Urine is a sterile liquid that is expelled from the body. It is a product of cellular metabolism. The normal color of urine can range from a translucent yellow to amber. This is due to the presence of a pigment called urochrome in the normal urine.

Sometimes, the appearance of your urine changes due to some medicines, health problems certain foods you eat and beverages you drink. When your urine is darker (amber), this usually is a sign that you are not getting enough fluids. All you need to do is get more fluids in your body, preferably water.

The odor, consistency, and color of your urine can be an indicator of well being. Abnormal urine color can be distressing to patients, their family members, and doctors alike. Often times many wonder what it means when the liquid they are expelling has different colors. If you are curious to know that, then read on.

My Urine Is Clear. What Does It Indicate?

The clearer your urine is, the healthier you should be. Light yellow to clear colored urine is a sign that your body is properly hydrated, and is typically seen in those who regularly drink water. However, clear urine can also appear in those who are taking in too much water and may be dangerously close to over-hydration, or water intoxication

Clear urine is also common in people who take diuretics or pee pills usually for high blood pressure or edema.

An increase in urination, especially clear urine, without adequate water intake, can be a sign of diabetes insipid, the failure of the pituitary gland in the brain to make anti-diuretic hormone due to brain injury, or certain metabolic conditions.

Often times your urine turns clear after excessively drinking alcohol. Why?. This is because the frequency in urination after the excessive consumption of alcohol causes your body to extract water from other organs since you’re peeing all that water down the drain, along with other important electrolytes in your body. This is why too much alcohol makes you sick and leaves you with a bad headache.

Abnormal Urine Colors

Sometimes your urine will take a dive completely off the light yellow to an amber-gold color chart. If this is the case, here are several possible urine colors you might be seeing and what they mean:

Green or blue urine

This is usually caused by something you ingested. Certain foods, beverages, and medications have the ability to make your urine have green or blue colors, especially if they contain a blue dye. Asparagus has not only been known to make your urine appear greener, but it can also affect your urine’s odor. This is also caused by a bacteria transferred to the urinary tract when toilet paper is applied with a forward motion rather than a backward motion. It is also seen in people who drink a huge amount of green tea.

Medications
  • Methylene blue
  • Cimetidine
  • Flupirtine
  • Indometacin
  • Amitriptyline
Medical condition
  • Biliverdin
  • Blue diaper syndrome
  • Herbicide indigestion
  • Pseudomonas
  • UTI
  • Porphyria
  • Liver cancer
Food
  • Asparagus
  • Green Tea

Red or pink urine

Certain foods that are naturally red can cause these color changes in your urine. Beets and rhubarb can make your urine to have these colors. Laxatives and some prescription drugs can also be the cause of red urine. In some cases, blood in your urine stream can make it have these colors and can be a sign of a medical condition like enlarged prostate, bladder stones, kidney disease, tumor, urinary tract infection(UTI), mercury, or lead poisoning.

Medication
  • Chloroquine
  • Deferoxamine
  • Hydroxo cobalamin
  • Ibuprofen
Medical conditions
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Porphyria
Foods
  • Beets
  • Blackberry
  • Carrot

Cloudy urine

This can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney stones. Men usually have cloudy and foamy urine after sex or when they are abstinent from ejaculation over a long period. Urine left in their urinary tract makes their urine cloudy and foamy.

Orange urine

Orange urine could be a sign of hepatitis because swelling in the liver causes bile to travel directly to the kidney. Dehydration could also cause this. Blackberries, beets, rhubarb, and certain medications with dyes can cause this. Medical issues that can cause orange urine include jaundice and dehydration.

Medication

Isoniazid

Riboflavin

Sulfasalazine

Medical condition

Urinary tract infection

Hepatitis

Jaundice

Foods

carrot

rhubarb

Foamy urine

This doesn’t affect the color of your urine. Instead, it accompanies urine at certain times, which may be a cause for alarm. Excessive foam in your urine is typically a sign of ingesting too much protein and spillover of protein from severely diseased kidneys.

Brown or black urine

Eating certain foods such as velvet and fava beans cause the darkening of urine due to their dopamine content.

When should you seek medical attention?

While it is best not to panic at the first signs of abnormal urine color, you should not ignore it either. Consult a physician to ensure you aren’t suffering from something serious if a change in urine color is accompanied by any of the below symptoms,

  • Are you urinating more frequently than usual?
  • Is urination painful for you?
  • Are you having trouble urinating? Has urinating become more infrequent than usual?
  • Are you urinating only small amounts at a time?
  • Do you wake up frequently at night to urinate?
  • Are you producing more urine than usual?
  • Are you leaking or dribbling urine uncontrollably?

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