Everyone does it, but very few talk about it, and there is very little concern for it, except among the medical community, but it is still generally accepted that the colors of urine says a lot about your health.
Urine is made up of waste products and fluid that the kidneys filter from the blood. Approximately 150 liters of blood passes through the kidneys daily, and up to 2 litres of urine is produced and sent to the bladder where it is stored temporarily before it is eliminated. The amount of urine that is produced depends on the type of foods that are ingested, as some foods contain more water or liquid content than others. It also depends on factors such as personal metabolic rates that control the fluids eliminated through respiration and perspiration.
Strangely enough the colors of urine are not consistent, and depend on the amount of water and liquids that is consumed. Dr. Daniel Shoskes, who works at the Cleveland Clinic, says it is not uncommon for the colors of urine to vary. He suggests that colorless urine is an indication of too much water consumption, and the normal color should be that of transparent yellow. He has developed a chart that uses the colors of urine as an indication of health and dehydration and it tells you when you should drink.
The color of urine tends to be darker in the mornings because of less hydration, but when urine shows as other colors, it is an indication of serious problems. Very dark urine that is the color of ale can indicate disease of the liver. If the dark color of urine does not change after drinking lots of water, it is recommended that you consult your doctor.
Is is simple to use the colors of urine to say a lot about health, but some caution must be exercised, as the colors are often related to the food that is consumed. Urine that is red or pink in color may be caused by heavily pigmented foods. But the responses also depend on personal physiology. In some individuals, foods such as blackberries, beets or blueberries can affect the color of urine, as well as the pigments in some types of medications. The antibiotic Rifampin, which is used to treat tuberculosis, has been known to add a red tinge to urine,and the painkiller Indomethacin, which is an anti-inflammatory drug, may turn urine blue.
A genetic disease, where the level of calcium in the blood rises above the normal level of 10.2mg/decilitre is often indicated by one of the symptoms which is blue urine, while green urine can indicate an infection of the urinary tract. If the color of urine is consistently red, Dr. Shoskes advises that it must be addressed immediately, as several cancers of the urinary system that include the prostate, kidneys and bladder, all show the presence of blood in the urine, although some cases turn out to be benign.
Testing urine is one of the methods that doctors use to determine how the body functions. The color and contents of the urine is often used to test for kidney diseases, which are often indicated by elevated levels of certain proteins. If there are too many white blood cells or nitrates present in urine, it could be a sign of an infection in the urinary tract.
Despite all of the technological advances and sophisticated instrumentation, it is remarkable that doctors can still rely on a simple test, such as the colors of urine to say a lot about your health.
By Dale Davidson