Urine Diagnosis 101

Posted 08/09/2012 | By HealthCorps

Yes, you can be a health detective, just like Dr. Oz. He’s made a big point of “assessing your poop” so you know if your diet and elimination habits are healthy. Well, urine can also be a key to certain conditions.

Look at the color of your urine:

  • If it’s brown or dark it could be a sign of liver disease, antibiotic usage, kidney failure, or use of muscle relaxants. If you regularly eat Fava beans or rhubarb urine could also be dark-colored. If concerned, see a doctor.
  • If urine is pink or red it could be a by-product of eating beets. Urine can also be red-tinged if you are menstruating heavily, but otherwise blood should not be found in your urine. If you are concerned, check with a doctor.
  • Green urine can occur from food coloring, or because you take medications like Elavil and Indocin, or from a urinary tract infection (UTI). Try drinking water to see if the color disappears. Otherwise seek out a doctor’s opinion.

Some foods like asparagus can make your urine odorous. But if it smells like:

  • Ammonia – you may be dehydrated
  • It has a foul odor – it could be a bladder or kidney infection
  • It has a sweet smell – it could be a sign of diabetes, with spillage of sugar directly into urine.

General appearance can also signal a problem:

  • If it’s consistently “foamy or bubbly,” then it may be a sign of kidney disease.

Take note of changes in volume and frequency:

  • Going more frequently but “same total daily volume” may mean a UTI or in men, enlarged prostate
  • An increasing need to urinate larger volumes more frequently may indicate that you have diabetes.
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