What the color of your pee tells you about your health – and when it’s sign of cancer

WHEN was the last time you took a look after you went to the toilet? Many of us will flush and get on with our days, but knowing what...

WHEN was the last time you took a look after you went to the toilet?

Many of us will flush and get on with our days, but knowing what your pee looks like can tell you a lot about your health.

 The colour, and even smell, of your wee can tell you a lot about your health
The colour, and even smell, of your wee can tell you a lot about your health

As a general rule it should be pale straw in colour – that indicates you are well hydrated and healthy.

But if it’s a dark yellow, with a strong smell, it’s a clear indication you are dehydrated.

In fact, your number ones could even be the sign of something more serious – with pee colour being indicative of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, so knowing how to spot its early warning symptoms is vital in catching it early.

Here’s what the colour of your wee could mean…and when to see a GP…

1. Pale straw

 This colour indicates you are well hydrated and healthy
This colour indicates you are well hydrated and healthy

This is the optimum colour – not too light and not too dark.

If your wee is this colour you are drinking enough water and your kidneys are functioning well.

The golden straw colour of your pee is caused by a pigment your body makes called urochrome, which make up part of the waste products in your wee.

2. Dark yellow/amber

 If your pee is dark yellow, with a strong smell, it’s a clear indication you are dehydrated
If your pee is dark yellow, with a strong smell, it’s a clear indication you are dehydrated

If your wee is a dark colour it indicates you aren’t drinking enough water – you’re dehydrated.

Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches and nausea and can have more serious health consequences for the very young and elderly.

The affects can be both physical, resulting in lethargy, and mental, causing lack of concentration.

Your body needs water to maintain healthy function in your organs, so be sure to drink your eight glasses a day.

Drinking plenty of water will also help your skin and hair glow, so what are you waiting for?

If you are drinking plenty of water but your wee is still really dark, it could be a sign of kidney or liver problems so book an appointment with your GP.

3. Green/blue

 Green/blue pee may indicate a genetic condition called familial hypercalcemia
Green/blue pee may indicate a genetic condition called familial hypercalcemia

It can be pretty alarming to look into the toilet bowl and see green pee.

In most cases this can be caused by your diet.

If you are eating plenty of fresh green vegetables (well done you!) then your wee might be green.

Eating foods with artificial green food colouring can also do this.

In other, more rare cases, it may be down to a genetic condition called familial hypercalcemia which causes abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood.

It can make your we appear green/blue.

Urinary tract infections may also cause your wee to look green.

If you have symptoms like pain, a frequent need to wee, aching in your pelvis you should see a GP.

4. Red

 Urinary tract infections (UTI) can cause your pee to be red in colour
Urinary tract infections (UTI) can cause your pee to be red in colour

You’d be forgiven for panicking if you saw red wee, but relax, it’s not always a sign of something serious.

As with green wee, this is most likely caused by foods you are eating.

Think berries, beetroot, rhubarb, red food dye – anything that has a lot of red coloured pigments.

Some medications can also caused your wee to look red or pink, so check with your doctor if you are taking any medication.

Urinary tract infections (UTI) can also be a culprit here – if they get really bad you may notice some blood mixed in with you pee which turns it red/pink.

If you have a UTI you will also experience a frequent need to be, a burning sensation when you do and pain in the pelvic area.

You should see a GP if the symptoms persist.

5. Orange

 Orange pee is one sign of pancreatic cancer
Orange pee is one sign of pancreatic cancer

The NHS has warned that having orange pee is a big indicator that you have pancreatic cancer in its early stages.

This is because orange pee can be symptom of jaundice – a condition which causes yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes as well as dark yellow pee.

Pancreatic Cancer UK says jaundice can be a symptom of pancreatic cancer at an earlier stage.

It adds: “But in the last few months, you may get jaundice if your liver isn’t working properly, or if your bile duct becomes blocked, stopping the bile draining.”

Jaundice can also be caused by gallstones, alcoholic liver disease, pancreatitis, hepatitis and sickle cell disease.

But if you’re concerned about these symptoms or they start suddenly, you should always contact a GP.

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