The color of your urine tells a story. It can be indicative of your lifestyle, diet, and, in some cases, whether or not there’s a disease present that you didn’t know about. Urine is 95% water, but the remainder includes a complex mix of ingredients that include urea, chloride, sodium, potassium, creatinine and other dissolved ions, plus other inorganic and organic compounds. The most common color of urine is yellow, which is caused by the presence of urobilin, a biochemical waste product that comes from the breakdown of old red blood cells.
Urine Colors and What They Mean
Clear urine is a sign that you’re over-hydrated. Staying hydrated is good for you, but drinking too much water can flush out electrolytes. While clear urine isn’t something to worry about, you should probably consider cutting back on your water intake.
Yellowish to Amber
Most urine color falls into this category, which ranges from light yellow to a deeper amber color. The urochrome pigment that’s naturally in your urine becomes diluted when you drink water. Urochrome is the result of your body breaking down hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in your cells. If you have a lot of B-vitamins in your bloodstream, your urine can appear neon yellow.
Red or Pink
If your urine appears red or pink, it might be due to something you ate. Fruits with naturally deep pink or magenta pigments, such as beets, blueberries or rhubarb, can make your urine turn red or pink. That being said, there are other things that change your urine to this color. Certain health conditions can cause blood to appear in your urine, a symptom known as hematuria. Some of these conditions include enlarged prostate, urinary tract infection, kidney stones, or tumors in the bladder or kidney. If you’re concerned about blood in your urine and haven’t eaten any of the foods described above, call your doctor.
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Orange urine can be a sign of dehydration. Orange urine can also be a side effect of certain medications, such as the anti-inflammatory drug sulfasalazine, some laxatives, and certain chemotherapy drugs. If you have orange urine and also have light-colored stools, it could be a sign of liver or bile duct malfunction. Adult-onset jaundice can also turn urine orange.
Blue or Green
Blue or green urine can be caused by:
- Dyes. Brightly colored food dyes can cause blue or green urine. Dyes that are used in some tests for kidney and bladder function can turn urine blue.
- Medications. Some of the medications that can turn urine blue or green include amitriptyline, indomethacin and propofol.
- Medical Conditions. Familial benign hypercalcemia, a rare inherited disorder, can cause blue urine. Green urine can sometimes happen with urinary tract infections, which is caused by pseudomonas bacteria.
- Dark Brown
In most cases, dark brown urine is caused by dehydration, but it can also be caused by certain medications, such as metronidazole and chloroquine.
Certain foods eaten in large amounts, such as rhubarb, aloe or fava beans, can also cause dark brown urine.
Liver disease can cause dark brown urine due to bile getting into the urine.
Cloudy urine can be the result of dehydration, but it can also be a sign of a urinary tract infection or other chronic diseases and kidney conditions.
Cloudy urine with foam or bubbles can be a symptom of serious health conditions, like Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis.
Connect With a Doctor for More Information
Knowing the color of your urine and what it means is important because it can be a sign of a serious medical condition. If you’re concerned about the color of your urine, talk to your doctor.
Find a Baptist Health Urology provider if you have any additional questions about what your urine color indicates about your health.