Urine color could be tip off for medical issues

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Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 4:45 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. -- What can going to bathroom tell you about the state of your health? Turns out, a lot.

When we visit our doctor, a urine test is routine. We don’t think much about it, but the color of your urine may reveal information about your health before its even sent in to a lab.

Do you know what color your urine is? “It can go anywhere from clear, to pale yellow, to amber, or dark yellow, or on the brink of a brown color actually,” says Dr. Ashok Sastry of Nephrology Associates of Sarasota.

He says in unique circumstances, medications, including antibiotics or infections, may cause blue or green urine. “Just simple kidney stones, you can have blood in the urine so it can give sort of a Kool-aid color, pink color to the urine.”

The uber-fit may want to check their urine color. “There is a condition that we see in marathon runners called rhabdomyolysis, where you can actually have dark yellow or brown urine from the muscle pigment causing kidney damage.”

Drinking water may help keep urine a healthy color, and also help prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infections.

“They used to say eight glasses a day, which is still a fine recommendation because people can remember that.” Registered dietician Bonni London of London Wellness says many people need more. “The basic recommendations are to drink are to drink half of your weight in ounces; so for someone who is a hundred and twenty pounds, that would be 60 ounces of water a day.”

If you weigh closer to a hundred pounds, then you only need to drink about fifty ounces of water.” Which translates to about three standard sixteen ounce containers.

But don’t overdo it. “The conditions where you see clear urine, either somebody who has been drinking too much water, and the kidneys are not able to handle that properly, or the kidneys themselves are unable to concentrate urine and they are excreting clear urine,” says Dr. Sastry.

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