Every day we expel the residue of what our bodies no longer need (i.e. the waste products that remain after food and drink is digested and used for energy) through our urine. As surprising as it seems, there is a lot that you can learn about your health by simply examining your urine.
The change in the colour, consistency and odour of your urine1 can help to indicate what is going on in your body, from how your body is processing food to your organ health and medication intake. It is little wonder that examining urine has been useful in diagnosing diseases for centuries.
In this article we’ll take a look at the various aspects of urine, as well as what colour changes in your ‘pee’ are telling you.
What is urine?
Urine is a watery liquid produced by the kidneys to remove excess water, salt and waste products from the bloodstream. It is generally a yellowish colour. Once passed through the kidneys by way of two ureters, urine is stored in the urinary bladder and discharged through the urethra (a tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body.
Urine is primarily made up of 91%-96% of water, along with organic solutes such as creatinine, urea and uric acid. Trace amounts of carbohydrates, mucins, fatty acids, enzymes, hormones and pigments, as well as inorganic ions such as potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, sulphates, chloride, ammonium and phosphates are present in urine. Other components also found include wastes such as dead blood cells, proteins and toxins.
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