Pee: What Color Should It Be?
There are several indicators of how your health is, and your pee is one of them. While it may seem a little strange, taking a peek can give you a heads-up on when you need to come in for a check-up. It can also tell you when your urinary system is working appropriately.
The color of your urine can tell you a lot. For instance, it can let you know it's time to put aside the caffeine for a little while and drink some more water. It can also be caused by your diet, food dyes, or even be a sign of health problems such as blood in your urine that can't be ignored.
Here is what each color means, according to US San Diego Health.
- Transparent: While clear urine isn't exactly a bad thing, it can be a sign that you've been drinking too much water. Getting your daily intake of H2O is a good thing, but not when you're flushing all the electrolytes out of your body.
- Pale Straw Color: Normal
- Transparent Yellow: Normal
- Dark Yellow: This is a normal color, but may mean you need to sip on some water.
- Amber or Honey: You could possibly be dehydrated.
- Light Orange: This could mean it's time to drink some water, but there are other things to take into consideration. It could be an indicator that your liver or bile duct is not working properly. Another factor is the dyes from the food you've been eating. A third possibility is your body is excreting Vitamin B from the bloodstream. If your urine is this color, you should make an appointment with us.
- Orange: This could be caused by certain medications such as rifampin or phenazopyridine.
- Dark Orange or Brown: This could be another indicator that you're dehydrated. If you've been drinking plenty of water, however, then it could be jaundice, rhabdomyolysis, or Gilbert's Syndrome. Before you start to self-diagnosis, call and make an appointment.
- Pink: Pee that is this color is usually due to your diet. Things like beets, blueberries, and rhubarb can cause your pee to look a little pink. It could also be blood in your urine, however, so it's a good idea to come in to see us just to be sure.
- Red: If your pee is red, then you should make an appointment immediately. It's a sign of blood in the urine, also known as hematuria, and is not something to be ignored. While there's a chance that it's benign, it's important to know for certain and begin treatment if it is something more serious.
Some of the possible causes could be kidney stones, an infection or tumor in the urinary tract (UTI), or prostate problems. It could also be due to a group of hereditary diseases such as porphyrias, which is when your hemoglobin isn't made properly. A more rare cause is lead or mercury poisoning.
- Green: While this color may be very alarming, it's usually due to eating asparagus. This can also cause your pee to have some rather unpleasant odors. There is a chance that it's caused by a bacterial infection, so it's best to make an appointment with us.
- Blue: This is another color that may catch you by surprise, but it's often caused by medications and food dyes. Another cause could be a rare inherited metabolic disorder known as familial hypercalcemia. This is known more commonly as "blue diaper syndrome," and is characterized by incomplete intestinal breakdown of tryptophan, which is a dietary nutrient.
- Dark Brown or Black: There are several causes for dark pee. The first is due to eating rhubarb, fava beans or aloe. Another has to do with the medications you've been eating. A more alarming cause could be copper or phenol poisoning. Melanoma could also be the cause of your black pee.
- White or Milky: When your pee is this color, the most likely cause is a urinary tract infection, although it could also be that you have too much calcium, phosphate, or that your body is producing too many minerals.
What does healthy pee look like?
Typically, the lighter your pee, the better. As already mentioned, urine that is completely transparent could mean that you're drinking too much water. This can easily be fixed by drinking a sports drink. It should never replace your water intake but is good to have after working out, sweating a lot, or when you've had a stomach bug.
Darker urine is a sign that you need to come in and see us. While it may be nothing to be alarmed about, that's not something we can know until we run some tests. If it's something more, we can begin treatment.
Odd colors like green or blue are typically due to the foods you've been eating. While it's good to eat healthy, it can sometimes cause unusual changes in your body that could be alarming if you're not prepared for them.
Is foaming pee bad?
Before we talk about foam in your urine, it's important to know the difference between bubbles and foam. While it may seem like both are the same thing, North Western Medicine reports that it's not.
Bubbles are clear, big, and they can be flushed easily. On the other hand, foam doesn't flush. It tends to be more sticky and is more obvious.
So, is foam in your pee bad? It's not a good sign, and means you should schedule an appointment. It's typically caused by protein in your urine, which should have been filtered out by your kidneys.
The most likely culprits are lupus or diabetes, but there are other causes. We don't know for sure what the cause is until we do some tests, so the sooner you come in, the sooner we'll have answers.
What do I do if my pee is dark or looks odd?
Come see us. The sooner, the better. In many cases, the cause is either caused by your diet, current medications you're taking, or it could be as simple as you need to drink more fluids. If on the other hand, it's a more serious cause, having a diagnosis can take a lot of pressure off of you. Here at Mississippi Urology, we'll make you feel comfortable as we get to the bottom of your unusual pee color.