I have Beeturia.
Yes, it is a real thing. Haven’t heard of it? Neither did I, until I ate a beet salad for dinner a few years ago. A couple of hours later, my pee was bright red!
At first, I was alarmed, thinking there was blood in my urine. But after some quick research, I realized I was probably one of the 10-14 percent of the population who has Beeturia.
“Beeturia is the passing of red or pink urine after eating beets or food with beetroot extracts,” says Dr. Tony T. Tran, an Advocate Medical Group urologist. “The red color seen is caused by the presence of anthocyanin pigments in beetroot that does not get properly digested and needs to be excreted in excess amounts. The discoloration can vary from person to person.”
I recently learned that Beeturia is more common in people with low iron, which I also have. So that may help explain this strange phenomenon. But luckily, Beeturia is usually harmless.
“While it can be quite psychologically distressing to see pink, red or purple urine, the truth is that beeturia is one of the least harmful causes for a strange color to appear in your urine,” says Dr. Tran. “If you didn’t consume beets and your urine color is red, that should never be ignored.”
Dr. Tran added that Hematuria (blood in urine) can be a sign of a serious disorder and to seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have.
As for me, I know beets are healthy—full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber—but I plan to keep them out of my diet for now.
Angela Hacke is the manager of public affairs for Advocate Charitable Foundation.
About the Author
Angela Hacke is the manager of public affairs for Advocate Charitable Foundation. She has more than 17 years of experience in communications, and has been with Advocate for the last 12 years. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family, exercising and reading.