The color of human urine has been very useful in diagnosing diseases for centuries, since changes on our urine’s color, density, or odor, may indicate that something isn’t right with our body. Every day, we expel tons of residue through our urine that comes from what we eat and drink.
However, urine can also be used to alert us to a health problem, since it changes color and odor whenever something isn’t right. When you’re healthy, your urine is yellow, almost transparent. Its characteristic color comes from a pigment called urobilin.
Our normal urine transports these urobilins which are diluted in water and give our urine this yellow almost see-through color. That indicates an adequate level of hydration.
If our urine’s color gets more intense, it might mean we’re dehydrated. However, if your urine is too clear, and you constantly feel the need to urinate, it might be water intoxication, or hyper hydration. That happens when a person drinks too much water.
Your urine could also be other colors. Here is what they could indicate about your health:
1. Dark yellow urine
Dark yellow urine is common and normally means dehydration, due to lack of water consumption. However, when your urine stays dark for a long time, it could mean you have hepatic problems.
2. Orange urine
Your urine could be orange due to an exaggerated ingestion of foods rich in beta-carotene, such as carrots, as well as some medicines. Liver problems may also cause your urine to turn orange.
3. Red or pink urine
If your urine is red or pink, it probably means there is blood in your urine, and that you have a urinary tract infection, gallbladder stone, or renal problem. It might be accompanied by other symptoms. Foods such as beets may also cause your urine to turn red or pink.
4. Blue urine
Blue urine is normally caused by blue dyes or blue methylene contrast used in computerized tomography exams, liver surgeries, or other procedures.
5. Green urine
Green urine is a serious condition normally caused by the foods you eat, artificial dyes, medicines, or contrast used in some diagnostic exams.
6. Brown urine
Brown urine is normally a sign of severe dehydration, but it can also indicate liver problems such as hepatitis and cirrhosis.
7. Whitish urine
Whitish urine also known as albuminuria, can be provoked by the presence of a severe urinary tract infection, normally accompanied by a burning sensation while peeing and fever.
There are also a few other changes in our urine that we should know about:
• Foamy urine
In these cases, the urine’s color is almost always normal, but it may also appear a few shades darker. If it’s very foamy, it means that there is too much protein in our body.
• Strong smelling urine
No type of urine has a particularly pleasant odor, but we all know how to tell the smell of normal urine and urine that smells too strongly apart. If your urine smells really bad, it could be because of coffee or asparagus. If that isn’t the case, consult a doctor to see what could be wrong.