Urinary problems can be embarrassing to speak up about. But there are times when they can be a sign of a serious health problem and are worth bringing up with a doctor. Below are just a few examples or urinary problems that you shouldn’t ignore.
It hurts when you pee
A burning sensation when you pee is a clear sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). These infections are very common, and typically require antibiotics to clear up.
You can help to get rid of a UTI by drinking lots of water throughout the day. It can also be worth drinking cranberry juice as this contains many PACs that can prevent bacteria sticking to the bladder wall. UTIs can cause sleeping trouble for many people as well as frequent trips to the toilet. This guide offers some tips on how to sleep with UTI discomfort. UTIs should pass in three to five days if you are taking antibiotics.
If you experience kidney pain or abdominal pain while urinating, this could also be worth talking to a doctor about. You may have a bladder or kidney problem, which could require urgent treatment.
You keep needing to go
Keep needing to pee? There are many possible causes of this. The most obvious is that you’re drinking too much fluids. Meanwhile, things like alcohol and caffeine can also increase urination. A UTI could also be the cause (this will usually be accompanied by some pain). Alternatively, there could be another cause.
For example, it could be a symptom of diabetes. When blood sugar levels are too high, the body tries to get rid of this excess sugar in any way it can, which usually involves excess urination. This is often accompanied by other symptoms like extreme thirst, hunger and tiredness. Consider getting tested for diabetes if you’re constantly getting up during the night to go to the toilet and also experiencing thirst or fatigue.
Pregnancy can also cause many women to urinate more frequently. A pregnancy test could be worth taking if you’ve noticed that you’re suddenly peeing a lot, especially if you’re also experiencing other telltale symptoms like morning sickness.
Your urine has a funny smell
While urine typically doesn’t smell pleasant, a very strong odour could be something to be worried about. It could be a sign of dehydration (a dark colour is another sign of this). Alternatively, it could be a sign of cystitis or diabetes.
Be wary that certain foods like asparagus can affect urine odour and are otherwise harmless. Some people also find that multivitamin supplements can affect urine odour.
Your urine is a funny colour
You should also consider the colour of your urine. Healthy urine should be clear with only a slight yellow tinge.
If your urine is dark yellow, this could be a sign that you’re dehydrated. This can usually be treated by simply drinking more water. Remember that drinking lots of coffee or alcohol can also make you dehydrated – make sure that you’re not relying on these fluids throughout the day.
A dark brown colour could be a sign of something more serious such as a liver or kidney problem. If you experience this, you may want to see a doctor. This will usually be accompanied by other symptoms such as kidney or liver pain.
If there is a pink tinge to your urine, this could be a sign that there is blood in your urine. This is definitely something to consult a doctor about. It could be the result of anything from a UTI to kidney cysts or tumours – a urine sample and other tests will be able to determine the cause.
Certain medications and supplements can affect urine colour, so an unusual colour is not always a sign of something serious. That said, you should consult a doctor if you are concerned.
You’re unable to reach the toilet in time
Urinary incontinence is more common than people realise. In fact, many women experience it – particularly after having kids. Many people also experience it as they get older.
Some people may experience small amounts of leakage and may be able to otherwise hold their bladder. In more serious cases, bladder control can become completely lost.
There can be many causes of this ranging from medical conditions to trauma. If you are concerned by it, it could be worth talking to a doctor for advice. There may be treatments available that help you to regain some bladder control. In other cases, you may have to learn to live with it.