifies an abnormality.
“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 particularly strong-smelling urine, Dr Lee pointed out.
The doctor said: “Urine infections are more common in diabetics, plus, ketones can make the urine smell like popcorn!”
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