If you thought pooping rainbows was only for unicorns, think again. The color of our excrement — both solid and liquid — tells us an enormous amount about our health. And believe it or not, the colors we produce are truly as varied as a rainbow’s colors.
Scientists at The Cleveland Clinic say turning around after using the loo to check out what you left could be a boon to your health as the colors coming out of you say a lot about what is going on inside of you. They have created a handy chart that I, for one, might consider hanging in my bathroom. It’s pretty useful! And while it doesn’t negate having a urinalysis done by your doc when you go in for your yearly checkup, it really is oddly addictive. Here are some highlights:
If your urine is… clear to medium yellow
Congratulations you healthy human! This means you’re getting plenty of water and things are moving nicely through your system. One caveat: If your tinkle is completely transparent, the researchers say you might be going a bit overboard with your hydration.
If your urine is… dark yellow to orange
Drink some water, stat. Your body needs plenty of liquid to function every day and early signs of dehydration include fatigue, headaches and fuzzy thinking — definitely not what you need to get through a busy day.
If your urine is… pink or red
Peeing red isn’t normally the first thing people think of when they order that delicious beet and goat cheese salad but the toilet bowl can be pretty startling the next morning. Beet-peeing is so common it even has a name — beeturia. However, if you haven’t had beets or rhubarb lately, then this could be a sign of an iron deficiency, an infection, mercury poisoning or even blood in your urine.
If your urine is… cola brown
There’s nothing normal or benign about dark brown pee. According to the clinic, you’re either severely dehydrated or have liver disease. Exercising too long or too hard can also cause a condition called rhabdomyolysis which also shows up as “coca cola pee.” Rhabdo can be deadly if not treated immediately so call your doctor, stat.
If your urine is… green
You’re probably not an alien but you might have a rare genetic condition that causes green pee. The most likely culprit of sprout-hued sprinkles, however, is food dye again. Used in snack foods like candy or cereal or in the coating on some medicines, that stuff is potent!
If your urine is… purple
The Mayo Clinic says that leaking lavender, while very rare, can be a sign of porphyria, an inherited disorder that affects red blood cells.
If your urine is… fizzy
Having a strong spout is most likely the cause of your toilet bubbles but if your pee seems chronically fizzy, like soda, you may have an excess of protein in your urine.
If your urine is…. smelly
OK, so a smell isn’t a color but we wanted to include this since the smell of your urine can also indicate a health issue that needs to be addressed. Sweet or fruity smelling urine used to be the way doctors diagnosed diabetes, thanks to the excess of sugar in the pee. Fishy or sour smelling pee can indicate an infection. A yeasty smell can mean an imbalance of vaginal bacteria. (We know that pee doesn’t come out of your vagina but being located so closely means the urine can pick up the scent of a yeast infection!)
Do you remember to check your urine?