Seldom do we actually stop to observe our urine after micturition. For the most part, flushing the toilet without a moment’s thought about the appearance and smell of our urine is second nature. However, clues about what is occurring inside our bodies can be found in the color and smell of our urine, not to mention the importance of the frequency of restroom visits. Most of our urine is comprised of water, uric acid, salts, and urea. Urine is the byproduct of the filtering process which our kidneys work so hard to create. Basically, our kidneys filter out these metabolic byproducts and send them to the bladder so that they can be expelled as waste. The color and smell of urine then, is affected by what kind of substances our kidneys are filtering. Besides the afore-mentioned substances, along with H2O, our kidneys can filter circulating medication, chemicals, and other organisms, affecting the overall appearance of our urine.
Clear or light yellow or orange urine is an indicator of good health. This pigmentation is caused by a chemical called urobilin and is the degraded byproduct of another chemical our bodies produce known as cyclic tetrapyrrole heme. Completely clear urine is perfectly fine as well, in fact, it demonstrates excellent hydration or it can be a result of a class of drugs called diuretics which act by stimulating the production of urine and increasing restroom frequency.
This is usually the result of medication or the dye of orange-colored soft drinks. High levels of vitamin B2 and antibiotics such as metronidazole may also be the culprit behind urine having an orange color. However, orange colored urine can also be the result of liver disease and/or dehydration.
Red Color Spectrum
This includes urine with a pinkish hue. A variety of fruits, berries, vegetables, and some medicines are sometimes responsible for reddish urine. A few examples include:
- Tuberculosis Medication like Rimactane
On the other hand, reddish urine can indicate bleeding in the urinary tract, a condition called hematuria. To discard Hematuria, contact your physician for a proper test.
This is never normal and is indicative of proteinuria, i.e., high levels of protein in your urine which can mean that a serious renal condition is afoot.
Urine obviously never smells nice. Nevertheless, stronger odors point to certain possible conditions like diabetes, urinary tract infections or metabolic diseases.
Some foods and drinks are also known to provide a foul kick to urine. Asparagus is notorious for causing this, as is alcohol, garlic, and coffee.
Frequency of Urination
There are many variables that determine the quantity and number of times we need to urinate throughout the day. Factors such as caffeine intake, alcohol consumption, pregnancy, prostatic hyperplasia, urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis, vaginitis, and neurogenic bladder, are some of the determinants of urination frequency. While defining the range of urination frequency is not an exact science since even medication can affect this, a good barometer is around 4-7 times a day.