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The Connection Between: Beets, Red Urine, and Iron

Have you ever gone to the ladies room and were alarmed at what you saw? Red urine?! No reason to panic just yet. Think back to what you ate recently. Was there anything red? Yep, the beets are the culprit. I know it sounds weird but it's completely normal for some people to eat this veggie and notice a reddish color when they go to the bathroom. Ten to 14 percent of the population experience this genetic phenomenon known as Beeturia, but it can also occur if you eat a lot of other oxalic acid containing foods such as spinach, rhubarb, or chocolate along with your beets. If that's the case, then red urine is harmless, but it can also be a warning sign that you have an iron deficiency. If you're not getting enough iron, you may notice other symptoms such as feeling tired all the time, having a hard time concentrating, or pale skin and gums. A simple test at your doctor's office can help figure out if your iron levels are low. Once you start adding more iron into your diet, you'll have an increase in energy and the next time you eat beets, you won't have the scarlet effects.

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CoMMember13630883037637 CoMMember13630883037637 3 years
I have Hemochromatosis...also known as iron overload ...surprised me today after eating a great big beet yesterday lol
kbfl kbfl 3 years
I'm also pregnant so I was a bit worried the first time I saw my pee seemed red. When I went to the bathroom again, I was freaked out when there was still red but I didn't seem I was bleeding. Then it hit me, I just had a huge beet for lunch! Looked it up and true enough, I'm one of the "lucky" 14% in the population that gets red pee after eating beets. Whew! Now off to get more iron to get my energy back! (Yeah, my OB did say I was iron deficient and having all these symptoms that goes with it.)
Joseph2489153 Joseph2489153 5 years
I had the same very common reaction: First alarmed concern when my pee was orange-purple, then "D'Oh!" when I realized what I ate the night before... Terra Chips "Sweets & Beets" :P Googled it because it reminded me of something I vaguely remembered - possible mineral deficiency (iron).
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's really interesting, i was SUPER CRAZY anemic to the point that i was getting IV infusions for lack of iron even though i was eating things that were high in iron. my urine was never red, but when i got the IVs..the fluit there was an amber color so i had that happen.
ikimashokie ikimashokie 8 years
Yum, beets! When I was maybe 3-5 years old, I was a beet fiend, and would eat the "normal" 12oz size can of beets and drink all the juice. I remember having beet-pee at least once and thinking it was the coolest thing...
Spectra Spectra 8 years
What a completely timely post. Last night I had a salad with lots of spinach and I also had a bunch of beets from my neighbor's garden. This morning I had pink pee and I sorta freaked for about 30 seconds until I remembered that i had beets last night, lol. I didn't know that oxalic acid affected the metabolism of the pigment in the beets though...interesting to know.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 8 years
I HATE stuff that turns my wee colors. 1st time: I took phenazopyramidine for a UTI. I had never had one before, therefore I'd never taken that med before. I called upstairs to mom..."Either that medicine turns your pee colors or I just p*ssed a whole toilet full of Tang." I also threw up not long after taking that medicine a year later...NOT an experience I ever want to repeat, and it stained the porcelain. BOO. 2nd: I was the new lab assistant, and I didn't realize the hazing I was getting into. Someone spiked my soda with methylene blue. THAT one threw me, bigtime. Luckily I figured it out, so I was ready and armed with the double digitis infamis when I walked out of the bathroom to a snickering crowd of other LAs. 3rd: Beets. LOTS of beets. Luckily this was only a year ago so I had the Biology background, and I was able to put two and two together. It was too purple to be hematuria (blood in the urine), so that helped me go into "science mode" not "panic mode".
teacherturtle1 teacherturtle1 8 years
now about the iron.. don't start taking too much iron either. iron can be toxic. so yeah, the simple test with your dr. is the way to go. and they will tell you what to take to increase your iron :) it may be as simple as taking a multivitamin or a small dose of iron supplements, or just eating more iron rich foods :)
alba1 alba1 8 years
i would say it is more of a purple-pink colour..haha!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I would freak out if this happened to me! Of course, I've only ever had beets once in my life, and it was in another dish, so I guess I'm not in any danger.
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
This has totally happened to me!
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