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What Color Should Urine Be and When to See a Doctor?

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This article is Medically Approved by Dr. Edward Salko

Did you know that your urine color can say a lot about your body? For instance, drinking too much water can turn your urine an almost clear color, while not drinking enough water can turn it a deep amber shade. Urine can even turn into a bright and almost neon yellow if you take too much vitamin B.

Observing your urine can help you check for several health conditions. Most of the time, the changes in color are just effects of what you put in your body, but sometimes they’re signs of a condition you should address.

What Color Should Urine Be?

“Normal” is different for everyone, but generally, normal urine is various shades of yellow because of a pigment called urochrome. And as we mentioned, factors like hydration levels can affect your urine color since water can dilute your urine. Depending on how hydrated you are, your urine could be anywhere between a pale yellow to a dark amber.

If your urine is cloudy, brown, or if it’s not on the yellow spectrum, you should see your doctor. You can tell something is wrong by the color of your urine, but you’d still need to see a doctor and do a urinalysis test to give you a better idea of what’s going on inside your body.

Urine Color Meaning Based on Different Types

These are the different types of urine based on color:

Clear Urine
A clear urine color means you’re drinking too much water. Although staying hydrated is important, keep in mind that there’s such a thing as excessive water consumption.

Overhydration can lead to water intoxication. That’s when the amount of salt and electrolytes in your body are too diluted for your own good.

Experts generally recommend taking half of your weight and drinking that number of ounces per day. For instance, if you’re a 160-pound person, you can strive to drink a total of 70 ounces (oz.), or 2.3 liters (L), a day.

There’s no hard number as a lot of factors need to be considered to determine what’s “too much” for an individual. But if your urine is consistently clear, you may want to put that glass of water down, buddy.

Yellow to Amber Urine

We said urine contains urochrome, which is responsible for its yellow color. The color of your urine depends on how much your body dilutes this pigment. If you don’t drink enough water, or if you don’t adequately hydrate yourself, the urochrome will not be diluted, resulting in a deep-amber color.

If your urine is within the yellow spectrum, and if you don’t feel any discomfort while urinating, then you have no reason to panic.

Orange Urine

Amber and orange are neighbors on the color wheel, so orange urine could mean that you’re dehydrated. But it can also indicate issues with your liver or bile ducts.

Brown Urine

Your urine could be brown for several reasons, including:

  1. Dehydration.
  2. Medications (like metronidazole and chloroquine).
  3. An indicator of a liver disease that causes bile to get into your urine, and some people may be asking, “What color is urine when your kidneys are failing?”

Red Urine

Red is obviously not a shade of yellow, but before you assume the worst, check what you have eaten recently. If you’ve eaten anything with deep pink or red pigments, like beets or rhubarb, they might be the reason why your urine is red.

But if you’re sure you didn’t consume any red-colored food or beverage, it might be a health condition that you should not ignore. Some conditions that cause blood to mix in urine include kidney or bladder issues, enlarged prostate, and others.

Blue or Green Urine

Blue or green urine is definitely alarming, but it could just be from something that you ate. However, as rare as it may seem, a bacterial infection can also turn your urine blue or green.

If you haven’t consumed anything with vivid food colors, you may want to check with your doctor.

Cloudy Urine

If your urine is cloudy, it could be a sign of urinary tract infection, chronic disease, or kidney conditions. Sometimes it means you’re dehydrated, but cloudy urine can be serious, especially if it has foam.

Should You See a Doctor About Your Urine Color?

Observing your urine color can tell you a thing or two about your health, but it can’t guarantee any concrete diagnosis. You need a doctor to help you determine any health conditions you may have, and a urinalysis test can assist your doctor in this matter.

Doctors use urinalysis to detect a wide range of health conditions, including urinary tract infections, kidney disease, and diabetes.

It involves examining the color, concentration, and content of urine. Irregularities in a urinalysis result may indicate an illness or a disease.

Urine Color Meaning in a Nutshell

So now we know that urine color can tell you a lot about the condition of your body and that unusual urine colors could be a symptom of an underlying disease. But most of the time, irregularities in the color of your urine are caused by the following:

  1. Dehydration.
  2. Overhydration.
  3. Medications.
  4. Natural or artificial colors from something you’ve consumed.

If your urine is consistently unusual in color, you should see your doctor. When your body is trying to tell you something, you should listen to it.

If you’re worried about your urine color and its meaning, you can order a urine test right here at Personalabs, including urinalysis that will reveal everything about your urine and any associated issues with your body.

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