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7 signs that urine gives you about your health

You may have already noticed that the amount of times you pee is closely linked to your habits. For example, on a weekend, while you drink a few glasses of beer, it is normal that you need to go to the bathroom many times. The same does not happen on any day of the week, when you are drinking the same amount of liquids that you usually drink.

But it’s true that urine can tell you a lot more about your health than you might think!

Thais Nemoto Matsui, a nephrologist at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, explains that it is necessary to differentiate between changes in odor, color and frequency of urine that are considered normal, from those changes that may be signs of disease.

“Changes in urine concentration, more or less strong odor and number of urination (urinating) may just be a reflection of water intake, without representing an abnormality. Thus, when we ingest a lot of liquid, the urine tends to be clearer and with less odor because it is less concentrated and urination will be more frequent. And in the case of low intake, the opposite occurs”, says the doctor.

“However, some changes in these characteristics can indeed be signs of disease”, adds the nephrologist.

Below you can see a list of urine characteristics that, in a way, may indicate a possible health problem. It’s worth paying attention!

1. Change in urine color

“Changes in color, such as darkening of the urine, can be a sign of liver (liver) disease, in which bile pigments stain the urine,” says Thais Matsui.

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But, highlights the doctor, it is worth remembering that some medicines can also dye the urine, making it darker, orange and even green, without this being a problem. “In this case, when the drug is discontinued, the urine color returns to normal,” she adds.

2. Unstained urine

“In the case of advanced/terminal renal failure, the urine can be practically colorless (almost like water), which represents the absence of toxins that should be eliminated in the urine”, explains the nephrologist.

3. Bloody urine

“It is important to note that blood in the urine is never normal and always deserves attention and investigation”, says Thais Matsui.

“Visible (macroscopic) blood in the urine is usually related to the presence of damage to some portion of the urinary tract, i.e. the urethra, bladder, ureters or kidneys. A very common example of this is the presence of kidney stones that, in their movement through the urinary tract, can hurt any of these portions, leading to bleeding”, says the doctor.

“Other less common situations, such as kidney or bladder tumors, can also manifest with blood in the urine”, adds nephrologist Thais.

“Other diseases that can manifest with blood in the urine (in this case, most of the time, not visible to the naked eye) are glomerulonephritis or nephritis, as they are better known, which are kidney diseases that usually present with other symptoms in addition to the changes of urine”, explains the doctor.

4. Increased frequency of urination

If not related to an increase in the amount of fluid ingested, the increase in the amount of urine may be associated with some type of disease, such as diabetes. “If the problem persists, it is essential to consult a doctor to determine if there is something wrong”, explains Thais Matsui.

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“When the increase in the frequency of urination is accompanied by urinary urgency and/or pain when urinating, this can still be a sign of a urinary tract infection”, adds the doctor.

5. Reduction of urinary volume

If it is not related to the reduction in the amount of liquids ingested and/or to dehydration, “the reduction in the amount of urine can be a sign of kidney failure or obstruction of the urinary tract”, explains Thais.

6. Foul-smelling urine

“Foul odor is often associated with the presence of a urinary tract infection. But it is necessary to remember that urine has its own characteristic odor, which is normal”, says the nephrologist.

7. Pain to urinate

According to Thais Matsui, dysuria – as pain to urinate is called – occurs in urinary infections and is usually accompanied by symptoms such as: urinary urgency and feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder, in addition to increased frequency of urination (the woman urinates several times, little by little). “These infections most commonly affect the lower urinary tract, that is, the urethra and bladder, and are called cystitis. They are quite common in women and can occur with some frequency, but in general they do not represent a more serious disease,” she says.

“However, if untreated, they can complicate the kidneys by the infection, pyelonephritis, which is a potentially serious infection that usually requires hospitalization. Therefore, it is important that women with symptoms of cystitis seek medical attention to treat the infection”, concludes nephrologist Thais.

But remember: as the nephrologist Thais Matsui has already pointed out, it is not any change in the frequency, color or odor of urine that poses a danger to your health. Some changes may be occurring simply because we have taken more or less liquid during the day. But, in cases of doubt, seek advice from your doctor as soon as possible!

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The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.

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