Thursday, March 31, 2011

What Your Urine is Telling You About Your Health - Page 1 - MSN Health - Health Topics

A trip to the toilet may be more revealing than you think. “The appearance and smell of your urine—as well as the frequency with which you have to go—can provide many clues to what else is going on in your body,” says Dr. Michael Farber, director of the Executive Health Program at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J.

Looking pale
If your urine is as colorless as water, well, that’s probably because you’ve been drinking a lot of water. And besides the inconvenience of going to the bathroom many times a day because your bladder is filling up with fluid faster, there’s really nothing medically worrisome about having a light colored output.

Too dark
If your urine has a brownish, iced tea-colored tinge, that could be a sign that you are dehydrated and the kidney is producing more concentrated (as opposed to diluted) urine. “The urine gives good indications of the body’s level of hydration,” Farber says, “so if a patient complains of dizziness or lightheadedness, you would want to check the urine to rule out dehydration as a cause of the problem.” The ideal shade to strive for is the color of straw. Another reason to get yourself checked out if you see dark urine—especially if it doesn’t lighten up after you drink a few glasses of water—is that the cause could actually be blood. It won’t be as obvious as a bright red drop in the toilet, but it could be a sign of bleeding higher up in the kidney which could indicate an infection, kidney disease or even cancer.

Sweet smelling
Catching a whiff of something sugary sweet after you pee might actually be a clue to something very serious going on in your body. “A sugary smell might indicate the presence of blood sugar that’s being excreted in the urine,” says Farber

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