If Your Urine Is This Color, Call Your Doctor
These urine colors could mean that you have a serious underlying issue.
The color of your urine can be a good indicator of your health. You're likely used to seeing the same few shades in the toilet, so once it strays from those familiar hues, it can quickly cause concern. And you're not wrong to be worried: Experts say that there are really only a couple of shades of urine that reflect good health, and anything outside of that could signal that you need to see a doctor. Keep reading to find out which urine colors require medical intervention, and for more reasons to make an appointment, If This Body Part Hurts You at Night, See Your Doctor.
Manchester England-based general practitioner Chun Tang, MRCGP, DFFP, says that orange urine most likely indicates dehydration. However, he notes that if it's "combined with light-colored stool, it could be a sign of issues with the bile duct."
Scientist and co-founder of Hydrant John Sherwin adds, "The color of your urine is one of the easiest ways to tell if you're dehydrated or not." When the color skews dark yellow or orange, it's time to seek medical advice. And for more reasons to consult a physician, If You're Taking This OTC Medicine More Than Twice a Week, See a Doctor.
Tang says cloudy urine could be an indication that you are dehydrated or have a urinary tract infection or certain kidney conditions. Because cloudy urine can be a sign of something serious, it's important to see a doctor as soon as you notice it.
And cloudy urine with foam or bubbles, also known as pneumaturia, can be a symptom of other serious health conditions, including diverticulitis or Crohn's disease, according to Healthline. And for more health risks you may not be aware of, If You Have This Blood Type, Your Heart Attack Risk Is Higher, Study Says.
Dark brown urine could be another sign of dehydration or a side effect of medication that you're taking, but it can also be a sign of liver disease, Tang says. In that case, the color is caused by bile is making its way into your urine. Per Healthline, the rare liver condition porphyria "can cause a buildup of the natural chemicals in your bloodstream and cause rusty or brown urine." And for more potential liver problems, If You Feel This at Night, You Need to Get Your Liver Checked, Doctors Say.
Red or pink
Red or pink urine can be especially alarming. Before you panic, however, consider if you've had any red-dyed food recently that might be to blame. But if that's not the case, you could be seeing blood.
Mark Ellerkmann, MD, a urogynecologist at Mercy Medical Center, says blood in the urine can be caused by various conditions "ranging from bladder infections to kidney stones and even more serious conditions like urinary tract cancers." Red or pink urine could also indicate an enlarged prostate, Tang says. And for more useful information delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
This is the color you want to see. According to Healthline, any shade between lemonade and light beer means you are at the optimal amount of hydration. A color lighter than lemonade indicates overhydration and anything darker than light beer reflects dehydration. "The [closer] the color of your urine is to light yellow, the more hydrated your system is," pelvic floor rehabilitation expert Liz Simons, DPT, previously told Best Life. And for a bathroom habit to avoid, If You're Doing This in the Shower, Doctors Say to Stop Immediately.