I’m going to take a step off the beaten path today and discuss something that all of us do. We may not admit it openly and we might not even admit it in private but let’s face it, all of us turn around and look in the toilet after we go to the bathroom. As it turns out, this may just be the best thing you could do for your health. Keeping an eye on what you see in the toilet bowl can help you to keep an eye on what is taking place inside of you.
Apparently, it is possible to learn a lot about our overall health by taking a closer look at what comes out of our body. In particular, I’m talking about pee. Most of us are already aware of what our urine should look like, a light yellow color similar to lemonade. It means that you are healthy and hydrated.
The issue, however, is that there is much more that could be taking place that goes beyond checking for dehydration. The color of our pee may not be as accurate as a blood test or a physical exam by a doctor but it is something that can help us to check our health on a day-to-day basis.
Have you ever wondered why your urine is yellow? When the kidneys are processing waste, it results in a byproduct and that chemical tints the color of your pee. If you are hydrated, that chemical is diluted and the color is light yellow. If you are dehydrated, it is more concentrated in the urine so it shows up as a deeper color of yellow.
What do you do if you look in the toilet bowl when you see something other than yellow pee looking back at you? You might be surprised to learn that urine can come in a wide range of colors and each color can tell you something specific about what is taking place on the inside.
If You See Red in the Bowl
The most common reason why you would see red urine in the toilet bowl is because you ate something that tinted your pee. It could include blackberries, red beets or rhubarb. When the color is pink or red, it typically occurs because of an issue known as beeturia. The compounds in the food end up in the urine because they are not fully processed in the kidneys.
In most cases, the color will go away within a day or so but if it persists, you may want to have it checked by a physician. Persistent red pee could mean blood clots in the kidneys or bladder. They are rare, but you would want to get checked just in case.
If You See Orange in the Bowl
Did you know that your skin could turn orange if too many carrots are consumed? Something similar can happen to your urine. It occurs because of beta-carotene, and it ends up in the urine and eventually, in the toilet bowl. Certain medications can also lead to orange urine, including warfarin (a blood thinner) and phenazopyridine (UTI treatment).
If you are taking those meds or if you ate a bunch of carrots, there is no need to fret. On the other hand; if it comes out of the blue, talk to your doctor.
If You See Neon Yellow in the Bowl
Do you take vitamins? You might see a fluorescent yellow color staring back at you from the toilet bowl. Certain vitamins, including the B vitamins will tint your pee this bright color. This isn’t a cause for concern but it can be frustrating to pay so much for vitamins and then flush them down the toilet.
If You See Green in the Bowl
Have you ever noticed that smell when you pee after eating asparagus? Yeah, you know what I mean. Apparently, it can also tint your urine green as well. There is also a type of UTI (Proteus infection) that can turn your pee green, as well as a bug that can cause kidney stones (ouch!)
If You See Blue in the Bowl
If you have too much calcium in your body (hypercalcemia), it can turn your pee blue. It is rare but if it happens to you, talk to your doctor.
If You See Brown in the Bowl
A condition known as Porphyria can cause sensitivity to light but it also affects how red blood cells are broken down in your body, turning your pee brown in the process. It is very rare but if you also have rashes, stomach pain or seizures, it could be the culprit. Since red blood cells can tint the urine brown, it could be a sign of a tumor. Then again, it could be something you ate. Keep your eye on it.
If You See White in the Bowl
Infections often show up in the toilet bowl in different colors but sometimes, they turn the urine milky white. This could be the sign of a serious UTI or even a kidney stone. I don’t want to alarm you but it basically means that you are peeing puss. Talk to your doctor and get things cleared up soon.
There is one thing to remember if you notice anything different about your pee. It is not typically something to worry about but if it is persistent, talk to a doctor. It may just be a tweak of your diet or water intake but in some cases, more aggressive measures are needed. It’s better to be safe than sorry.