We are now at the point where feminine health issues are talked about a lot more freely, which is better for all of us since we’re more likely to jump on any issues as soon as we see them. However, there are some elements of our health that many might still feel a little hesitant or embarrassed to share, and how we pee is one of them. But it is important to pay attention if something changes in how you urinate. It could be a sign that there’s something potentially wrong or worth checking with the doctor. Here, we’re going to look at some of the ways your pee can be an indicator of health, and what it can mean.
The importance of urinalysis
Even if you don’t notice something strange with your pee, in general, a doctor can request a urinalysis to help diagnose all manner of issues, whether it’s an infection, kidney disease, diabetes, liver disease, or otherwise. A urinalysis can involve looking at the urine for color or clearness, testing it with a dipstick to learn more about its chemical composition, or even put under a microscope for bacteria, pus, and other cells that shouldn’t be there in great numbers. There’s a lot that your doctor can learn by looking at your pee like this. People usually undergo a urinalysis because they already suspect that something is different about their pee, but it can be part of your annual physical as well, as your pee can be tested for things like proteins, ketones, and nitrates, which can indicate different things about your general health.
Changes in color should be noticed
One of the first signs that something has changed in your body can be a change in the color of your urine. If your urine is clear, then this is a good sign that you are hydrated enough (or even potentially overhydrated). Otherwise, there are lots of colors it can be. The darker and more yellow it gets can be a sign of dehydration. Orange urine can be an indicator of liver problems, but can also be due to eating certain things. Dark brown urine can indicate liver or kidney problems. White urine can indicate issues like a urinary tract infection. Pink or red urine could be blood in the urine, which should be checked out immediately. Generally, if the changes in your pee can be chalked up to dehydration, then you should drink more water and check again in the future to see if it changes. Otherwise, you should see a doctor about any persistent change in color.
Something smells off
The odor of your pee can change a lot for various different reasons, as well. This isn’t always related to changes in your health. For instance, a lot of people can notice a distinct change in the smell after they eat asparagus. Dehydration, while not always a serious issue, should be addressed, and it can sometimes be identified by a stronger ammonia scent in urine. If urine is sweet or fruity-smelling, it could potentially be a sign of type-2 diabetes, whereas if it smells particularly foul, this could be due to the presence of bacteria from an infection. Such infections can be dealt with the help of probiotics for BV. If there are any major changes in the color or odor of your pee, and they’re not just related purely to hydration, then it’s worth talking to the doctor. You can pick up a sample bottle at just about any pharmacy to turn in to the doctor as well. Most will have routine urine testing periods to help quickly get to the root of any concerns.
Blood in your urine
If you ever notice blood in your urine, then you should see the doctor as soon as you can. This typically happens when blood cells leak into the urinary tract, and can be a clear sign of a medical condition that isn’t getting treated. Blood in your pee can present in a few different ways, by making your urine pink, red, or brown, for instance. It’s a good idea to get this analyzed as quickly as possible, as it can be anything from a UTI to bladder stones, kidney disease, or even kidney or bladder cancer. This is one of those symptoms that you should never ignore for any amount of time when you see it. There’s no idea where the blood in your pee comes from, whether it’s the bladder, kidneys, or urethra until you undergo further tests for it.
When it hurts to pee
Sometimes, it’s not the pee itself, but the sensation of peeing that can be alarming. If you feel a burning pain when the first thing you might want to do is talk to an online doctor for your UTI. Urinary tract infections are fairly common, and this pain is one of the first and most notable signs that you have one. If there’s itching to go with it or changes in things like vaginal discharge, then it’s more likely to be an STI, like chlamydia. However, other issues like inflammation of the bladder, kidney infections, or kidney and bladder stones can all cause pain when you pee. For women, in particular, pain when you pee can be a sign of vaginal tears or bacteria vaginosis, which is the most common vaginal infection in women and worth identifying and treating. Regardless of what it is, it’s worth seeing the doctor about it.
Are you going to the toilet too often?
Sometimes, people can get a little concerned about the frequency of their trips to the toilet more than anything else. If you’re going to pee a lot, it can just be a sign that you’re drinking a lot of water. As we get older, we typically lose some of the holding capacity of our bladder, and pregnancy can affect this even more. Caffeine, alcohol, and some medications can also affect how often we have to urinate. That said, frequent urination can also be caused by things like problems affecting the urinary tract or prostate issues in men. It can also be a sign of type 1 or type 2 diabetes that is not getting the treatment that it should, so it’s worth at least asking your doctor about it.
Changes in pregnancy
There are a lot of ways that your body changes when you become pregnant, and this is very true of how you pee, as well. For one, your pee can help you tell if you’re pregnant through a pregnancy test strip, of course, though this result should always be confirmed by a trip to the doctor. After that, you can start to pee a lot more frequently, especially during the first trimester. Since pregnant women need to drink more water, it’s easier for their urine to show signs of dehydration, as well. Any of the signs of issues like UTIs should be treated a lot more urgently, too, as they can affect both you and your baby’s health, so it’s worth paying even more attention to your urination when pregnant and you shouldn’t just assume that new pain is due to the pregnancy alone.
Drug testing your pee
Of course, your pee can also be tested for substances such as marijuana, alcohol, and the like. There is no uniform period for testing, as these substances can remain in your urine for different lengths of time depending on the composition of the substance, how frequently you use it, what your age is, and more. Many tests will be able to find alcohol in your body for up to 36 hours after consumption, but some of the more sophisticated ones can typically detect it for more than three days after your last drink. Drug testing in urine is often done as part of an employment process, during employment, or to indicate the state of mind during or following an accident or injury.
It’s always worth taking a closer look at your pee
You should now have an idea of how much you pee can be an indicator of different aspects of your health. It doesn’t mean that every change in your urine is going to be a massively important symptom of some issue affecting your body, but rather, it can be an indicator of various elements of your health, from dehydration to nutrition, as well as infections, diseases, and other conditions that can affect your life much more if you don’t get them diagnosed and treated. You can get test kits for your urine at any pharmacy to quickly alert you to some issues that you might need to see the doctor for but, otherwise, you can typically pick up any testing cup and take it to the doctor for a closer look as well. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to test your pee, so it’s worth doing when you have the cause to.
Hopefully, the points above make you a little more aware of how vital getting to know your body, including what comes out of it, can be. If you suspect or notice any of the issues above, it’s worth talking to your doctor.