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Video

Body Check – Urine Transcript

Dr Christian: We all feel the relief of a quick pit stop, but a trip to the loo might also reveal something more telling.

Urine is a mix of excess water and waste from all over the body. Its yellow colour comes from a pigment in the red blood cells. The spectrum can stretch from the almost clear to the dark orange – and it’s simply a matter of hydration, which is affected by how much water we drink and how much we sweat out.

What we’ve had to eat can also have some affect on our pee – causing different smells or colours as can any medications or supplements.

If you find, however, that an unusual smell or colour continues for no apparent reason it would be worth discussing with your doctor.

So here are a few things to look out for:

Very dark urine that is unaffected by what you drink is maybe characteristic of a liver disorder such as viral hepatitis.

Pink or red tinges could mean there is blood in the urine; but this could just be from strenuous exercise or a minor infection, stones or in rare cases a sign of kidney or bladder cancer.

Cloudy urine could mean a number of things, it could just be a little debris or in women could be a sign of cystitis. In men, it could highlight a sexually transmitted infection or less commonly a condition called retrograde ejaculation which is where semen enters the bladder and then clouds the urine.

How often you need to go can also indicate there might be a problem, excessive weeing – even when not hydrated can be a sign of diabetes.

Next time you go, take a look and remember to keep on an eye on anything unusual that keeps reoccurring – and don’t forget to tell us about what you find.

For this body check and others featured on the site we want to hear about your findings. So please come back to share your results and discuss them with other site users.

If you have any other problems passing water such as leaking, burning sensation or pain then make sure you speak to your GP or pharmacist.

Read the video transcript

Body Check: Urine

We all feel the relief of a quick pit stop, but a trip to the loo could also be more telling. In this video, Dr Christian talks about potential health problems that can be spotted from checking your urine.

The colour of urine can stretch from the almost clear to a dark orange and it’s simply a matter of hydration. Food can also have an effect on colour and can cause different smells, as can any medications or supplements.

Dark, red, or cloudy urine that is unaffected by food or drink can be characteristic of underlying conditions such as liver disease, kidney stones, cystitis or STIs.

How often you go can also indicate a problem as excessive urination can be a sign of diabetes.
If an unusual colour or smell persists for no apparent reason or if you have problems passing urine such as leaking, burning sensations or pain it would be worth discussing it with a GP.

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If you are worried that your child may have a urinary tract infection, read the guide for parents on the Embarrassing Bodies: Kids website.

+++UPDATE+++
From the 5th-12th May 2009 we conducted a National Health Survey to find out what the state of the nation’s urine was.

Around 80% of our respondents were women, with nearly two-thirds of these under the age of 30.

The good news was that nearly three-quarters of responders were reporting normal, light coloured urine (numbers 1-3). As urine colour is mostly dictated by hydration levels, this indicates a good level of fluid intake amongst those people.

Darker urine can be caused by certain foodstuffs, but it is probably dehydration that is to blame. If your urine is always dark, even after heavy fluid consumption, get this checked out by your GP as it can be a symptom of other illnesses.

Around 20% of you reported an unusual smell when urinating. What you have eaten is the most common cause of funny smelling urine, with beer, garlic and coffee causing unusual smells. If your urine smells extremely sweet on a regular basis, then this can be a sign of sugars being excreted (a possible sign of diabetes) and should be checked out by your Doctor.

Cloudy urine was also present in a around a fifth of responders and is common as a result of an infection, such as cystitis, but in men it can be a sign of an STI or less commonly a condition such as retrograde ejaculation, where sperm enters the bladder.

Only a handful of respondents reported red tinges in their urine. If this is a one off, it’s probably nothing to worry about and could just be a burst blood vessel. If it persists, it could be a symptom of something more serious, such as an injury.

Finally, a few people reported that their urine was green in colour. This could be caused by certain foods (such as asparagus), but it can also be a sign of a sexual infection, such as gonorrhea. As a result it should be looked at by a medical professional.

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Hello first thing in the morning my pee is dark and cloudy but only for like a milli second I don't know what is is and kind of worried





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ive had lower back pain urine burning feeling sick pressure near bladder was on meds for week and still have all the syptoms now I feel sore drink plenty water still nothing changed





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Have a problem with urine nippy and sore. Diabetic type 1 for 58 years. Had Cellulitis been treated with oral and intravenous antibiotics.sugars fine . No energy .Been unwell for most of winter. Eating well.





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I am male, 81 and have had a stricture (narrowing) of the urethra all my life with infrequent infections. Had operation to open stricture in April and since then have dilated daily. Latter part of the urine is cloudy, almost creamy. Fishy type smell. Still wake twice or so at night. Was proscribed Vesomni for better regulation of urination but would prefer dilation. Am I right?





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I recently noticed that my urine is bright yellow. Not just on arising, but all through the day. I have not taken vit B complex for 4 days. Would this be because of the vitamins which may still be in my system? I think I'm properly hydrated as I drink lots of water all day long. My urine also smells strong.





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I am 28 male I have been peeing blood for about 7 months. I have been doctors, sent to the hospital I have had a camera put down me, and had 2 scans and they can't find anything wrong. the blood is normally after I pee and some times in my semen I have a pain sometimes low in my stomach any ideas what this could be. anyone else have this.





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What does it mean when you find little brownish, reddish-like crystals in your urine. I had left some urine in a bottle for about a week when I came back to it, I noticed that some crystals have formed in it. I looked at them through a magnifying glass that came with my eyeglass repair kit. What I could make of it was crystals. When I shook it up they had all just fell back to the bottom of the bottle as if they had some weight to them. I had dumped the urine out into the toilet and they looked more red with the white porcelain background. Can somebody please tell me what this means?





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My urine is see though and l no that good but me urine smells very bad and l was blaming the to let lol but now l now it's me. I go to the to let lots though the day and at night l have found that on lecking on the bed at night waking up busting to go to the to let and the bed a little wet and I'm in pain in my abdomen and I've been losing weight and been very hungry and my anger has been an issue. Please help. I take meducation for a bad back. endo 5mg and oxy 30mg. I also have klinfalers syndrome





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Please help I am over 80 and yrs ago I had a hysterectomy and being incontinent ever since.I was told the surgeon made a hole in my bladder.He supplies pads ever since.A very kind man.Unfortunately it has got worse and I am now soaking all the time.It does not smell at all.Please help.





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I actually get green pee after I take my multivitamin. It's like a light neon green, not anything dark. I drink a ton of water. Usually have clear urine. Brother has the dark, smelly kind.





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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