50 Shades of Yellow

By: Lori Hartwell

color of your urine

I have always been acutely aware of urine, or the lack of it, as for 12 years I had no kidneys. Urine is the waste the kidneys filter from the blood.Since I was diagnosed at age 2 with kidney disease, most of my doctor’s appointments centered around one test that requires gracefully managing a plastic cup as receptacle, while urinating, and while trying not to touch the edges of “anything.” The only way to pass this test is not to miss the cup! I think there should be an Olympic category for this maneuver.

The color of urine is important, and can tell you and your doctors a lot about your health. If it is too dark, it means you are not drinking enough liquids. If it is too light, it means you are drinking too much.  So, what is the right color? Pale straw color to a transparent yellow is perfect. Take a moment and be grateful for that liquid gold that your magnificent kidneys made.

There are situations where your urine turns a pink or reddish color. This can indicate that you ate beets, rhubarb or blueberries. It can also be a sign of more serious issues, such as blood in the urine or a host of other things. Ask your doctor.

Occasional foaming and fizzing can be normal, but it can also indicate excess protein. You need to have your doctor check that, too.

If your urine has a strong smell, it can be because of something you ate. Asparagus is notorious for this. Diabetics often have a sweet smelling urine because it contains excess sugar.  If your urine smells strong or is cloudy it can be a sign of an infection.

March is Kidney Month!  So take a few minutes and see if your urine is the perfect shade of yellow. And remember to Pee all you can Pee!


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