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Gross but good info about your pee

Posted by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 1:57 PM
  • 8 Replies

6 Things Your Pee is Trying to Tell You

By | Healthy Living  

What is your pee trying to tell you?What is your pee trying to tell you?You know that you've had your share of water/beer/coffee by the frequency in which you need to use the bathroom, but what else can pee tell you about your health and habits? A lot, it turns out. We asked R. Mark Ellerkmann, M.D., director for the Center of Urogynecology at the Weinberg Center for Women's Health and Medicine in Baltimore, MD, for some of the specific health and lifestyle issues your urine's odor, color, and frequency can indicate. 

1. You're Pregnant.

The reason you have to pee on a stick after your first missed period is that shortly after conception (when a fertilized egg implants into the lining of the uterus), the fetus begins to secrete the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, which is what is detected by home pregnancy tests, Dr. Ellerkmann says. Some women also notice a strong, pungent odor early on, even before they're aware they're pregnant.

Once you've got a baby on board, running to the bathroom constantly is just one of the pesky parts of pregnancy, for a variety of reasons: your kidneys have to work harder to eliminate waste products from both you and the fetus, and as you (and the baby) get bigger, pressure on your bladder from your expanding uterus can send you to the ladies' morning, noon, and, annoyingly, in the middle of the night.

2. You have an injury or a medical condition.

Medically speaking, if there are red blood cells in your urine-known as "hematuria"-this could indicate a variety of conditions, according to Dr. Ellkermann, from kidney stones to an impact injury (in rare cases this can be caused by strenuous exercise like running long distances). A sweet odor can be indicative of diabetes, since your body isn't properly processing glucose. If you're over 35 and have erratic or heavy periods and an increase in urine frequency, you may have fibroids, benign uterine tumors that can press on your bladder (depending on their size, which can range from an olive to a grapefruit). Needless to say, if you see blood, smell any usual odor, or have any other concerns, see your doctor. 

3. You're a big fan of blackberries.

Crazy for carrots? Bananas for beets? Certain fruits and vegetables that have dark pigments (like the anthocyanin that gives beets and blackberries their deep red color) can tint urine either pink, in the case of red or purple produce, or orange if you're eating foods rich in carotene like carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins. If you're on a produce kick or just a really big fan of borscht, a change in urine color is nothing to be alarmed about, just take note if it stays the same after you've given the farmer's market a rest (vitamins can have a similar effect, particularly Vitamin C, as well as certain medications). And of course there is the notorious asparagus pee odor, caused by a harmless compound the veggie contains. 

4. You have a UTI.

Yes, that awful burning feeling is a pretty good indication you've got a dreaded urinary tract infection, but frequency (more than seven times a day, according to Dr. Ellkerman) is also a sign it's time to call your doc. Other symptoms of a UTI can include fever, chills, pelvic/lower-back pain, and, occasionally, the presence of red blood cells can tinge urine pink, while white blood cells that are rushing to fight your infection can turn urine cloudy or cause an unpleasant odor. If you experience any of these symptoms, you likely need antibiotics to clear up the infection; your doctor can detect the presence of a UTI with a urine sample. If you're tempted to swill some Ocean Spray instead, don't bother-unless you really like it. Cranberry juice won't help after the fact, but may prevent a UTI by making it difficult for bacteria to adhere to the bladder wall. 

5. Your kitchen is stocked with either wine, chocolate, coffee, or hot sauce.

And they should be, as all of those things are either necessary, delicious, or both. Unfortunately if you have stress incontinence, they can also make it worse. While this isn't terribly common in woman under 40 (though it can occur if you've had a baby or gynecological surgery), coffee, alcohol, sugar, and spicy foods can irritate bladder walls and aggravate the condition.

6. You're dehydrated.

You've may have heard that urine color-specifically dark yellow-can indicate dehydration, and this is indeed the case. When you're properly hydrated, pee should be clear or just vaguely straw colored (the color in urine is caused by a pigment called urichrome, which gets lighter and darker depending on how concentrated urine becomes), and you should be going regularly, about once an hour depending on a variety of factors. A strong urinary odor, also due to concentration, is a sign of dehydration as well. And yes, you do need the recommended eight cups of fluid per day, but you don't have to guzzle water to get it. Fruits and veggies contain water; if you're loading up on those, it contributes to your daily eight-cup goal. But hydration is also about self-regulation. If you're exercising, you need more fluid, (though only if you're training for a marathon or doing some other sort of very intense and long-duration activity do you need a sports drink), so be aware of your body's needs; fatigue and irritability can indicate dehydration as well.

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 1:57 PM
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Replies (1-8):
mickstinator
by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Survival shows frequently talk about the color and frequency of pee being the best indicator of how hydrated you are. 

I hope everyone knows that burning sensation! Powering through is just a no-no!

Thanks for posting! 

funhappymom
by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 3:25 PM


Quoting mickstinator:

Survival shows frequently talk about the color and frequency of pee being the best indicator of how hydrated you are. 

I hope everyone knows that burning sensation! Powering through is just a no-no!

Thanks for posting! 

I don't get burning when I have a UTI. Usually I don't realize I have one until my kidney starts hurting. I had one while pregnant this last time and didn't realize it until they did a urine test around 33-34 weeks.

deccaf
by Platinum Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 3:28 PM

I have not had a UTI since I was a kid.  I think it started as a UTI, but all I really remember (since I was 3) was going to my mom, telling her it really hurt when I went potty, and the next thing I remember is being in the hospital (which is a whole other scary story). I ended up having bladder surgery, but my mom doesn't really remember what the exact issue was.

mickstinator
by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 3:32 PM


Quoting funhappymom:


Quoting mickstinator:

Survival shows frequently talk about the color and frequency of pee being the best indicator of how hydrated you are. 

I hope everyone knows that burning sensation! Powering through is just a no-no!

Thanks for posting! 

I don't get burning when I have a UTI. Usually I don't realize I have one until my kidney starts hurting. I had one while pregnant this last time and didn't realize it until they did a urine test around 33-34 weeks.

Uh oh! That's the easiest way for me to tell! I probably wouldn't know I had one either if I didn't feel the burn.

mickstinator
by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 3:33 PM


Quoting deccaf:

I have not had a UTI since I was a kid.  I think it started as a UTI, but all I really remember (since I was 3) was going to my mom, telling her it really hurt when I went potty, and the next thing I remember is being in the hospital (which is a whole other scary story). I ended up having bladder surgery, but my mom doesn't really remember what the exact issue was.

I never had one until right before I got pregnant with my second son. I get them every once in a while now, but it's been quite a while.

leahbeah143
by Leah on Sep. 23, 2013 at 3:38 PM

 thanks for sharing!

cjsmom1
by Platinum Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 7:25 PM
Pee can tell you a lot
rissarin
by Gold Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 10:39 PM
Good info!
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