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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.

We want to hear about your findings, so please click the link below and add your results to our national survey.

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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Comments and Questions

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my urine is dark was blood in it but could not see it only under the mycroscope am 35 am waiting to go to have a scan on my stomach i hope is not cancer did have camplybacter few months back think that could have gone into my waterworks if you could advise me thanks





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Hi, for the past 6 months i have been suffering from dark cloudy and very very strong odored urine, i have stopped drinking any type of juice or sugary liquids i only drink water now, a lot of water 2-3 Ltrs 24/7 which actually helps clear my urine and the odor but as soon as i forget to drink water the symptoms return. i have had blood tests and a scan which both came back clear i do not have no pain and I do not have the urge to urinate all the time, at the moment i am at my wits end i don't know what else to do i am embarrassed to use public toilets or the toilets of friends or family because of this smelly problem...PLEASE HELP!!!





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Im the same. It is just dehydration therefore keep up the water intake. It is worth having a detox for the liver and kidneys, to help thier job of filering waste from your system. Good luck.

Hi, for the past 6 months i have been suffering from dark cloudy and very very strong odored urine, i have stopped drinking any type of juice or sugary liquids i only drink water now, a lot of water 2-3 Ltrs 24/7 which actually helps clear my urine and the odor but as soon as i forget to drink water the symptoms return. i have had blood tests and a scan which both came back clear i do not have no pain and I do not have the urge to urinate all the time, at the moment i am at my wits end i don't know what else to do i am embarrassed to use public toilets or the toilets of friends or family because of this smelly problem...PLEASE HELP!!!





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Hi i have a problem peeing i cant seem to stop peeing but its only little bits at a time and my pee is dark yellow can anyone tell me what it is please





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Sounds like cystitis of which I believe majority of women get from time to time. You can get a product from the pharmacist from the shelves which you drink that can clear it up in a few hour time or just drink loads of water to flush you out. It nothing to worry about.

My urine smells strongly like honey occasionally. I'm 30 and urinate frequently, however this has always been normal for me. I regularly get anaemic and lethargic. I was tested for diabetes a year or 2 ago and it was fine. However, it was not a fasting blood test so I'm not sure what it could show. I am overweight, so know this is a possibility. I am also believed to have Hypophosphatasia, not sure if this is relevant but thought it best to mention.





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Hi I have recently started peeing yellow but it looks darker than usual I can see it is a little red. When I pee it does not burn or hurt. Whwn I drink water it comes out normal yellow or clear. What can be the cause? I have barely started peeing like this 2weeks. Should I get this checked out?





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Can someone please help me. I had a urine test which was positive for gross hematuria and I have been monitoring it every day for a week. And the results are if I do not have a lot to drink it shows gross hematuria but if I drink a lot of water the test shows negative for blood. Does anyone know why this would be? Everything else on the urine test is negative.





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My urine is dark and smells like eggs :(





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No changes in my diet I mean.





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Why is it the more water I drink the more yellow my pee gets. Sometimes I drink tons of water then it goes almost brown in color.I don't take any vitamins and I eat the same stuff I usually do nothing changes in my diet, just the water consumption.





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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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