Meaning Behind Color of Your Urine

Urine Color Meaning is one of the most important diagnostic factors for your doctor, and it can tell them – and you – a lot about what’s going on inside the body. If you notice any change in the frequency of color of your urine, you should make an appointment with your doctor.

Urine Color Meaning

Here are urine color meanings and what they could indicate.

Completely Clear Urine 

If your urine is completely clear, it can mean that you’re drinking too much water. Basically putting too much pressure on your kidneys to filter through all of the water. Remember that water toxicity from drinking too much water is possible, but very rare.

Light Yellow Urine (Normal Urine Color)

Ideally, your urine should be light yellow or the color of straw. This means that your kidneys are doing their job as they should, and your diet is as close to healthy as it can be.

Dark Yellow to Orange Urine 

Dark yellow urine, orange urine, and dark orange urine can mean that you’re dehydrated, or that your kidneys are working too hard to process too many toxins. In some cases, vitamins, such as A and B-12, can turn urine orange or yellow-orange. See your doctor and adapt your diet.

Dark Brown Urine

Dark brown urine can sometimes be a sign of medication causing it, or a sign that you are severely dehydrated. Antibiotics are the most common cause of dark brown color in urine. See your doctor if it’s a recurring symptom, as dark brown urine can be a sign of liver disease.

Pink or Red Urine 

Eating large amounts of food with red color such as fava beans, beets, blackberries, and rhubarb can turn your urine red or pink, or it can be some type of medication that causes discoloration. Red or pink urine might also refer to an infection such as a urinary tract infection (UTI). This unusual urine color can also refer to the presence of blood in the urine, however slight, and means that you should make an appointment with your doctor sooner rather than later.

 Black Urine

Black-colored urine is rare, but can sometimes be caused by:

  • certain dyes
  • medications
  • particularly iron injections

Seeing black pee color can also indicate a very severe infection, as can green or purple urine. If you have black urine, call your doctor immediately.

Blue or Green Urine

Although blue or green urine is rare, it is most often connected with food dye (methylene blue) and medications. Medications that can cause this abnormal urine color include:

  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Amitriptyline
  • Indomethacin (Indocin)
  • Promethazine (Phenergan)
  • Vitamin B Supplements

Other causes of blue or green urine include medical procedures and medical conditions. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterial infection, as well as dyes used in medical tests performed on your kidneys or bladder, can turn your urine blue or green.

Foamy, Fizzy, or Cloudy Urine 

If you have excessive bubbles or cloudy urine, this may suggest protein in the urine. Contact a urologist immediately, as this may be an early sign of kidney disease. A urology specialist will perform a urinalysis to check for protein in the urine sample. Other serious health conditions that accompany cloudy urine with foam or bubbles include Crohn's Disease and diverticulitis.

Urine Color Chart

Urine Color Chart

Urine Color Chart

When to See a Doctor

Changes in urine color can sometimes indicate underlying health issues that require medical attention. While some variations in urine color are normal and may be related to diet or hydration, certain changes may signal a more serious problem. Here are some situations in which it's advisable to consult a doctor:

  • Persistent dark urine: If urine consistently appears dark yellow, amber, or brown, it may indicate dehydration, liver problems, or other medical conditions.
  • Blood in the urine: The presence of pink, red, or brownish urine may indicate the presence of blood, which could be a sign of urinary tract infections, kidney stones, bladder cancer, or other urinary tract issues.
  • Unexplained changes: If urine color changes cannot be attributed to diet, hydration, or medication, or if unusual colors persist, it's important to seek medical advice.
  • Pain or discomfort: If changes in urine color are accompanied by pain, burning sensation during urination, frequent urination, or other symptoms, it's essential to see a doctor promptly.

Diagnostic Tests

When changes in urine color raise concerns, healthcare providers may order various diagnostic tests to identify the underlying cause. These tests may include:

Urinalysis

A urinalysis involves analyzing a urine sample to detect abnormalities such as blood, protein, bacteria, or crystals. It can provide valuable information about kidney function, urinary tract infections, and other health issues.

Blood tests

Blood tests may be conducted to assess kidney function, liver function, and overall health. Abnormalities in blood chemistry may provide clues to underlying conditions affecting urine color.

Imaging studies

In some cases, healthcare providers may recommend imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scans, or MRI scans to evaluate the urinary tract for abnormalities such as kidney stones, tumors, or structural abnormalities.

Additional urine tests

Depending on the suspected cause of the changes in urine color, additional urine tests may be ordered, such as urine culture to identify bacterial infections or urine cytology to detect abnormal cells indicative of cancer.

FAQ

What Color Is Urine When Your Kidneys Are Failing?

The color of your urine can provide many clues as to what is going on with your body, including kidney failure or kidney disease. When your kidneys are failing, a high concentration and accumulation of substances lead to brown, red, or purple urine. Studies suggest the urine color is due to abnormal protein or sugar as well as high numbers of cellular casts and red and white blood cells.

Urine may appear dark brown in color in kidney failure due to the buildup of waste products in urine. Is your urine foamy or fizzy? This can also be a sign of kidney failure. Foamy urine is a sign of increased protein in urine and indicates a diminishing ability of the kidney to filter and clean the blood.

Is It Normal to Have Dark Urine During Pregnancy?

Although staying hydrated is important for everyone, it is even more so important for women who are pregnant to drink more water than they did pre-pregnancy. Women who are pregnant need more water to form amniotic fluid, build new tissue, help indigestion, carry nutrients, produce extra blood volume and flush out wastes and toxins.

While dark urine during pregnancy is typically nothing you should have to worry about, it is still something you should mention at your next doctor's visit. To clear up dark urine during pregnancy, we recommend drinking 10 or more glasses of water per day.

If you are experiencing burning or pain in conjunction with darker urine, this could be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). If left untreated, a UTI can lead to kidney infection and can have serious consequences during pregnancy. Therefore, you will want to seek immediate treatment if you suspect you have a UTI to avoid further risks and complications.

Additional Reading:

Kidney Failure: Causes, Types, and Symptoms - Everything You Need to Know About Kidney Failure

Are You Dehydrated? Our Urine Color Chart Will Tell You

What Can Urine Smell Indicate?

Adult & Pediatric Urology in Omaha & Council Bluffs

The attentive, compassionate physicians, providers and staff at Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology, PC are committed to providing innovative, quality patient care in our state-of-the-art facilities. Our team of dedicated physicians has been serving residents of Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota for more than 25 years. Not only do we have state-of-the-art equipment on-site but we are one of the only facilities in the area to have three board-certified urogynecologists on staff.

We evaluate and treat urological disorders in both adults and children and are able to accommodate same-day appointments in most cases. We're striving to make appointments as convenient as possible for our patients because we understand the importance and urgency of your issues.

Contact Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology today to make your appointment today.