Risk Factors For Discolored Urine
Discolored urine that isnt the result of foods or medications could be caused by a medical condition that affects urine color. Factors that put you at risk of medical conditions that can affect urine color include:
- Age. Tumors of the bladder and kidney, which can cause blood in the urine, are more common in older people. Men older than 50 occasionally have urinary blood due to an enlarged prostate gland.
- Family history. A family history of kidney disease or kidney stones makes it more likely that youll develop these problems. Both can cause blood in the urine.
- Strenuous exercise. Distance runners are most at risk, but anyone who exercises vigorously can have urinary bleeding.
The Urinary Tract And How It Works
The urinary tract is the bodys drainage system for removing urine, which is composed of wastes and extra fluid. In order for normal urination to occur, all body parts in the urinary tract need to work together in the correct order.
Kidneys. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. Every day, the kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine. The kidneys work around the clock; a person does not control what they do.
Ureters. Ureters are the thin tubes of muscleone on each side of the bladderthat carry urine from each of the kidneys to the bladder.
The urinary tract is important because it filters wastes and extra fluid from the bloodstream and removes them from the body. Normal, functioning kidneys:
- prevent the buildup of wastes and extra fluid in the body
- keep levels of electrolytes, such as potassium and phosphate, stable
- make hormones that help regulate blood pressure
- make red blood cells
- keep bones strong
The ureters, bladder, and urethra move urine from the kidneys and store it until releasing it from the body.
When To Bring In The Professionals For Urine Color
Sometimes changes to a persons urine are temporary and harmless, such as the result of eating certain foods, taking medications or vitamins. But changes can also be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition.
Anytime you see blood in your urine or notice it is brown or orange, it is time to seek medical attention and make an appointment with your primary care provider. This is especially true if the change lasts more than a day, or if it comes with back or side pain, fever, burning with urinating, vomiting, discharge or thirst.
Blood in the urine is a common sign of a urinary tract infection, kidney stones or urinary tract cancer. Brown or orange urine may be caused by a malfunctioning liver especially if it is partnered with pale stools and yellow eyes and skin.
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Oranges And Orange Juice
While oranges and orange juice are arguably most well known for their vitamin C content, theyre also rich sources of potassium.
One large orange provides 333 mg of potassium. Moreover, there are 473 mg of potassium in 1 cup of orange juice .
Given their potassium content, oranges and orange juice likely need to be avoided or limited on a renal diet.
Grapes, apples, and cranberries, as well as their respective juices, are all good substitutes for oranges and orange juice, as they have lower potassium contents.
Oranges and orange juice are high in potassium and should be limited on a renal diet. Try grapes, apples, cranberries, or their juices instead.
Processed meats are meats that have been salted, dried, cured, or canned.
Some examples include hot dogs, bacon, pepperoni, jerky, and sausage.
Processed meats typically contain large amounts of salt, mostly to improve their taste and preserve flavor.
Therefore, it may be difficult to keep your daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg if processed meats are abundant in your diet.
Additionally, processed meats are high in protein.
If you have been told to monitor your protein intake, its important to limit processed meats for this reason as well.
Processed meats are high in salt and protein and should be consumed in moderation on a renal diet.
Pickles, processed olives, and relish are all examples of cured or pickled foods.
Usually, large amounts of salt are added during the curing or pickling process.
Fatigue Being Tired All Of The Time
Why this happens:
Healthy kidneys make a hormone called erythropoietin , or EPO, that tells your body to make oxygen-carrying red blood cells. As the kidneys fail, they make less EPO. With fewer red blood cells to carry oxygen, your muscles and brain tire very quickly. This is anemia, and it can be treated.
What patients said:
I was constantly exhausted and didn’t have any pep or anything.
I would sleep a lot. I’d come home from work and get right in that bed.
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Why Is My Urine Orange
As you may recall from art class in elementary school, red plus yellow makes orange.
If your urine has an orangey hue, it could be blood, according to Dr. Clifton.
If urine is dark and orange, especially if you have pale stools or yellow skin and eyes, it could be a sign of a liver issue, Dr. Clifton says. This should be evaluated, she notes.
She says that the anti-inflammatory drug sulfasalazine , phenazopyridine, some laxatives, and certain chemotherapy drugs might also cause urine to be orange.
Ways To Keep Your Kidneys Healthy
Your kidneys are fist-sized organs located at the bottom of your rib cage, on both sides of your spine. They perform several functions.
Most importantly, they filter waste products, excess water, and other impurities from your blood. These waste products are stored in your bladder and later expelled through urine.
In addition, your kidneys regulate pH, salt, and potassium levels in your body. They also produce hormones that regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells.
Your kidneys are also responsible for activating a form of vitamin D that helps your body absorb calcium for building bones and regulating muscle function.
Maintaining kidney health is important to your overall health and general well-being. By keeping your kidneys healthy, your body will filter and expel waste properly and produce hormones to help your body function properly.
Here are some tips to help keep your kidneys healthy.
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Swelling In Hands Or Feet
Why this happens:
Failing kidneys don’t remove extra fluid, which builds up in your body causing swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, and/or hands.
What patients said:
I remember a lot of swelling in my ankles. My ankles were so big I couldn’t get my shoes on.
Going to work one morning, my left ankle was swollen, real swollen, and I was very exhausted just walking to the bus stop. And I knew then that I had to see a doctor.
Know What Your Urine Color Tells About Your Health
If your eyes are the window into your soul, your toilet bowl is a window into your health.
Have you noticed that most doctors recommend urine tests when you go for a health checkup? This is because your urine can reveal a lot about whats going on inside your body. Your urines odor, consistency and color are all telltale indicators of your well-being and health status.
Urine is made mostly of water and a surprisingly list of ingredients like urea, chloride, sodium, potassium, creatinine and other dissolved ions as well as various inorganic and organic compounds. Any sort of imbalance in the body can affect the color, consistency and odor of the urine.
A pale straw or transparent yellow color is a sign of good health and a properly hydrated body. The pigment that gives urine its characteristic yellow color is known as urochrome. Urine takes on the yellow color when the kidneys properly process waste products.
Fluid intake dilutes the yellow pigment in urine, so the more you drink, the clearer your urine looks. When you drink too little water or other fluids, the body becomes dehydrated and the color becomes a more concentrated yellow.
If your urine takes on other unusual colors, it can indicate a health problem.
Here is what various urine colors tell about your heath.
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What Color Is A Healthy Kidney
. Then, what color is your urine if you have kidney problems?
Brown, red, or purple urineKidneys make urine, so when the kidneys are failing, the urine may change. How? You may urinate less often, or in smaller amounts than usual, with dark-colored urine. Your urine may contain blood.
One may also ask, what color is healthy urine? Normal urine color ranges from pale yellow to deep amber the result of a pigment called urochrome and how diluted or concentrated the urine is. Pigments and other compounds in certain foods and medications can change your urine color. Beets, berries and fava beans are among the foods most likely to affect the color.
Besides, how do you know if something is wrong with your kidneys?
Tell your doctor if you have the following symptoms, which can be signs that something is wrong with your kidneys: A change in how much you urinate. Pee that is foamy, bloody, discolored, or brown. Pain while you pee.
Does each kidney function at 100 percent?
Kidneys are important organs responsible for regulating many body processes. With two kidneys, your body is at 100 percent function. Once you donate a kidney or lose a kidney for whatever reason, you’re at 60 to 65 percent function. But to function normally, you only need 30 percent function.
What Does The Color Of Urine Mean
Urine of an abnormal color appears different from the usual straw-yellow color. Abnormally colored urine may be cloudy, dark, or blood-colored.
Discolored urine is often caused by medications, certain foods or food dyes. In some cases, though, changes in urine color can be caused by specific health problems.
The color categories here are approximate, because what looks like red to you might look like orange to someone else.
Diseases that can change the urine color include:
- Acute cystitis
- Renal cell carcinoma
Cloudy or milky urine is a sign of a urinary tract infection, which may also cause a bad smell. Milky urine may also be caused by bacteria, crystals, fat, white or red blood cells, or mucus in the urine.
Red or pink color urine
Despite its alarming appearance, red urine isnt necessarily serious. Red or pink urine can be caused by:
Orange color urine
Orange urine can result from:
- Medications. Medications that can turn urine orange include the anti-inflammatory drug sulfasalazine ; phenazopyridine ; some laxatives; rifampin and certain chemotherapy drugs.
- B complex vitamins or carotene.
- Medical conditions. In some cases, orange urine can indicate a problem with your liver or bile duct, especially if you also have light-colored stools.
- Dehydration, which can concentrate your urine and make it much deeper in color, can also make your urine appear orange.
Blue or green color urine
Blue or green urine can be caused by:
Dark brown or cola-colored urine
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Pretzels Chips And Crackers
Ready-to-eat snack foods like pretzels, chips, and crackers tend to be lacking in nutrients and relatively high in salt.
Also, its easy to eat more than the recommended portion size of these foods, often leading to even greater salt intake than intended.
Whats more, if chips are made from potatoes, theyll contain a significant amount of potassium as well.
Pretzels, chips, and crackers are easily consumed in large portions and tend to contain high amounts of salt. Additionally, chips made from potatoes provide a considerable amount of potassium.
What Affects The Amount Of Urine A Person Produces
The amount of urine a person produces depends on many factors, such as the amounts of liquid and food a person consumes and the amount of fluid lost through sweat and breathing. Certain medications, medical conditions, and types of food can also affect the amount of urine produced. Children produce less urine than adults; the amount produced depends on their age.
Figure 1. Kidney location
Figure 4. Microcirculation of the kidney
Points to Remember
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Poo Colours Of The Rainbow
Normal poo colour ranges from light yellow to brown to black. The colour is due to a mix of bile, which starts off green in the gall bladder, and bilirubin a yellow breakdown product from red blood cells.
Poo can turn green after consuming food and drink containing blue or green food colouring, or if food travels too fast through the gut and some bile is still present.
Poo that is yellow, greasy and smells really bad signals food malabsorption. If this colour is associated with weight loss in an adult or poor growth in a child, see a doctor to rule out gut infections such as giardia or medical conditions like coeliac disease.
Very pale or clay-coloured poo can happen when taking some anti-diarrhoeal medications, or when digestive problems affect the liver, gut, pancreas or gall bladder.
At the other extreme of the colour spectrum, black poo could be a serious medical issue due to bleeding in the stomach or upper gut. Or it could be a harmless side-effect from taking iron supplements, or eating lots of licorice.
Red poo can also be a serious medical issue due to bleeding in the lower gut, or from haemorrhoids, or harmless after having large amounts of red food colouring.
If you dont know what colour your pee or poo is, take a look. If you see a colour thats out of the ordinary and you havent eaten anything unusual, take a picture and make an appointment to show your GP.
What About Dark Red Urine
It doesnt have to be bright red blood either.
Darker colored red may be old blood that has been in the urinary tract a little bit longer, Dr. Clifton says.
Your urine may also turn dark brown if you eat a large portion of fava beans, rhubarb, or aloe, she says. Some medications, including antimalarial drugs and some antibiotics, can cause cola-colored urine.
Sometimes extreme exercise can cause cola-colored urine, too, because it triggers the breakdown of muscles known as rhabdomyolysis.
This condition, sometimes shortened to rhabdo, can also be caused by crush or traumatic injuries; drug use, such as cocaine or methamphetamines; heat exposure; or taking supplements like creatine or ephedra.
When this happens, myoglobin releases and excretes into your urine, Dr. Clifton explains. This can damage your heart or kidneys and the condition can be potentially life threatening.
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Changes In Color Or Odor Of Urine
Normally, dilute urine is nearly colorless. Concentrated urine is deep yellow. Colors other than yellow are abnormal.
Doctors usually can identify the cause of an abnormal color by examining the urine under a microscope or by doing chemical tests.
Drugs can produce a variety of colors: brown, black, blue, green, orange, or red.
Treatment is unnecessary except if needed to treat the underlying disorder.
What Do Kidneys Do
One of the main jobs of the kidneys is to filter the waste out of the blood. How does the waste get in your blood? Well, your blood delivers nutrients to your body. Chemical reactions in the cells of your body break down the nutrients. Some of the waste is the result of these chemical reactions. Some is just stuff your body doesn’t need because it already has enough. The waste has to go somewhere; this is where the kidneys come in.
First, blood is carried into the kidneys by the renal artery . The average person has 1 to 1½ gallons of blood circulating through his or her body. The kidneys filter that blood about 40 times a day! More than 1 million tiny filters inside the kidneys remove the waste. These filters, called nephrons , are so small you can see them only with a high-powered microscope.
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Packaged Instant And Premade Meals
Processed foods can be a major component of sodium in the diet.
Among these foods, packaged, instant, and premade meals are usually the most heavily processed and thus contain the most sodium.
Examples include frozen pizza, microwaveable meals, and instant noodles.
Keeping sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day may be difficult if youre eating highly processed foods regularly.
Heavily processed foods not only contain a large amount of sodium but also commonly lack nutrients .
Packaged, instant, and premade meals are highly processed items that can contain very large amounts of sodium and lack nutrients. Its best to limit these foods on a renal diet.
Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens are leafy green vegetables that contain high amounts of various nutrients and minerals, including potassium.
When served raw, the amount of potassium varies between 140290 mg per cup .
While leafy vegetables shrink to a smaller serving size when cooked, the potassium content remains the same.
For example, one-half cup of raw spinach will shrink to about 1 tablespoon when cooked. Thus, eating one-half cup of cooked spinach will contain a much higher amount of potassium than one-half cup of raw spinach.
Raw Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens are preferable to cooked greens to avoid too much potassium.
However, moderate your intake of these foods, as theyre also high in oxalates. Among sensitive individuals, oxalates can increase the risk of kidney stones (
Strange Pee Colours Due To Food Drugs Or Disease
Pee the colour of syrup or molasses needs medical investigation. While it could be due to extreme dehydration, it can be a sign of liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, where a build up of bilirubin spills into your pee. Bilirubin is a breakdown product of red blood cells; its also responsible for poos normal brown colour.
Pee can turn bright orange or yellow when taking beta-carotene or vitamin B supplements, especially large doses of riboflavin . These supplements are water soluble. What your body cant use or store gets filtered out via your kidneys and into pee.
Medications including phenazopyridine , rifampin , warfarin and some laxatives can also change pee colour.
If you pass blue or green pee, its most likely due to food colouring or methylene blue used in some diagnostic test procedures and some drugs.
But a range of medications can also trigger blue or green urine. These include antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, antibacterials, antidepressants, some nausea drugs or those for reducing stomach acid.
You should never see purple pee, but hospital staff might. Purple urine bag syndrome happens in patients with catheters and infections or complications. The catheter or bag turns purple due to a chemical reaction between protein breakdown products in urine and the plastic.
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