What Your Urine Color Says about Your Health
It might be an awkward thing to talk about, but the color of your urine is an important thing to keep track of. Gross, we know, but your urine color can be very revealing; it can actually tell you a lot about your health, far more than you’d imagine.
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Not only can we determine protein, sugar, yeast, and bacteria levels, but we can also use it to detect severe issues, like cancerous tumors and bladder infections, just by noticing oddities in your urine.
But to be able to spot deficiencies, it’s crucial to first know what normal, healthy urine looks like. Generally speaking, if your urine is transparent and has a pale yellow, yellow, or dark yellow color, you’re perfectly healthy.
A good rule of thumb is the darker your urine, the more water you need to drink. And if your urine is any other color besides a various shade of yellow (which we’ll get into down below) something may be wrong.
When you’re checking out the bowl, it’s also good to keep in mind that there are external factors that can influence the color of your urine, such as medications, chemotherapy drugs, laxatives, and dyes found in certain foods. We still encourage you to bring any abnormalities to the attention of your health care provider, but don’t panic if you see blue/green urine; truth is, you may have just had too many blueberries beforehand.
Take a look at the following urine colors to find out the condition of your body. Remember, evaluating your urine on your own may be a good stepping stone to diagnosing a problem, but taking any suspicions to your doctor is the only way to officially determine any bodily disorders.
If you notice that your urine is almost completely clear, to the point where it’s colorless and clear as water, you might be excited at first. This means that you’re staying hydrated, just like you should be, right?
Well…yes. But almost to an excessive degree.
Shockingly enough, there is such a thing as being overhydrated — and having totally clear urine is an indication that you are just that. You’ve been drinking too much water, something that could lead to a series of complications.
For instance, your kidneys may not be able to work fast enough to process the urine out of your body, causing way too much water to collect in your system. When your body retains too much water, it can cause an imbalance between water and sodium in your blood. At its worst, this could affect your muscles, tissue, and nervous system negatively.
So if you notice a colorless bowl, don’t go patting yourself on the back quite yet; cut down on your intake of water to get to the right level first.
As we mentioned above, this is the healthiest shade of urine to have. Whether it’s a lighter color or a darker color merely determines if you’re drinking enough water.
What’s more important to take note of with yellow urine is how clear it is; you should be able to see through to the bottom of the toilet bowl, at least decently well. If your urine is cloudy or almost opaque then, despite the healthy coloring, this is something you should address with your doctor.
Amber or Honey Colored
When the color of your pee borders on the darker side, this means the opposite of crystal clear urine: your body is slightly dehydrated. Needless to say, this is an easy fix! Simply work drinking a little more water into your daily routine.
Another cause of honey-colored urine is holding your pee for too long, something we all definitely are guilty of from time to time.
The danger of this is that urine is there to rid your body of toxins. So if you hold your pee in for long periods of time, or if you don’t drink enough water in order to urinate frequently, toxins will more easily build up in your body. We probably don’t need to tell what’s so bad about that notion.
Brown or Syrup Colored
Now there’s a difference between honey-colored urine, meaning your body is dehydrated, and urine that resembles a liter of Pepsi. If your urine is a dark brown, the issue is so much more than, “I haven’t had a lot of water today.” It’s more likely that your body is severely dehydrated, or is dealing with a host of other issues.
The biggest potential problems that could be indicated by this dark urine are urinary tract infections or liver and kidney disorders.
However, brown urine can be caused by eating certain foods in huge quantities, like fava beans, rhubarb, or aloe. Even taking medication like antimalarial drugs, certain antibiotics, laxatives, and muscle relaxants can also result in dark brown urine.
Just to be safe, check with your doctor to see what the cause is.
As you’ll see with pink and reddish urine, orange-hued urine can result from an assortment of causes. You could be dealing with certain medical conditions, such as an issue with the liver or bile duct.
The best way to double-check is to see if you have really light-colored stools, as it may be closely tied to these kinds of conditions.
Of course, the other answer could be dehydration again. Serious dehydration can also cause a concentrated, deep orange color in urine. It may even just be a deep yellow that has taken on an orange hue. Either way, if your stools are similar in shade, this is something potentially serious.
Pink or Red Colored
Pink or reddish urine may be caused by blood in the urine, which could indicate a wide variety of issues: urinary tract infections, kidney diseases, cancerous tumors, and even prostate problems.
The other cause could simple be something you ate — like great quantities of beets, blackberries, or rhubarb — or medications such as chemotherapy drugs, laxatives, and antibiotics used to treat tuberculosis that you may be taking. All of these can result in a rust-colored urine, but we would certainly suggest you check with your doctor, just in case.
Seeing blue or green urine is one of the rarest conditions on this list. Urine of this color can be caused by a genetic condition called “hypercalcemia,” a rare inherited disorder that even affects babies and infants.
Usually, urine of this color results from dyes and food coloring. Dyes used in some kidney and bladder function tests can also turn urine blue.
But if you continue to have brightly colored urine like this, get checked up to rule out things like bacteria or a urinary tract infection.
Cloudy or Murky
As we mentioned above, cloudy or murky urine is most likely related to some kind of disorder. Most commonly, urinary tract infections and kidney stones are the cause. Other bladder infections, like cystitis, can cause painful and frequent urination, in addition to murky urine.
Food can also possibly change the consistency of your urine. Other times, tiny amounts of blood in urine can appear in a cloudy form, rather than completely red in color.
Keep in mind that cloudy urine during pregnancy is pretty common. Pregnant women may often experience an increase in vaginal discharge, which mixes with urine to create a murky appearance.
Foaming or Fizzing
Definitely don’t be alarmed if you see a little foam or fizz in your urine, it usually is just because you urinated faster than usual. However, if the foam persists, see a doctor. It may indicate a rather high level of protein in your diet, or a serious problem with your kidneys.
What do you think about these signs and symptoms? Share your thoughts and any additional information you know in the comments section below.