Healthy Urine Color Guide and When to See a Doctor

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Did you know that your urine color can say a lot about your body? For instance, drinking too much water can turn your urine into an almost clear color, while not drinking enough water can turn your urine into a deep amber shade. Your urine can even turn into a bright and almost neon yellow color 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 its color are just effects of what you put inside your body, but sometimes they are signs of a health condition that you should address.

Urine Color: What Is Normal?

“Normal” is different for everyone, however, normal urine is usually in shades of yellow because of a pigment called urochrome. It is responsible for making your urine yellow.

As mentioned previously, 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 in between a pale yellow to a dark amber. 

If your urine is cloudy, brown, or if it is not on the yellow spectrum– then you should go 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.

Different Types of Urine Based on Color

Here are the different types of urine based on color:

Clear Urine

A clear urine color means that you are drinking too much water. Although staying hydrated is important, keep in mind that there is such a thing as excessive. 

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

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

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

Yellow to Amber Urine

As mentioned previously, your 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– this pigment will not be diluted resulting in a deep amber urine.

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 in the color wheel, so orange urine could mean that you are dehydrated. However, it can also indicate issues with your liver or bile ducts.

Brown Urine

Your urine could be brown for several reasons. Reasons include:

1. Dehydration

2. Medications (like metronidazole and chloroquine.);

3. Or it can be an indicator of a liver disease that causes bile to get into your urine.

Red Urine

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

However, if you are sure that you did not consume any red-dyed food or beverage, then it might be a health condition that you should not ignore. Some of the health conditions that cause blood to mix in urine include kidney or bladder issues, enlarged prostate, etc.

Blue or Green Urine

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

If you have not consumed anything with vivid food colors, then you may want to check with your doctor.

Cloudy Urine

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

Should You See a Doctor?

Observing your urine color can tell you a thing or two about your health. However, observing on your own cannot guarantee you any concrete diagnosis.

You need a doctor to help you determine any health conditions that you may have, and a urinalysis 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. 

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

In a Nutshell

Your urine color can tell you a lot about the condition of your body. Unusual urine colors could be a symptom of an underlying disease. However, 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 that you have consumed

But keep in mind that if your urine is consistently unusual in color, then you should see your doctor. When your body is trying to tell you something, you should listen to it.

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