There’s a rather poetic saying: “The eyes are the window into one’s soul”. Well, in that case, one’s toilet bowl is surely the window to one’s health. Yes, we know that doesn’t sound nearly as lovely as the first, but it does not make it any less true.
This explains why most doctors recommend a urine test when you go for your regular checkup.
Urine is mostly made up of water, but it also includes chloride, urea, potassium, creatinine, sodium and many other compounds, both inorganic and organic. Any imbalance your body may be experiencing can leave its mark in your urine.
That’s why we’ve taken the liberty to divide each urine type by color and see what each has to say about our current state of health.
1. Pale or Transparent Yellow
If you have this kind of pee – congratulations! It means your kidneys are properly doing their job in processing waste products. Indeed, this is the best type of pee which everyone should hope to have, as it is the healthiest and indicates no issues.
It also means you are well hydrated, as dehydration causes darker pee. Or more specifically, not enough water content equals a more concentrated darkish yellow; as clear, pale yellow pee means there is plenty of water to dilute it.
However, if your pee is transparent up to the point where it has no color at all, then that just means you are drinking too much water and may want to cut back a little bit, as there is no need.
Colorless urine may also mean excess alcohol consumption (it’s a diuretic, after all) or, in rare cases, even diabetes. But this only if it remains colorless even though you are not drinking much water, to begin with. Instead of taking wild guesses, always make sure by seeking medical advice.
2. Murky or Cloudy
There is no pretty way to say this, but a murky or cloudy urine is usually an indicator of either a kidney problem or, more commonly, a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection).
Another indicator is a strong aroma, either foul-smelling or sweet-smelling (the latter may be a sign of diabetes). This unpleasant smell comes from the bad bacteria which are causing the problem in the first place.
Other signs of a UTI are a stinging or burning sensation during urinating, or an increased and constant desire to urinate while only passing a small amount of urine each time.
In rarer cases, the foamy kind of urine may simply be an indicator of specific minerals such as phosphorus and calcium.
As for persistent foaming or fuzzing (if it’s just from time to time – it’s healthy), it can either mean too much protein in your system or an issue with your kidneys. To be sure, always see your doctor.
Red urine sure looks alarming, but it can be a sign of many causes, some scarier than others.
Usually, people panic for no reason, as red urine could simply mean you ate things like beets, carrots, rhubarb and blackberries, all which have the potential to color your pee. In such a scenario, your urine should return to normal within a day or so.
Another reason may be due to taking tuberculosis medicine.
You should definitely visit your doctor if this urine goes on for a longer period, as it might indicate a kidney or bladder tumor. If there is actual blood, it could be due to a UTI or a kidney stone. Other, rarer reasons are mercury poisoning or an issue with one’s prostate.
This color isn’t much cause for worry. A light orange shade usually indicates mild dehydration. Another minor cause is the regular consumption of foods which are abundant in beta-carotene. A third reason may be due to certain supplements (such as vitamin B complex) as well as some blood-thinners.
A third reason may be due to certain supplements (such as vitamin B complex) as well as some blood-thinners.
Still, we should warn you that there are more serious issues to take into consideration, especially if you notice a more fluorescent shade of orange. This usually signals a problem with your bile ducts or liver.
It can even be a potential symptom of jaundice. Further signs of this disease are yellow eyes and skin, as well as pale stools. If so, don’t hesitate to seek medical help.
This color has a wide array of possible reasons. They can be harmless, like specific medications or diet changes (rhubarb, aloe vera, fava beans), or more severe like a health problem.
If you happen to be taking drugs such as laxatives, muscle relaxants or the antimalarial sort, then there’s no need to be concerned.
Other possible causes can be certain UTIs, kidney and liver disorders, acute hepatitis, or even liver cancer. They may also indicate porphyria, a very rare disease connected to one’s red blood cells. It usually runs in the family. We’ll discuss it further down below.
So, if you suddenly notice your urine’s turned brown, make sure to seek medical help without delay.
6. Dark Yellow or Neon
Unlike the pale variety, a fluorescent, vibrant shade of yellow is not a sign of good health.
If it is honey-colored or amber-colored, it might be a simple indication that you are dehydrated (which you need to fix immediately, of course, as it can lead to much more serious problems).
Another reason are certain medications or supplements which you may be taking at the time. For instance, this dramatic change in hue may be due to some vitamin B supplements, particularly the vitamin B12 plays a role here.
If you are not taking any supplements or medications and are drinking plenty of water as it is, yet this color remains the same, it’s most likely due to some illness.
Some possible reasons may be hemolytic anemia, hepatitis or hematuria (blood in one’s urine). That’s why seeing your doctor is a must if your urine is persistently dark yellow.
One reason is the food you eat or the beverages you drink. Asparagus, black licorice or green beer can all be the potential ‘culprit’.
Medications which contain dyes can also be to blame here. Even having diarrhea could be the cause for the greenish tint in your urine.
In some rare cases, green urine may be an indicator of a rare UTI called Proteus. These bacteria may also lead to kidney stones, so it’s best to see your doctor and do any necessary tests before it’s too late.
8. Blue and Purple?
Even though it might seem strange, there are those individuals who notice a blueish tinge in their pee. This is a rather rare occurrence, but it is still possible.
One reason for it may be hypercalcemia, which is a rare genetic condition involving excessive amounts of calcium in one’s blood.
Another explanation is a high concentration of blue dye which some foods, drinks or medications might have.
As for purple, many experts claim it does not exist. We say it can be possible, but only in some cases of the above-mentioned disease porphyria, which, incidentally, can also have a blueish hue to it. Did you know King George III had this rare illness?
Well, now you can call yourself an expert on anything and everything which is related to urine color. Not that you’d want to give yourself this ‘charming’ title. Joking aside, stay informed and healthy, dear readers.