Don’t Just Flush Me Away! What Your Pee Is Trying To Tell You

Clue #3: Decreased Urine Frequency


The most common and obvious cause for decreased urination frequency is dehydration. If your urine is a dark yellow, amber, or even a reddish color (not due to blood) you are likely dehydrated. A person who weights 150 pounds should drink about 9 cups of water per day, and more if they’re exercising. People with diabetes are prone to dehydration, so keep a water bottle nearby. Staying hydrated can aid in weight loss, increase energy levels, and even help manage blood sugar.

Photo: AdobeStock/Ivan Kruk
Photo: AdobeStock/Ivan Kruk

Urinary Tract Obstruction

A urinary tract obstruction happens when there’s a blockage in the one or both of the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Symptoms include pain, reduced urine output, difficulty urinating, blood in urine, and repeated urinary tract infections.

Photo: AdobeStock/airborne77
Photo: AdobeStock/airborne77

Clue #4: Urine Smell

So you’re probably not making a point to take a big whiff every time you use the water closet, but some smells you might not be able to avoid. Watch out for these tell-tale smells:

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Especially unpleasant smell

Your urine likely doesn’t smell great on its best day, but if you notice an unusually foul smell, it could be a sign of a bladder infection.

Musty smell

If you don’t keep old sweaters in your bathroom and you notice an old musty smell, you may have a metabolic disorder.

Sweet smell

If your urine smells sweet or fruity (as in overly ripe fruit) it could be a sign of high blood sugar from undiagnosed diabetes. Before more advanced urinalysis was available, diabetes was actually diagnosed by “water tasters,” people who tasted urine to see if it was sweet. If you notice sweet-smelling urine combined with other symptoms of diabetes, please visit your doctor. We promise he or she will not taste your urine.

Weird smell

Certain foods, especially asparagus, can cause strange urine smells. Medications and vitamins may cause changes to your usual urine aroma. If you’re not experiencing other symptoms, you’re probably fine.

The next time you make it to the restroom just in time, remember what an important role our urine plays in our bodies—even if it can make a long bathroom line pure torture!

Stay healthy, friends!

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