Bodily functions can tell us a lot about our health, and urine is no exception. So why does it vary in shade from day to day?

According to Urologist Dileep Bhat with Avera Medical Group Specialty Care, patients need to be concerned when they see certain patterns and colors.

“Urochrome (a natural dye) makes urine light yellow in color, and when you’re NOT drinking enough water your kidneys concentrate urine making it appear darker. If you ARE getting enough water, urine will appear colorless. But if your urine appears to be red or orange, that means there could be blood in it and you should go see your doctor immediately.”

Bhat goes on to say changes in color are more significant when coupled with other symptoms.

“We often times see people who are experiencing issues with frequency of urination, such as having to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. For men, age brings prostate gland growth, and that can lead to blockage that can prevent emptying the bladder completely.”

For men the most common issues are experiencing a slow or weak stream or dribbling after you thought you were done. For women it's bladder infection and overactive bladder.

Bhat says food can cause false alarms, with the biggest culprit being vegetables such as asparagus or beets. Both can cause the odor and color of your urine to change.

Bhat says like color, your urine’s scent being off once or twice is usually nothing. But If you notice color or odor changes that persist or come with burning - go see your doctor!

Source: Avera Health

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