Urine Colour and Health

As one of the four routes by which substances normally exit the body (the others being feces, breath and sweat), urine has a uniquely valuable role in medicine: It holds clues not just to what people eat and drink, but also to how well their bodies are functioning. The search for these telltale signs is why doctors routinely request urine samples from patients, whether they seem healthy or are obviously sick.

The color, clarity and other physical characteristics of urine, as well as substances dissolved in it, can provide clues to a wide range of problems, including infections, inherited metabolic disorders, kidney disease, bladder cancer, diabetes, substance abuse, exposure to toxins, inadequate or excessive fluid intake and, as many competing athletes know all too well, the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Here are some common urine colours and what it says about your health :

  • Transparent – You are more than hydrated enough.
  • Pale Straw – You are healthy and well-hydrated.
  • Transparent Yellow – This colour is normal.
  • Dark Yellow – You are fine, but might need to hydrate soon.
  • Amber/Honey – You are dehydrated; drink some water.
  • Syrup/Brown – Sign of potential live disease or severe dehydration. Drink water and call a doctor if your urine stays this colour.
  • Orange – Potential dehydration of live/bile duct issue. Contact a doctor. It could also be food dye.
  • Blue/Green – Likely caused by food dye. It could be an effect of medication, or a sign of bacterial infection or a rare genetic disease. Contact a doctor if it persists.
  • Pink/Reddish – Occurs if you recently ate beets, blueberries, or rhubarb. If not, contact your doctor. It may be a sign of infection, blood, prostate problems, or kidney disease.
  • Foamy/Fizzy – Could be a sign of kidney issues or excess protein. Contact doctor if happens regularly.
  • Other Colours – Could be caused by dye, medications, laxatives, or chemo drugs. If you are unsure, contact a doctor.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Syd Weedon says:

    This is important. You take care of your kidneys by watching your urine. Good article.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you Syd. I am glad you found it informative. As a general rule of thumb, it’s usually a good sign for your health when the color of your urine is a pale shade of yellow or clear. Dark yellow urine can be normal, but it might mean you need more fluids. When your urine appears as a darker shade of yellow, or even brown, it could be a sign that you have low urine volume. Low urine volume may come from dehydration (loss of body fluids) from hard exercise, working or living in a hot place, or not drinking enough fluids. When urine volume is low, urine is concentrated and dark in color. A major risk factor for kidney stones is constant low urine volume. Amber or honey colored urine may also mean you aren’t drinking enough water. Did you know some foods can change your urine color? For example, beets, blackberries and rhubarb can turn your urine red or pink. Eating large amounts of fava beans can cause dark brown urine. Eating foods with a lot of food dye can lead to blue or green urine.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Syd Weedon says:

        Most people do not understand how delicate the kidneys are and how easily they can be damaged. Unlike the liver, the kidneys do not regenerate, so damage to them is usually permanent. Especially for those with a tendency to high blood pressure, paying attention to kidney function is vital.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        True Syd. Awareness is the key.


    1. Garima says:

      Thank you. I am glad you found the information useful. The color of your urine can change for many reasons. These can range from the food you eat, to the medicines you take, to certain medical conditions.
      The more water you drink, the clearer your urine looks.

      Liked by 1 person

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