Your urine is one of the best diagnostic tools for determining health problems. Below, we break down what the color, smell and consistency of urine say about your health. We tell you when you should seek medical attention and when you just need to drink a bit more water.
According to Cleveland Clinic, healthy urine is a pale straw color. The darker the yellow, the more dehydrated you are. If your urine is the color of amber or honey, grab a glass of water now. Orange urine can be a sign of dehydration, food coloring or something more perilous, like a problem with the liver or bile ducts.
The color of urine is affected by diet. If you've eaten beets, blackberries or rhubarb, your "beeturia" may be pink or reddish, says Prevention. If you have not eaten these scarlet fruits and vegetables, Cleveland Clinic says you need to seek immediate medical attention, as this may be a sign of kidney disease, a tumor, a prostate problem or a urinary tract infection.
Asparagus is another food culprit. It can give your urine a green tint and a funky sulphuric stench. But a green color change can also be a sign of a urinary tract infection or kidney stones, warns Prevention. Another sign of urinary tract infection is cloudy white pee. If you see this, the infection is bad and you should seek immediate medical attention.
The smell of pee is as important as its color. Typically, urine should not have a strong smell. If your urine smells of ammonia, gulp a big glass of water, as you are likely dehydrated, says WebMD. A strong smell can also be a sign of urinary tract infection, diabetes, bladder infection or metabolic disease. If the smell persists, take note of other symptoms, such as the color of urine, and call your doctor.
Something you may not normally think about is the consistency of urine. If it appears thicker than normal, you may be suffering from an undiagnosed illness or infection. All Women's Talk advises looking for cloudy urine, which signals kidney stones, and foamy urine, caused by protein buildup and an issue with the kidneys.
Take your health in your own hands, and learn how to read your pee. And don't forget to share this important information with your friends on social media!