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What is Urine?
Urine is typically a sterile liquid by-product of the body secreted by the kidneys through a process called urination and excreted out of the body through the urethra. We all eliminate an average of 1 to 2 litres of urine a day. By-products from the bloodstream are expelled from the body during urination. Healthy urine is not toxic although some compounds eliminated by the body are classed as undesirable.
Urine varies in colour it is mainly water with salts, proteins and hormones; normally it is transparent and ranges from pale yellow to amber.
The following indications to the colour of urine can be used to see what is happening in the body:
- Dark yellow can point to dehydration - not enough water; also can be due to laxative use.
- Yellowing/light orange may point to too much B vitamins being expelled by your body.
- Bloody urine is called hematuria and could be due to a variety of medical conditions.
- Dark orange to brown can be a symptom of jaundice, rhabdomyolysis, or Gilbert's syndrome.
- Black or dark-coloured could be due to melanoma and is called melanuria.
- Pinkish red tinged could result from the consumption of beets or blackberries this is known as beeturia.
- Greenish can result from the consumption of asparagus or artificial colours in foods.
- Reddish or brown may be caused by liver problems.
- Cloudy or milky is usually the sign of a urinary tract infection, which may also smell strongly or bad.
- Milky urine can also be due to fat, crystals and bacteria, white or red blood cells, or mucus.
Medications can also alter the colour of urine so do check with your healthcare provider if you are using prescription medication.
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