Does the red color of urine after beets mean illness?
Greetings. I have a question that may seem ridiculous, but it has been bothering me for a long time. Is red urine after beets a symptom of a disease? I often drink beetroot juice and eat them as a salad with other meals, because I really like its taste. If I eat a lot of them, I have red urine after beets. Up to a certain point, I wasn’t too worried about it, but recently I came across information that red urine after beets is a symptom of intestinal problems.
I’m a bit puzzled because I don’t have any gastric problems, I’ve never had digestive difficulties or anything like that, but red urine after beetroots appears quite often with me. Is red urine after beets really something strange and can it be a symptom of a disease? I spoke to a friend and she has never had red urine after beetroots, so maybe it really is a result of some disease of mine? And if the red urine after beets is not a result of intestinal problems, what is it a result of? And why does it appear in me, while other people do not have red urine at all after eating beets?
Doctor explains if red urine after beets is cause for concern
Reddish-pink urine and stool after beets is not a symptom of the disease, it occurs naturally in 10-14 per cent of the population but is more likely to occur in people with iron deficiencies in the body (45 per cent). The difference in colour varies from person to person and the type of beetroot eaten. Dark red urine and stool can result from eating raw beets, while a lighter red or pink colour can be caused by eating cooked or roasted beets.
At first, you may be frightened, no wonder – our stools are rarely red in colour. However, the reddish-pink colour of urine or stool after eating beets is something normal and completely harmless. The reason for the change in the colour of our body fluids is the pigment betanin contained in beets. After the beetroot has been digested, betanin penetrates through the gastric mucosa into the bloodstream, from where it reaches the kidneys. Here, together with other products of metabolism it is excreted from the body with urine, causing its pink-red color.
Although harmless, the so-called “beeturia” can be a symptom of iron deficiency in the body, so if it occurs, you should go to your family doctor and implement the appropriate diagnosis. In iron deficiency anemia our digestive tract tries to absorb more of this element from the gastrointestinal tract, which also increases the absorption of betacyanins, including betanin.
The effect of the red coloration of bodily fluids has been a matter of many studies, none have confirmed that this phenomenon is something dangerous – on the contrary, it is benign and harmless. However, it is always a good idea to mention it to your doctor – whether for a possible iron deficiency or for differential diagnosis. It may seem to us that the urine is red as a result of beetroot consumption, but in fact it may be hematuria – the doctor should exclude such disease entities as nephrolithiasis, kidney cancer, cystic kidney disease, inflammation of the urinary tract, vascular and venous malformations, kidney failure or porphyria.