Urine color can tell you a lot about your health. Every time you make a run to the bathroom its an opportunity to run a quick check on yourself.
Often, individuals ask themselves why their urine is clear on one day and dark yellow the next. Usually urine color ranges from pale yellow to dark amber, however, it should be noted that certain pigments and compounds in foods and medications may change urine color. Beets and berries are the most common culprits but certain medication and food dyes can give your urine vivid colors, such as raspberry pink or a bluish green tint.
In some cases though an unusual colors may be cause for concern. If urine color is pink, deep red of brown, and there is no obvious reason then its time to see an urologist and get a professional opinion and check.
Decoding your urine color
Various shades that may show up in an individual’s urine include the following:
- Clear urine: clear urine indicates an individual is super hydrated. There can be health issues associated with drinking large quantities of water, however, they are rare unless an individual is forcing themselves to drink far beyond what is needed.
- Cloudy urine: cloudy urine can indicate a bladder infection. It is advised to see your doctor or a specialist in such cases for a proper diagnosis.
- Light yellow urine: light yellow urine indicates an individual is well hydrated. If color darkens, it could be a sign to refuel with fluids, preferably water.
- Medium yellow urine: medium yellow urine indicates dehydration. In such cases, it is recommended to consult with a doctor as it may not be a clear case of forgetting to drink a glass of water.
- Dark yellow urine: dark yellow urine indicates possible dehydration or heavy use of vitamin B supplements.
- Orange urine: orange urine indicates possible causes such as dehydration, gallstones, liver disease or some UTI medications. Seek medical advice in such cases.
- Pink urine: pink urine indicates possible causes such as blood in the urine due to infection or bladder cancer, or it may be from eating a lot of red foods such as beets.
- Dark pink urine: dark pink urine indicates old, clotted blood and in such cases, it is recommended to consult with a urologist immediately.
- Brown urine: brown urine indicates possible causes such as eating too many brown foods (fava beans), taking certain types of medication or severe muscle damage.
- Blue/green urine: blue-green urine can be caused by food dyes and some medications. In rare cases, it may be a sign of porphyria, which is an inherited enzyme condition.
All in all, urine is an important part of the body’s disposal process. Its job is to get rid of extra water and toxins in the body. Urine can reveal what an individual’s has been eating, how much they’ve been drinking and what diseases they have. A change in urine color might be harmless or it may be an indication of a more severe problem such as an infection or cancer. When urine color turns darker, it is necessary to consult with a doctor to determine whether the darker color is actually caused by blood or something else and then proceed with the appropriate course of action.