Urine: Why Does Your Pee Look Like That?

Clear urine is a sign you may be drinking too much water and losing minerals.

Clear

You're probably fine if your pee looks like this. In some cases, you could be drinking a bit too much water. That can lower essential minerals and salts, like electrolytes. It can also lead to chemical imbalances in your blood.

Pale yellow is a normal color for urine, but see your doctor if you have symptoms.

Pale Yellow

You're likely healthy and drinking enough water if your pee is this color. Keep in mind that you can still be sick even when your urine looks normal. Talk to your doctor if you have pain, a fever, or other unusual symptoms, especially if they last more than a few days.

Dark yellow urine may be a sign that you are dehydrated and need to drink more water.

Dark Yellow

This can be normal, but you probably need to drink more water ASAP. You're likely dehydrated -- or close to it -- once you start heading toward a yellowish-brown or amber color.

Certain supplements, including B vitamins, may turn your urine neon yellow.

Bright Yellow

Is your pee so yellow it looks like a neon light? Supplements may be the reason. Your pee could turn this color if you take a lot of them, especially vitamin B2, also called riboflavin. Some supplements can cause serious problems if you take too many. Always tell your doctor about any supplements you're using. They can tell you how many -- and what's safe -- to take.

Vitamin C and carotene may make your urine orange colored.

Orange

Too much of certain nutrients, like vitamin C and carotene, might cause this color. So can medications like phenazopyridine (it numbs your bladder) or the antibiotic rifampicin. When you have liver disease, a substance called bilirubin can build up in your urine and turn it orange.

Light brown urine may be a sign of muscle breakdown or a medical condition.

Light Brown

Extreme exercise or working out in very hot or cold weather can break down muscle fiber. That's rhabdomyolysis. The waste from this breakdown turns your pee a brownish or tea color. Light-brown urine could also be a sign of serious dehydration. Other conditions, like jaundice, Gilbert's syndrome (a liver disorder), and kidney disease or failure, can turn it light brown too.

Certain medications, medical conditions and extreme exercise may cause dark brown urine.

Dark Brown

Foods like fava beans and rhubarb can cause dark brown pee, especially if you eat a lot of them. It could also be a side effect of extreme exercise and signal liver or kidney problems, like light brown urine. Certain antimalarial drugs (chloroquine and primaquine), antibiotics (metronidazole and nitrofurantoin), methocarbamol (a muscle relaxant), or laxatives with cascara or senna can turn your pee dark brown too.

Asparagus, food coloring and certain medical conditions and medications may turn your urine red or pink.

Red or Pink

Food coloring is usually the reason, but it could also be asparagus. The bacteria Pseudomona, which causes urinary tract infections, can also turn your pee green. So can the drug propofol.

Asparagus and food coloring may turn your urine green.

Green

Food coloring is usually the reason, but it could also be asparagus. The bacteria Pseudomona, which causes urinary tract infections, can also turn your pee green. So can the drug propofol.

Some medications and medical conditions may turn your urine blue.

Blue

Tests that show how well your kidneys and bladder work use dyes that turn your pee blue. Medications like amitriptyline, indomethacin, cimetidine, and promethazine can turn it blue or bluish-green. Familial benign hypercalcemia, also known as blue diaper syndrome, is a rare genetic disorder that causes blue urine.

Excess protein, minerals and kidney stones may make urine cloudy or white.

Cloudy or White

There could be too much of certain proteins or minerals in your body, like calcium or phosphate. You might feel pain if you have a urinary tract infection or minerals build up into tiny stones that get stuck in your kidneys. Those are kidney stones. Drink more water and call your doctor, especially if you have chills and fever.

Foamy urine may indicate excess protein or a possible kidney problem.

Foamy

It could just be your pee hitting the water. But you should tell your doctor if it happens all the time. There may be too much protein in your body. Or there might be a problem with your kidneys. It could also signal an infection.

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REFERENCES:

  • American Cancer Society: "Bladder Cancer Signs and Symptoms."
  • Cleveland Clinic: "What The Color of Your Pee Says About You."
  • Harvard Health Publishing: "Urine color and odor changes."
  • Journal of Anaesthesiology, Clinical Pharmacology: "Green urine: A cause for concern?"
  • Mayo Clinic: "Lupus," "Urine color."
  • National Kidney Foundation: "What is Glomerulonephritis?" "Lupus and Kidney Disease (Lupus Nephritis)."
  • UC San Diego Health: "10 Colors That Suggest Urine Trouble."
  • UNC School of Medicine: "ANCA Vasculitis."
  • Unity Point Health: "Should I Be Worried About My Urine Color? (Infographic)."
  • University of Washington Medicine: "What the Color of Your Pee Says About Your Health."
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