Going to the toilet is just a part of everyday life, and is usually something that the majority of us probably won’t even give a second thought. In fact, our bathroom activity can reveal a lot about our internal health. Changes in your urine can often be an indicator of an underlying health concern, and this could be anything from a different colour or smell, to the frequency of your need to urinate.
Men tend to be more likely notice these changes due to the ability to pass urine while standing, whereas women are less likely to take much notice before flushing the waste away. It might be worth making a quick check the next time you visit the bathroom – as it may just save your life.
What colour should my urine be?
Know your urine – There are numerous reasons why your urine might change colour, but if you were to notice blood in your urine, this is a cause for concern. The appearance of blood in your urine, known as haematuria, is one of the most common symptoms of bladder cancer, which is why you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. However, on the whole, most colour changes aren’t too much of a problem. Normal, healthy urine is usually anything from a pale yellow to a gold colour, despite the common misconception that this is unhealthy. A lot of people tend to think that only clear urine is healthy, whereas this simply isn’t the case.
Clear urine generally tends to mean that you have been drinking a lot of water. If you do become dehydrated, your urine might turn a very dark honey/brown colour. This shade could also indicate liver concerns, and so should be investigated if it proves to be consistent. If your urine turns a pink/red colour, this could be haematuria and should be looked at, but dietary changes can also be responsible for this change.
Does your urine smell?
Strong smelling urine could again be a result of dietary changes or dehydration, but in some cases, it could suggest a more serious issue, such as a UTI, diabetes or other diseases and infections, so always be cautious. As for frequency, on average we tend to need to empty our bladders around 8 times each day, although this can easily vary depending on what you’ve been eating and drinking.
Medications can also play a part in this, as well as pregnancy and old age. In some cases, you might feel like you need to use the toilet often, but struggle to make it in time. This is a common symptom of an overactive bladder, more likely to occur as we age but not necessarily a natural part of the ageing process. Your doctor can help you manage this condition with specific medications and lifestyle changes.
Seek advice from a healthcare professional
In general, it is always best to seek medical advice and help from your doctor if you notice significant and sudden changes in your bathroom habits. This is particularly important if your symptoms are persistent, or if they come with other symptoms, such as a fever, pain, discharge, extreme thirst, or vomiting. Your health is in your hands, so take control and don’t ignore your symptoms.
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