Urine is your body’s liquid waste products. Your urine is a combination of water, salt and chemicals called urea and uric acid, which are formed when your kidneys filter your blood of waste products. Medication, illnesses and certain foods can affect how your urine smells and what color it is. The color, consistency and smell of your urine can indicate certain things about your health like how hydrated you are, whether there is an infection in your bladder, or urinary tract or whether your kidneys are functioning properly.
What the Color of Your Urine Reveals About Your Health
Your urine should be a pale gold color. The color comes from urochrome, which is a pigment your body manufactures. If your urine is clear, then you are either very well hydrated, due to drinking lots of water, or you are taking a diuretic which helps your body get rid of liquid waste. If your urine is a dark honey color, then you are more than likely a little dehydrated. You should drink fluids, preferably water, but pure, cold-pressed fruit juice or vegetable juice is good too. You should stay away from caffeinated drinks like coffee, soda, tea or energy drinks, as caffeine is a natural diuretic and will dehydrate you more quickly.
Pink or Reddish Color
Some foods like carrots and beets can turn your urine a slightly pink color. Some medications, like the antibiotic rifampin or phenazopyridine, which is used to treat urinary tract infections, can also turn your urine a pink color. There may also be blood in your urine, which could be a sign of kidney disease, urinary tract infections, prostate issues, kidney stones or a tumor. Always see your physician if your urine is a red or pink color. Extreme exercise can also cause your urine to be pink or the color of cola due to muscle injury and kidney damage.
The same drugs and antibiotics that cause your urine to be pink or red could cause an orange color as well. High doses of the vitamin B2 could also cause the urine to turn orange. It could also be a sign that you are dehydrated or have a liver or bile duct issue. Consult your physician if you are drinking plenty of water and not on those antibiotics and still have orange colored urine. If you also have pale stools and yellowish skin and eyes, it may be a sign that your liver is malfunctioning.
Blue or Green Color
Some other medications, like the anesthetic propofol or the allergy medicine promethazine, can cause your urine to turn a green or blue color. The usual reason for such a color is artificial dyes in your food being voided through your urine. A green color can also be the result of a pseudomonas bacterial infection. If the color doesn’t go away after a few days, then consult your doctor.
Deep Red or Brown Color
A deep red or brownish color urine is an identifying characteristic of porphyria, which is a rare and inherited genetic disorder of the red blood cells. It could also indicate liver disease if it is a brown ale or syrup color. You could also be really dehydrated. See your doctor if this condition persists.
Foamy or Frothy
Regardless of color, if your urine looks foamy or frothy, you may be voiding a lot of protein through your urine which can indicate an issue with your kidneys, and you should see a doctor right away.
Cloudy or Murky
Urinary tract infections and kidney stones can make your urine appear cloudy.
When you are dehydrated, the urine is very concentrated and will smell strongly of ammonia. Some foods like asparagus will cause your urine to smell strongly, as will some medications and vitamins like B6 supplements.
Things you don’t see
There are things in your urine like small levels of blood that won’t turn the urine a different color, or sugar which could be an indicator of diabetes. Make sure you get yearly checkups which should include a urinalysis to check for those invisible things.
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