If you see your urine turn purple in your urinary catheter bag, don't panic. While rare, purple urine bag syndrome is rare and easily preventable.
Purple Bag Syndrome
Purple Urine Bag Syndrome occurs in individuals on long-term urinary catheterization with an urinary tract infection. When certain types of bacteria cause a urinary tract infection, they can react with the breakdown of tryptophan (the same stuff found in turkey, and many other foods) in your digestive system. The resulting reaction causes the purple discoloration.
While the sight of Purple Bag Syndrome may be alarming, there is no immediate cause to be worried or concerned. Typically, it is harmless and does not indicate any larger issue.
Preventing Purple Bag Syndrome
In order to prevent Purple Bag Syndrome, regularly change and properly maintain all catheters and drainage bags to prevent the future growth of bacteria. Not only will proper sanitation and maintenance help prevent the build-up of bacteria but also promote a healthier life.
Sometimes other symptoms, such as constipation, follow Purple Bag Syndrome and should be treated accordingly. Even though Purple Bag Syndrome is a benign reaction to bacteria and tryptophan, it may be beneficial to inform your healthcare provider so that they can check for any underlying concerns.