Urine Color and What it Means

Urine color and its meaning is considered an important diagnostic tool to determine various medical problems in the body. Read on to know more about urine color and what it means.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Jun 30, 2018
According to medical experts, pale yellow to dark amber is the color of normal urine. However, it is an ideal scenario wherein, most people may have normal urine. There are various factors which can change the color of the urine. They include certain food sources, medications or some diseases.
In most cases, the change in color turns out to be of mild nature, and does not necessarily has to be a symptom of any kind of disease unless accompanied by abnormal symptoms. Many types of foods, supplements and dyes are primarily responsible for bringing a change in the urine color.
Different Urine Colors and Their Meaning
As said, pale yellow is an indication of the urine being in a normal condition. Abnormal urine color could be brown, orange, dark yellow, pink or red, blue or dark green, purple, and cloudy or murky.
Normally, eating a lot of foods such as fava beans, aloe, berries, beets and rhubarb results in turning the urine brown. The same could be caused due to certain medications such as the antimalarial ones or antibiotics. In extreme cases, it could indicate some diseases of or injury to the kidneys; common being kidney infection.
In most cases, severe dehydration may make the urine highly concentrated such that it may become orange. Administration of certain medications could also be a culprit. Anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs used in chemotherapy, and laxatives could result in orange urine. B complex vitamins, and carrot juice at times could be responsible for orange tinted urine.
Dark Yellow
Dehydration is a common diagnosis in a patient who experiences dark yellow urine. When the body senses a dearth in the required amount of fluid in it, wastes start accumulating in the urine thus, changing its color from light amber to dark yellow.
Foods such as asparagus, and presence of high level of B complex vitamins in the body are also some of the causes. Dark yellow urine could also be an indicant of conditions of the liver such as jaundice or hepatitis, haemolytic anemia, and haematuria.
Pink or Red
Pink or red urine may seem intimidating, but in most cases, it is not. It may be normal to see such urine after having beets, blackberries, etc. Antibiotics, and laxatives are medications that can cause the urine to have a red tint.
One obvious meaning may be the presence of blood in the urine. Now this could be a result of conditions such as urinary tract infections, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and benign or cancerous tumors. Red urine could also indicate problems with kidneys such as formation of stones in the organs, or formation of cysts in the same.
Dark Green or Blue
Apart from certain medicines that contain methylene blue, dyes used in foods or in medical tests may normally result in blue or dark green urine.
In rare cases, this type of urine could be a symptom of a condition known as blue diaper syndrome. It tends to occur mostly in infants, making their diapers stained with blue urine thus, the name. People with urinary tract infection which is caused by the pseudomonas bacteria, may also exhibit green hued urine.
Cloudy or Murky
A cloudy urine warrants the development of an infection; most commonly one of the urinary tract. And if it is accompanied by an unpleasant odor, then it confirms UTI. Kidney stones could cause pus in urine, thus making it cloudy or murky. Gonorrhea causes vaginal discharge, and pus like penile discharge. This may also give urine a cloudy appearance.
Deep Purple
Porphyria is a rare medical condition that affects the nervous system or/and skin. It is a genetic disorder wherein, body chemicals called porphyrins start building up. And one of the many symptoms of this condition is deep purple urine.
As mentioned earlier, pale yellow to deep amber is an identifying characteristic of normal urine. Having said that, if your urine is colorless, then it is unlikely for it to be a sign of good health.
It may signify that you are drinking too much water, or you have a condition known as diabetes insipidus. Note that, this diabetes is unrelated to the commonly talked about diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes).
So you see, urine color as simple as it is, is an important indicant of so many health conditions. Understand that, if your urine color is different from what is considered normal, and is accompanied by abnormal symptoms, then it warrants a visit to your doctor or urologist at the earliest. Take care!