Looking down into the toilet bowl every time you visit the loo can sometimes set off a lot of worry, but odd colours are more normal than you think!
Using research from the University of Newcastle, as well as a rather handy chart from The Cleveland Clinic, we break down the toilet colour scale, so you know exactly what to look out for, and whether you should be making so many doctor’s appointments…
What urine colour is normal?
The normal colour for wee should be a medium to light, straw-like yellow colour, which means you’re well hydrated. A slightly darker yellow shows you’re healthy, but could probably do with drinking a bit more water!
When you should be a bit worried…
If it’s honey-coloured, you’re probably quite dehydrated.
If it’s the colour of dark syrup or brown ale, this could be a symptom of liver disease like hepatitis and cirrhosis, the build-up of the breakdown of old red blood cells that leaks into urine, so if it persists then it’s best to go and have a chat with your doctor.
Strange urine colours that could be normal
Artificially or naturally coloured foods and drinks are often the reason for abnormally coloured wee, but if you haven’t been around any strongly-coloured food, you should contact your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the following colours:
Orange or neon yellow
If you’ve been taking beta-carotene or vitamin B pills, then that could be the reason why your wee is bright orange or yellow! These are water-soluble vitamins, so they get flushed out of the body when your body has excess vitamins in its system.
Berocca is most likely to blame, as well as all those orange Skittles, but orange wee could also be a sign that you’re not drinking enough water, or that you have a liver or bile duct problem.
Blue or green
This could be a rare genetic disease called blue diaper syndrome, which turns your urine blue.
It could also be the result of a urinary tract infection, or just food dye again, or even a medication. Contact your doctor if it keeps happening.
Foaming or fizzy
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Just a case of physics, mostly! If you urinate very quickly, it can create bubbles in the toilet bowl. However, it could also mean a dietary or kidney problem, so it’s best to contact your doctor if it persists.
Check out the full colour chart below:
Image: The Cleveland Clinic
If you or your little ones are experiencing any of the abnormal colours along with other unusual symptoms, it’s worth checking with a health professional to make sure everything is alright