What Does Urine Color Say About Your Health?–5 Hues of Urine and What They Mean (Yes, Green Urine Exists)

July 28, 2019 Updated: July 29, 2019

One of the simplest and most overlooked ways to check on your daily health is in something most people tend to give minimal attention to. The color of your urine can give you invaluably important information on your health.

Updates on simple day-to-day factors such as how hydrated you are to indicators of serious medical concerns, including liver and kidney diseases, can all be found by simply paying a little more attention to what we flush away.

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Here are a range of hues found in our urine, and what these colorful symptoms can tell us about our overall health while possibly saving us from the onset of more serious diseases.

1. Clear/Pale Yellow Urine

Clearly you’re very hydrated, which typically means that you’re healthy. Light yellow to clear urine means that your body has the right amount of fluids and that you’re drinking the right amount of water. Yet, having clear urine can mean that your body is over-hydrated, which can lead to water intoxication.

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Our kidneys and liver filter out toxins in our blood, which are expelled in our urine. If we have consumed lots of water, our kidneys will have expelled a more diluted mix of toxins, which will cause our urine to appear less yellow.

Clear urine may also be a cause of concern if coupled with frequent urination and no increase in liquid intake, which could be an early sign of diabetes.

2. Dark-Yellow Urine

A dark-yellow color of urine is still probably not cause for much concern but may indicate that your body is in need of more water. The most common cause of a dark-yellow urine is slight dehydration, which can cause symptoms such as chills, muscle cramps, overall fatigue, and headaches.

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Sometimes external factors such as medication that you are taking, which sometimes contain dyes, can cause urine to appear dark yellow or even orange, which should be taken into account.

3. Orange to Dark-Brown Urine

Dark-brown urine is the threshold of where more serious issues could be the cause of our urine color, but not in all cases. There are less concerning dietary factors such as consuming aloe, fava beans, or rhubarb that could affect the color of urine. On the other hand, orange to dark-brown urine could be caused by severe dehydration.

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Urine the color of brown tea could mean a lower functioning level of your liver or symptoms of melanoma. People with a history of melanoma may have dark-brown urine from melanin production if the cancer is progressing, and prompt medical intervention could be hugely beneficial to your health, and possibly save your life.

A less common and less severe cause of dark-brown urine could be if one has recently undergone a urological procedure. The dark-brown urine could simply be low levels of blood dissolving into the urine. This low amount of blood is not a huge cause for concern.

4. Red/Pink Urine

Red or pink urine are both fairly alarming colors of urine due to the connotation of a possible mixture of blood. Commonly however, the red or pink color could be a simple change in diet such as an increase in rhubarb, blueberries, or beets. Certain medications can also dye your urine a pink or red color and are not a cause for short-term alarm if no other symptoms persist.

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The cause for concern increases if there has been no change in diet or medication, as this could be a direct sign of blood in your urine. Blood in urine could be a caused by many conditions, including urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and more serious conditions such as cancer or kidney damage. If red or pink-colored urine persists past a few days, immediate medical testing and doctor consultation can be hugely helpful in diagnosing and treating these symptoms.

5. Blue, Green, or Foamy Urine

The oddest spectrum of urine color, and quite possibly the most alarming, blue or green urine is usually caused by very simple and harmless occurrences. Green or blue urinary symptoms are almost always caused by dyes found in certain artificial foods or as an additive to certain medications, specifically in some anti-depressants and anti-inflammatory prescriptions.

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In extremely rare cases, blue or green urine could be caused by a hereditary disorder called familial hypercalcemia, but this is an incredibly unlikely reason for these symptoms.

Another very common symptom is foamy urine. When this occurs with no other symptoms, it is most likely harmless and a cause of hydraulic effect. If foamy urine continues over an extended period of time, symptoms should be checked by a doctor, as this could be a sign of an excessive ingestion of proteins. Excessive protein consumption has been shown to cause some disorders later in life but these are heavily aided when prevented and treated early.

While the severity of many diseases is not immediately apparent solely from viewing the color of one’s urine, checking regularly for changes can be a lifesaving task. Just devoting a few seconds every day to quickly check the color of your urine can be enough to help prevent rapid onset of cancer, slow kidney or liver damage, and improve our daily hydration. This will benefit your overall health both for today and for many years to come.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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