Could the colour of your urine be offering you an ‘early warning’ that you are seriously ill?
Most people’s urine varies widely in colour - with early morning wee being much darker than the stuff you produce later in the day.
But there are some warning signs in the colour of your urine that you shouldn’t ignore - even if it just means you need to drink more water.
The NHS says, ‘If you’re dehydrated, drink plenty of fluids such as water, diluted squash or fruit juice. These are much more effective than large amounts of tea or coffee. Fizzy drinks may contain more sugar than you need and may be harder to take in large amounts.’
‘Brown ale’ coloured urine
If your urine is dark brown, this could be a sign of severe dehydration - or an early warning of liver disease.
The Cleveland Clinic suggest that you should drink lots of water, and continue to check the colour of your urine.
If it stays brown, contact a doctor.
In most cases, this alarming tinge is simply a side-effect of eating foods such as beetroot - but it could be something worse.
It takes a very small amount of blood to make urine look pinkish - and this can be caused by high-impact sports having an effect on the bladder.
But it COULD be a sign of a more serious illness such as kidney stones, or even cancer.
If it persists, contact a doctor.
This is mostly nothing to worry about - but in rare cases, sports fans drink so much water their bodies can’t get rid of it.
This is rare - but if you’re worried you’re swilling down too much water, restrict yourself to drinking when you actually feel thirsty, rather than downing extra to improve performance.
Bright yellow urine
Many people become alarmed when they see their urine turn bright yellow - but this is usually caused by vitamin supplements, and the body rapidly getting rid of nutrients it can’t absorb.
Don’t worry, in other words.
Cloudy urine could be something as innocuous as recently having had sex (if you’re a man) or crystals caused by eating foods such as cheese.
But if it persists, it could be the sign of a bacterial infection in the urinary tract.
These usually aren’t serious - but it’s worth seeing your GP.
Bright orange urine
This is often caused by dehydration - and people’s urine tends to be most orange in the morning, when the kidneys have been working overnight without urinating.
It could also be a sign you eat too many salty foods - which cause the body to ‘hang on’ to water.
Try drinking more water, and eating less salt.
If it persists, consult a GP - it could be a sign of something more serious, such as jaundice.