Bathroom habit red flags indicating a possible health concern

Bathroom habit red flags indicating a possible health concern

How often do you notice any urinary or bowel bathroom habit changes from the usual? If not, it’s time to be more aware of certain changes – such as loose stools or bloody urine – possibly indicating a health concern not to ignore. 

Changes in bathroom habits can be a warning sign for you to make an appointment with your doctor to evaluate the root cause. It could be a temporary change but if the change persists in the long term, it’s better to find out why now than to be sorry later. 

Here are red flags of bathroom habit changes to get checked out:

  • Pink or red urine

Urine tinged with a pink or reddish color usually indicates the presence of blood. There are several reasons this indicates a health problem, which could be a urinary tract infection, kidney disease, kidney stones, or even prostate cancer. See your doctor immediately to diagnose why your urine color has changed. If you disregard this red flag, the health problem will likely worsen.

  • Darker-colored urine

Urine that looks darker than usual – brown, orange, or a deep yellow – likely indicates you are not consuming enough fluids and are dehydrated. The best way to correct this is to drink more water to help flush out impurities and return it to a normal urine color of light yellow. However, darker-colored urine may also come from eating certain foods or be a side effect of certain medications such as rifampin and phenazoyridine. Darker-colored urine could also be from a liver condition. Again, see your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. 

  • Persistent diarrhea

Frequent diarrhea can be caused by a stomach virus or food poisoning and usually clears up within a few days. However, if it persists, it is advisable to seek medical attention. If the diarrhea is constant, accompanied by gas, pain, and bloating, it could be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It’s recommended to ask for a referral to a gastroenterologist who can offer proper guidance for treating this condition and reducing its symptoms.

  • Bloody stools

Your food choices usually dictate the appearance of your stools. For example, it’s not unusual if you eat beets, you may notice your stool color looks more reddish than normal. If you have hemorrhoids, constipation, or IBS, these conditions can also lead to bloody stools at times. 

But stools that look dark red or even black often indicate the presence of blood. This blood could indicate internal bleeding from an ulcer, colon polyps, or even cancer. Always seek treatment right away to get treatment started as soon as possible.

  • Difficulty in urinating

Difficulty starting or maintaining a urine stream, having pain when urinating or difficulty emptying your bladder completely, are red flag health concerns.  These signs may indicate a urinary infection, an enlarged prostate, or even prostate cancer. 

If these symptoms persist, see your doctor to diagnosis and treat the condition. 

  • Frequent urination

There can be many causes of frequent urination, which include diabetes, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), kidney infection, interstitial cystitis, diuretics, caffeine, or even anxiety. No matter the cause, if the problem is not resolved, consult with your doctor. 

  • Constipation 

Experiencing constipation is a fairly common problem for many people. There are several reasons that contribute to becoming constipated such as being sedentary, insufficient fluid intake, lack of fiber, side effects of some medications, or IBS. 

The definition of constipation is having less than three bowel movements a week and/or having difficulty in passing bowel movements often due to hardened feces. 

Often constipation can be resolved through lifestyle changes like increasing exercise, drinking more fluids, and eating more foods with fiber. But, if constipation persists even after making those changes, see your doctor. 

  • Foul-smelling stools

Usually, stools do have a smell. But, if the scent has become noticeably worse or incredibly foul, this usually is a sign of something wrong in your gut. One possibility may be an overgrowth of bacteria or Candida yeast, often due to eating too many sugary carbohydrates or taking antibiotics. 

 An excellent way to reduce the foul odor of stools is to provide your gut bacteria or gut microbiome probiotics. Probiotics are live microbes found in certain foods that help prevent and dysbiosis which is an imbalance of a deficit of beneficial bacteria in your gut. They can also help reduce stinky stools. Yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, kefir, kombucha, cottage cheese, and aged cheese, are good sources of probiotics. 

Another consideration for dealing with foul smelling stools is to drink more coffee. Coffee naturally stimulates the frequency of bowel movements that help reduce constipation and bloating. Coffee can also help cut back on bad bacteria that often cause foul-smelling stools. 

Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 




Bathroom habit red flags indicating a possible health concern
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