When it comes to the topic of urine, nobody talks about it in polite company, but it does tell a lot about you. The consistency, the odor, and color of your urine are all tell-tale signs of your well-being and the type of lifestyle that you live which ranges from what you drink and eat to the types of diseases you may not know you have.
According to UC San Diego Health, urine is at least 95% water. But the remaining 5% is a complex of different ingredients that include sodium, chloride, urea, and creatinine. The most common color of urine is yellow, which UC San Diego Health says is caused by urobilin, which is a biochemical waste product that is generated from the breakdown of your body’s old red blood cells.
If you’re ever concerned about your urine color, take a look below. You’ll find the types of urine color and what they say about your health.
Transparent: The UC San Diego Health explains that colorless urine could indicate that your body may be over-hydrated. This is not a direct cause for concern, but they add that over-dehydration can dilute essential salts that can create a chemical imbalance in your blood.
Pale Color: You are well-hydrated, healthy and normal if you have a pale color urine, says the UC San Diego Health.
Yellow: As mentioned already, if the color of your urine is yellow, then everything is completely normal. You are hydrated and your abdomen is working perfectly, says the UC San Diego Health.
Dark Yellow: If the color of your urine is dark yellow, it’s still normal, but it also does suggest that you may be mildly dehydrated according to UC San Diego Health.
Honey or Amber: UC San Diego Health says that if their color of your urine is honey or amber, you might be dehydrated. The worst thing you could do according to Dena Rifkin MD, a staff nephrologist at UC San Diego Health is examining your urine for dehydration. She explains that she would never recommend any of her patients to hydrate based on urine color. She adds that people should drink for thirst instead of drinking to simply stay hydrated.
Red: If the color of your urine is red, there may be a need to be concerned according to UC San Diego Health. Blood in the urine is called hematuria. In some cases, it can be benign, but in other cases, it can be a sign of infection, kidney stones or even a tumor in the urinary tract. It can also signal that there may be a problem with the prostate.
Blue: Certain medications and food dyes can produce blue urine, as well as the rare metabolic disorder familial hypercalcemia (blue diaper syndrome). According to UC San Diego Health, blue diaper syndrome is when there is an incomplete intestinal breakdown of tryptophan, which is a dietary nutrient. If your urine becomes blue, consult a physician.
Dark Brown or Black: Causes that do not require you to worry include certain medications, large amounts of fava beans, rhubarb, and aloe. But the UC San Diego Health explains that potential causes of dark brown or black urine that should worry you are copper or phenol poisoning or melanoma. The best thing to do is consult your doctor if the color of your urine is dark brown or black.
It might be shocking to see this color, but it’s rare and could be caused by:
Foods: Eating artificially dyed foods or asparagus. Nothing to worry about. It will clear up in a day or 2.
Medications: Some medications (like Amitriptyline, Indomethacin, and Propofol) can cause the change of color.
Attention: If you haven’t been exposed to any of the above, then you should contact your doctor. A green color can signal a rare urinary tract infection caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas. The bug can also cause kidney stones.
If you see brown shades in your urine, it could be a sign of dehydration. Among the foods that can turn your urine brown are rhubarb and fava beans. But it’s better to get it checked out, especially if you drink lots of water but the color doesn’t go away. Brown urine could indicate problems with your liver and kidneys.
Attention: If your brown urine is followed by abdominal pain, rashes, and seizures, there is a high possibility of a genetic condition. Also, blood appears brownish when it disintegrates, and this can be a sign of a more serious condition like a tumor.
If your urine is completely transparent, it is a sign that you are drinking too much water. This can cause certain risks, the most important of which is diluting the salts in your body. This can create a problematic chemical imbalance in your body. You should consider drinking less water.
Pale straw yellow, transparent yellow, dark yellow
These colors mean you have nothing to worry about. Ideally, your urine should be a pale gold color. A pale yellow shows a good balance between being under and over hydrated. More concentrated urine is a sign that you need more water. Just keep in mind one golden rule: if it looks like lemonade — good for you!
Do you ever pay attention to the color of your urine? Do you feel weird checking it? Share with us in the comments.