Have you ever looked in the toilet after peeing and been instantly struck by the thought, “Is that normal pee?” Bodily functions are one of those things that we often have trouble discussing with anyone including our primary care physicians. First off, get over this trepidation as soon as possible. Trust me, you will be hard pressed to actually shock your doctor with your questions, and that is their job – to answer questions about your health and well-being. Now back to potty talk. Your urine can truly tell a lot about your bodies proper functioning. As part of an annual physical your doctor will like order a regular urinalysis to check things out. But did you know that you can learn a lot about your health just by looking in the toilet after you go?
Take a Peek
I am sure Emily Post would cringe at the idea but it is really important that you take a peek in the potty after you go, from time to time. And this is something that should be done when you are healthy as well as when you aren’t feeling well. You need a baseline with which to gauge the important factors of urine against.
In general, your urine should be a clear, pale yellow color. A pale yellow color indicates a healthy balanced diet. If your urine is very dark, you are dehydrated, if your urine is very light you are over-hydrated. If it is bright yellow you may be consuming too much vitamin B. If the color has a red and/or brown tint to it, and you have not been eating blackberries, beets or rhubarb, you may have blood in your urine. If this is the case you should make an appointment to see you doctor as soon as possible. Keep in mind that there are a number of beverages and foods that can cause a temporary color change in your urine.
Clear or Cloudy Urine
Pee should appear to be yellow tinted water. It should be clear and completely transparent. If your urine appears to be cloudy it may indicate a bacterial infection, or blood in the system. Again, this is the time to make an appointment with your doctor.
As mothers, I think it’s save to assume that you are well aware of what urine smells like. Healthy urine should be a mild version of this smell. If the odor is enough to make you consciously aware of it’s smell you should check for other symptoms. A particularly foul odor may indicate a bacterial infection of some sort. Furthermore, if your urine has a fruity, almost sweet scent you maybe be hypoglycemic or worse diabetic and should contact your doctor.
If you are frequently having the urge to urinate and or leakage, it may be a symptom of a few different things:
- Overactive Bladder Syndrome, AKA Urge Incontinence – the result of spasms in the muscle in and around the bladder.
- Over Hydration – the result of ingesting too much liquid in a short period of time.
- Stress Incontinence – the result of stress on the bladder, usually in conjunction with multiple pregnancies, obesity and even genetics. If you pee a little when you cough or laugh suddenly, you have stress incontinence.
Pain and/or Discomfort During Urination
There are only two events that it might be “okay” for urination to be slightly painful: 1. After delivery of a baby and 2. After the removal of a catheter. In almost every other situation, urination should not be uncomfortable, and never painful. If it burns, or stings you may have a severe infection, or possibly kidney stones. If you are only able to get a small amount out, despite the urge to go, you may have some sort of inflammation and/or blockage. In any case, your doctor needs to be informed if peeing is painful.
All in all, urination is a very important function of life. It is how we remove the bi-products of cellular processes that sustain our bodies as well as the removal of toxins that we ingest. Many of the conditions that might become apparent by the change in your urine are conditions that when caught early on can be easily treated and/or managed. So please before you flush, give your urine the once over.