Have you noticed that most doctors recommend urine tests when you go for a health checkup? This is because your urine can reveal a lot about what’s going on inside your body. Your urine’s odor, consistency and colour are all telltale indicators of your well-being and health status.
Urine is made mostly of water and a surprisingly list of ingredients like urea, chloride, sodium, potassium, creatinine and other dissolved ions as well as various inorganic and organic compounds. Any sort of imbalance in the body can affect the color, consistency and odor of the urine.
A pale straw or transparent yellow color is a sign of good health and a properly hydrated body. The pigment that gives urine its characteristic yellow color is known as urochrome. Urine takes on the yellow color when the kidneys properly process waste products.
Fluid intake dilutes the yellow pigment in urine, so the more you drink, the clearer your urine looks. When you drink too little water or other fluids, the body becomes dehydrated and the color becomes a more concentrated yellow.
If your urine takes on other unusual colors, it can indicate a health problem and here is what various urine colors tell about your heath.
1. Cloudy or Murky. If your urine appears cloudy or murky, it can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney stones. In the case of a UTI, the urine will also have a strong ammonia, foul or even slightly sweet odor. The bacteria causing the infection produce the foul smell as a by-product.
In addition to this, if you experience symptoms like an urge to pee more often but passing only small amounts of urine, pain or burning sensation when you pee, and pain the lower abdomen, get yourself tested for UTI.
When suffering from a UTI infection, consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. You may need antibiotics to clear up the infection and prevent further problems. You can also try home remedies to prevent UTIs.
Moreover, an excess of certain minerals such as calcium or phosphorus may cause white, milky urine. Foaming and fizzing urine can mean you have excess protein in your diet or a kidney issue. If the issue persists, see a doctor immediately.
2. Red. If your urine is a shade of red or pink, it could be due to a variety of causes.
One simple reason behind this could be what you ate a few hours back. Foods like carrots, blackberries, beets and rhubarb can turn your pee a pinkish-red color. Some of the compounds that give color to these colorful foods are excreted in the urine once the kidneys finish their processing work. If this is the case, your urine color will be back to normal within a day.
Sometimes, medications taken to treat tuberculosis can turn urine a reddish color.
If a red or pink urine color persists, it is not a good sign. It could indicate a tumor in the bladder or kidneys. If you notice blood in your urine, it could be a sign of a kidney stone or a UTI. It may also signal a problem with the prostate or mercury poisoning.
Instead of trying to determine the cause on your own, it is always best to check with your doctor if your urine is pink or red.
3. Orange. If your urine has a light orange shade, there is nothing much to worry about. This possibly indicates mild dehydration.
Other minor causes include eating a lot of foods rich in beta-carotene, which is excreted via your urine. Supplements and medicines like vitamin B complex and several blood thinners can also cause orange-yellow urine.
But if you notice more of a fluorescent orange color, it could indicate that something is wrong with your liver or bile ducts. High levels of bilirubin due to inflammation of the liver, abnormalities of the liver cells or blockage of the bile ducts can change the color of your urine to orange.
In fact, orange-colored urine is a possible symptom of jaundice.
If your urine is orange in color and you also have pale stools and yellow skin and eyes, see your doctor immediately.
4. Brown. If you notice your urine color has changed to dark brown or cola-colored, it can be due to diet, medication, or certain health issues.
Eating large amounts of fava beans, rhubarb or aloe vera can cause brown urine. A number of drugs can darken urine, especially antimalarial drugs, laxatives and muscle relaxants. Also, muscle injury due to extreme exercise can lead to a rare illness called rhabdomyolysis, which can result in brown-colored urine.
Apart from these, certain liver and kidney disorders like liver cancer, cirrhosis and acute hepatitis can turn your urine dark brown, as can some UTIs. This mainly happens due to the secretion of excess bilirubin from the liver into the urine. At times, brown urine is related to porphyria, a rare, inherited disorder of the red blood cells.
If your urine suddenly turns brown, consult your doctor immediately to rule out the possibility of any serious problem.
#5. Neon or Dark Yellow. While transparent yellow urine is a sign of a normal hydrated body, vibrant, fluorescent or dark yellow urine is not a good sign. Especially if your urine is amber or honey-colored, it could indicate that you are not drinking enough water. Your urine may change to a dark yellow color due to severe dehydration or as a result of certain medicines, supplements or vitamin pills. B vitamins, especially B12, result in this dramatic hue change.
If you are not taking any medicines, supplements or vitamins that may cause the dark yellow color and increasing your water intake does not change the color, then it may be due to some type of illness.
For instance, blood in the urine (hematuria), hemolytic anemia and hepatitis can cause a darker urine color.
Whenever in doubt regarding your dark yellow urine color, see your doctor.
6. Green. Eating asparagus can change the color of your urine to a greenish tint. Artificial food coloring, green beer and black licorice can also be to blame. In addition, some medications and drugs can cause your urine to turn green, but only if they contain dyes.
In some cases, diarrhea can give a greenish tint to your urine.
In rare instances, green urine can indicate a specific form of a UTI called a proteus infection. The bacteria that causes this infection can also cause kidney stones, so do not delay in seeing your doctor.
7. Blue. Though it may sound strange, some people may notice a bluish tinge in their urine. However, it is very rare. Blue urine can be due to a rare genetic condition known as hypercalcemia, which means having excess calcium in the blood.
In some cases, dyes can cause your urine to have a bluish tinge, but this will only happen if you have an extremely high concentration of dye. Any medication that contains a blue dye can also cause this problem.
8.Colourless. Colourless or absolutely transparent urine could be a sign of over-hydration, possibly meaning that you are drinking too much water. An excess of water in your body can disturb the electrolyte balance in the body. Drinking alcohol in excess may also cause your urine to turn clear, as it is a diuretic.