Sunday, September 7, 2008

CRIMSON, MISSISSIPPI

The dinner gathering on Friday was lovely, with homegrown vegetables and warm company, a small and caring group celebrating her new job. And then my pee turned red. I stood frozen above the toilet, motionless except for my stream and my alarmed eyes rotating unto themselves probing for answers. I assessed my belly from within -- no lacerations. No pain whatsoever. No reason why the liquid in the bowl was a tepid pink like a gash to the face in the rain.

The next day, after every visit to the loo had been a flow of red or pink, I consulted Dr. Internet. It was the beets. I had beeturia. I have (or had) an issue metabolising betalaine. It affects 10-14% of people. But how can that be when I've been eating copious beets for years in both grated-salad and canned form, and my pee never looked like I had a urethra-swab-gone-tragic at the STD clinic? Because beeturia can come and go, sometimes indicating your level of iron intake at certain periods. Because different beets have different concentrations of pigment, and at the dinner gathering I was inhaling the fresh homegrown sliced beets so good so delicious stained my fingers. Besides the possible indication that one's iron intake should be considered, there's no health hazard to having beeturia, nor should one stop eating beets. Good. 'Cause I love beets. I guess I've just joined a club. For all of you who've suspected me before... you're right. I do belong to a certain 10% of the population.

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