School nurse Claire French explains what the colour of your number 1s can reveal about your body.

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Have you checked the colour of your wee recently? Wee is a great indicator of what’s happening inside our bodies, so it’s important to keep an eye on its colour. Claire French, a school nurse from Ipswich, explains what the number 1s can tell you about your health.

The colour of your wee can tell you about the health of your body and if you are properly hydrated. Some medical conditions use urinalysis (examination of urine) to help with diagnosis or to monitor medical conditions. For example, testing urine for sugar if a person has diabetes.

Knitted wee drops on a shelfKeep an eye on your wee to see what it can tell you about your health

Not drinking enough water can be problematic for your bowel and bladder. Water keeps poo soft and helps it move through the bowel, so you need to drink lots of it.

Drinking enough fluid helps teach the bladder to stretch fully and to empty several times throughout the day. This helps the bladder hold onto lots of wee at night and avoid leaking whilst you’re sleeping.

If you wet the bed and you want to stop bedwetting, you should check how much water you’re drinking during the day as the bedwetting might be the result of a bladder that hasn’t learned to hold large quantities of wee.

What colour should your wee be?

If we don’t drink enough, we can become dehydrated. Two early signs of dehydration are thirst and dark-coloured wee.

Drinking plenty of fluids regularly throughout the day can help prevent dehydration. You’ll know if you’ve had enough to drink because your wee will be a pale, straw colour. Remember to increase your fluid intake as the weather gets warmer.

Getting kids to drink lots of water can be hard, so ERIC wrote a blog post with tips for keeping children hydrated.

What different colours of wee can tell you about your health

Very pale – Perhaps you’ve drunk too much water.

Pale/straw coloured – This is normal. You’re well hydrated and can carry on drinking.

Dark yellow – You may not be drinking enough water, so go and have a drink.

Green or any other colour – It may be something you’ve eaten or perhaps caused by medication but see your GP/doctor for advice just in case.

Pink to red – Have you eaten beetroot, blueberries or rhubarb recently? If not, you may have blood in your wee. It could be nothing, but it might be useful to see your GP/doctor.

How to explain the secrets of wee to kids and teens

I knitted the wee drops after ERIC shared a knitting pattern. They're a great visual resource for our health promotion boards and get people talking and learning about wee.

I made a rainbow of wee drops to demonstrate the different colours of wee and what they tell us about what’s happening in our bodies.

Why not knit one yourself using the wee drop knitting pattern and keep it as a reminder to make sure you drink enough? Download the wee and poo knitting patterns here.