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Urine Color Meaning

Urine Color Meaning

Urine color can often be a worthy indicator of organ damage or malfunction. Read on to know all about the implications of urine color and the probable underlying disease.
Dr. Sumaiya Khan
Last Updated: Jun 14, 2018
Color can be a vital indicator of a lot of things. In medicine, often, any kind of deviation from the ordinary is reflected by a change in color. For example, in jaundice, often the white of the eye appears yellowish.
Thus, its essential that we always keep an eye out for any kind of discolorations of normal structures or excretions, and thus, urine is no exception to this rule. Urine color change is a vital indicator of disease and disorder in the body. Thus, it could help in identifying a disease at the earliest possible stage.
The kidneys are responsible for producing urine. Both the kidneys are continuously involved with filtration of blood. The kidneys process blood plasma, allowing water, sugar, amino acids, vitamins and other vital substances to re-enter the blood stream.
The continuous filtration eventually sorts out waste substances like urea, uric acid, creatinine, hormone waste, and toxins, and excretes it in the urine.
The normal color of urine is pale yellow, and this color is due to the pigment urochrome. However, this pale color of urine is sometimes altered when, in cases of kidney diseases, the filtration and selective re-absorption stages of urine production are malfunctioning.
Due to this, certain elements, like red blood cells, white blood cells, proteins, dyes, etc., also get filtered through, thus passing into urine. This leads to a change in urine color, which is often used to reach a temporary diagnosis.
Urine Color Meaning and Possible Underlying Disease or Condition
Clear urine
It is a sign of excess liquid consumption, it means you are well hydrated and healthy. However, any liver disease, like hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and diabetes insipidus or diabetes mellitus, may also be the cause of a clear urine. Besides that, this is also the urine color most observed during pregnancy.
Bright yellow or neon yellow urine
It is due to the consumption of vitamin supplements, especially those containing water soluble Riboflavin or vitamin B2, which is naturally yellow in color. Excess Riboflavin turns urine to bright yellow. However, intake of vitamins exceeding upper safe levels can lead to a potential risk of hypervitaminosis.
Dark yellow or golden color urine
Too dark or very concentrated urine signals severe dehydration. It may also be indicative of over consumption of laxatives or food supplements which contain B complex vitamins.
Pink or red color urine
It is called hematuria, indicative of blood in urine. Possible causes are kidney or bladder infections. Apart from this, excessive consumption of certain foods like beets, berries, food dyes, and some laxatives can also turn urine red.
Orange color urine
It may be due to the consumption of certain drugs like rifampin, doxorubicin, phenazopyridine, and warfarin. Other reasons could be dehydration, excess intake of certain food dyes, and some laxatives.
Blue or green color urine
It is a side effect of certain medications like amitriptylene, indomethacin. Also over consumption of certain foods like asparagus and some food dyes can turn urine color between some shades of blue or green.
Cloudy or murky urine
Indicates inability of the kidneys to produce normal urine; presence of excessive protein in urine turns it cloudy. Other reasons are urinary tract infection, inflammation of the urethra (urethritis), bladder infection, kidney stones etc.
Dark brown or tea colored urine
Often accompanied by pale stools and jaundice, or diarrhea. Indicative of an underlying liver disorder, side effect of certain medications, blood in urine, or could also be caused due to certain foods and food dyes.
So now we know all about urine color and what it means, and although the meanings are significant, and aid in giving us an idea of the underlying disease, one should not solely rely on the urine color for reaching a diagnosis.
A final diagnosis should only be made after lab tests have been done regarding that disease. Thus, urine color meanings often act as a stepping stone towards a final diagnosis of a disease or condition.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.