I’m a doctor – here’s why your pee should NEVER be clear and the shades to worry about


AS temperatures continue to soar across the UK, it’s no wonder people are worried about their hydration levels.

Some parts of the country could hit 33C, with many of us traipsing around our water bottles.

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As temperatures continue to rise across the UK, many people might be worried about their level of hydrationCredit: Getty
The NHS uses charts like this to guide people on hydration, but one expert has warned that it might not actually be a useful indicator

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The NHS uses charts like this to guide people on hydration, but one expert has warned that it might not actually be a useful indicator

Staying hydrated in the hot weather is key as it can prevent you suffering from issues like heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

One way to make sure you aren’t dehydrated is to check the colour of your urine.

You might think that it needs to be clear for you to be on the correct H2O scale, but one expert has warned that this isn’t the case and having clear pee could actually be doing you more harm that good.

Dr Margaret McCartney said urine isn’t always an accurate marker of hydration – or dehydration.

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She said that many health organisations have pushed the link of urine colour and hydration through charts – similar to the one above.

“It’s absolute rubbish. In healthy people, yellow urine is actually a sign that your kidneys are working appropriately to preserve your fluids.

“If your urine’s very clear, it means you’re drinking fluids your body doesn’t need,” she told The Telegraph.

The guru added that all bodies are different and will therefore require different levels of water intake.

It also depends on your environment, for example the sort of job you do.

But Dr McCartney added that our physiology means that we know when we need to drink water and that most people don’t need to measure their fluid intake.

Urine is mainly water and contains chemicals that the body wants to get rid of.

Dr John S. Young, Associate Professor in Urology said the colour of your pee depends on how much and when fluids are consumed.

He explained that a pale straw colour is best, not too light not too dark.

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

When should I see a doctor?

Dr Young said you should seek medical attention if you notice a change in your normal urine colour.

He said if these changes coincide with changes in medication, then you should check the information that comes with it to check whether or not it is a side effect.

Alongside this – you should also consider if you have eaten anything new.

He added: “Otherwise, it’s sensible to consult a healthcare practitioner, just to be on the safe side.

“Red, pink or brown urine usually suggest that something is wrong – though, in most cases, it’s something that’s easily treatable.”

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 six to eight glasses a day.

Dr Young said that your urine might also be different colours down to certain medications.

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He added that red or brown urine indicates blood in the urinary tract, resulting from infection, stones in the kidney or bladder, cancer or conditions such as interstitial cystitis and painful bladder syndrome.

If your pee is orange then Dr Young said this can be caused by liver disease or a problem with the bile duct.





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