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What does your urine say about your health?

  1. We produce about two liters of urine per day. Normally it is clear and light yellow to bright yellow in color. However, changes in your diet, use of medication and fluctuations in the hormone balance all affect the color and smell of the urine. Have a look in the toilet bowl to see how your health is doing.

  1. An adult normally urinates three to eight times a day, depending on fluid intake. That urine is usually light yellow to golden yellow in color. This is caused by the dye urochrome. It is produced continuously and in the same quantity. With less concentrated urine, the color is lighter than with highly concentrated urine. But your urine can also be colorless, brown, black or even purple. A

  2. An adult normally urinates three to eight times a day, depending on the fluid intake. That urine is usually light yellow to golden yellow in color. This is caused by the dye urochrome. It is produced continuously and in the same quantity. With less concentrated urine, the color is lighter than with highly concentrated urine. But your urine can also be colorless, brown, black or even purple. A

Light yellow urine

  1. If a lot of water is drunk in a short period of time, the urine can become pale yellow to almost colorless. This means that there is a low concentration of kidney dyes (urochrome) in the urine, but it does not say anything about your health. Your urine is simply very diluted by all the moisture. In case of poorly controlled diabetes or malfunctioning kidneys, the urine can also be lighter.

Dark yellow urine

  1. Urine is dark yellow when someone has drunk too little or has lost a lot of fluid in a short time; for example by exercising intensively or sweating a lot. The moisture percentage in the urine decreases and the urochrome concentration increases. Morning urine is often more concentrated and therefore darker in color, because you perspire a lot at night.

Cloudy, foamy urine

  1. Cloudy or foamy urine can be caused by salt crystals of uric acid or phosphoric acid and is then harmless. However, it can also be a less good sign: when it is due to the presence of white blood cells and pus in the urine; aka pyuria. Itching, burning, painful urination and blood in the urine can be other symptoms. It may indicate an infection of the urinary tract or cystitis and is often accompanied by painful urination, frequent small amounts of urine and abdominal pain.

Glomerulonephritis

  1. Foamy or cloudy urine may also cause glomerulonephritis. Glomerulonephritis is an uncommon condition in which the filters of the kidneys, the glomeruli, become inflamed. As a result, the kidneys can no longer perform their function of removing waste products and excess water properly. In addition, blood cells and protein molecules leak to the urine through the glomeruli. Other signs of this condition include blood in the urine, frequent urination, swollen face with thick eyes, swollen feet and legs, shortness of breath and loss of appetite. If cloudy urine persists for longer or if you have any of the other complaints, it is wise to contact your doctor.

White urine

  1. A high level of phosphate salts in the urine can make it whiter. We call this phosphaturia and it is often only visible at the end of the urine stream because the phosphates then precipitate. Phosphaturia is not dangerous in principle, but it can irritate and in some cases cause kidney stones. White urine can also indicate a leak from the lymphatic system to the urinary tract or kidneys (chyluria). In both cases it is wise to visit the doctor.

Brown urine

  1. When our urine contains hemoglobin, muscle proteins or other degraded proteins, it can turn a brownish color. The emission of bilirubin - a substance released during the breakdown of red blood cells - can also cause a light brown color. This is sometimes the case with liver disorders. If the urine is beer brown, it could indicate blocked bile ducts or hepatitis. Dark brown urine that smells like feces could be a sign of a fistula. As a precaution, if brown urine persists for a longer period of time, please contact your doctor.

  2. When our urine contains hemoglobin, muscle proteins or other degraded proteins, it can turn a brownish color. The release of bilirubin - a substance that is released during the breakdown of red blood cells - can also cause a light brown color. This is sometimes the case with liver disorders. If the urine is beer brown, it could indicate blocked bile ducts or hepatitis. Dark brown urine that smells like feces could be a sign of a fistula. As a precaution, if brown urine persists for a longer period of time, please contact your doctor.

Black urine

  1. Black urine usually means that melanin is excreted in the urine and occurs for example when someone has skin cancer (melanomas). Also a certain metabolic disease, ochronosis, can cause black urine due to excretion of the coloring agent alkapton. Incidentally, it can also turn skin, cartilage and connective tissue black.

  2. Black urine usually means that melanin is excreted in the urine and occurs, for example, when someone has skin cancer (melanomas). A certain metabolic disease, ochronosis, can also cause black urine due to excretion of the coloring agent alkapton. Incidentally, it can also turn skin, cartilage and connective tissue black.

Gray urine

  1. Greyish urine may indicate early kidney stones. These stones often start out as microscopic grit that can be found in the urine. Is the urine gray and do you have pain or a burning sensation when you urinate? Then go to the doctor. Sufficient drinking is also important in this case; if necessary, the water can be acidified with a little lemon juice; this inhibits stone formation.

Red urine

  1. Beetroot or red cabbage can turn the urine red. So red urine is not always something to worry about. Menstruation can also sometimes cause some blood in the urine. When the urine is red for a long time, however, this indicates blood in the urine, or hematuria. Visible blood in the urine can indicate a bladder or kidney disease such as kidney stones, a bladder or kidney tumor, or a cyst. However, the most common cause of red urine is cystitis or pelvic inflammatory disease. Also with sickle cell disease or hydronephrosis, the urine can turn red. The fact that blood is present in the urine is not always a cause for concern. But because the causes can be so varied (from minor to very serious), it is always wise to contact your doctor.

Purple urine

  1. If the urine is purplish or purple (purple-red) in color, this could indicate the metabolic disease porphyria. This is a collective term for a number of diseases related to disorders in the production of red blood cells.

Can it be a bit more (or less)?

  1. As mentioned, the average person produces two liters of urine per day. When you urinate a lot more, we call this polyuria. With a much smaller urine production (less than 500 ml per day) we speak of oliguria or anuria (less than 50 ml per day).

Causes of high urine production

  1. Drink plenty of water Alcohol consumption Many caffeinated drinks (cola, coffee) Diabetes Absence of the hormone ADH (anti-diuretic hormone), which prevents the kidneys from retaining water Some kidney disease

Causes of low urine production

  1. Dehydration Shock Kidney failure

When to see the doctor?

  1. In addition to the above causes, the urine can also discolor due to fluctuations in your blood sugar level, for example with diabetes melitus, or fluctuations in your hormone balance (pregnancy, menopause). In addition, nutrition and fluid intake influence the color. In addition, certain medicines can give your urine strange colors; from orange to blue to green. This is often stated in the package leaflet. In any case, go to the doctor for a check-up at: Pain or burning sensation when urinating Blood in the urine (persistent) White, cloudy urine (persistent) Doubt and concern The doctor can carry out further investigation and refer you to a specialist if necessary.



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