Know Your Urine

Urine Color Changes Can Signal a Problem

One of the best ways to gauge what’s going on inside your bladder may be to take a look at what’s coming out…literally. Changes in your urine’s color and clarity can be the first indicator of possible medical issues. Here are some possible medical issues related to urine color. Contact your physician for proper diagnosis.

Here are some possible medical issues related to urine color.
Contact your physician for proper diagnosis.
Urine Color Most Likely Means What to Do
Clear, Pale Straw or Transparent Yellow Urine Clear, pale, straw-colored, or transparent yellow urine usually signals adequate hydration and is often considered “normal.” A diuretic medicine (or “water” pill) could also cause clear urine. But if you don’t drink many fluids, are not on a diuretic, and still have consistently clear urine, it could be a sign of a kidney or liver disorder and that you need to see a doctor. If you don’t drink a lot of fluids and you’re not on a diuretic but have persistent clear urine, talk to your doctor to rule out kidney or liver issues.
Dark Yellow Urine Dark yellow urine is still usually considered “normal” but you may not be drinking enough beverages and could be dehydrated. If urine creeps towards amber or honey colored, it may signal more significant dehydration. Try drinking more hydrating fluids and consider weather conditions and activities that cause fluid loss. Aim for about 6 ½ cups of fluids per day (enough for 4-8 trips to the toilet), more if it’s hot/humid and/or you are engaged in strenuous activity.
Fluorescent Yellow/Orange Urine Have you been consuming things high in vitamin C like beets, carrots, or carrot juice? Taking vitamins? Or using medicine for a urinary tract infection (UTI)? Are you dehydrated? Consider also that bright yellow or orange urine discoloration could be an early sign of liver dysfunction – requiring diagnosis and treatment from a physician. Be sure you are drinking enough fluids. If the bright colors continue, talk to your doctor to rule out a liver issue.
Pink or Red Urine Certain foods like carrots, blackberries, blueberries, beets, and rhubarb can turn urine a pinkish-red color. Some medications can do this, too, including treatments for UTIs. It’s also possible that you have blood in your urine – which could be a sign of a UTI, kidney problem, prostate problem (in men), or tumor. Talk to your doctor if you don’t think food is the cause or if the pink/red color continues. If you have a UTI, your doctor will need to prescribe an antibiotic for you. While you wait, you can use the over-the-counter urinary pain reliever Cystex to ease the pain and help keep the infection from getting worse.
Blood-Tinged or Rust-Colored Urine If accompanied by pain, burning and/or frequent urination, these urine colors are likely due to a UTI. Urine may also be cloudy or have an unusual odor. Sometimes, long-distance running can cause blood in the urine. Talk to your doctor. The only cure for a UTI is a prescription antibiotic. Cystex (available over-the-counter) can, however, help relieve the pain and burning while also slowing the progression of the infection while you wait for your appointment.
Brown Urine Brown urine can signal something serious such as a liver or kidney problem. Extreme exercise, or eating fava beans, rhubarb or aloe could also cause brown or cola-colored urine. Talk to your doctor.
Green or Blue Urine Artificial coloring in food or medicines, eating asparagus, or taking excess B vitamins can cause urine to turn green or blue. A few rare medical conditions can also do this; so let your doctor know if the color doesn’t go away after a short time. Try taking fewer supplements (unless they are prescribed by your doctor) and/or limiting your intake of things with artificial coloring. If the problem persists, talk to your doctor.
White or Milky Urine There may be too many of certain minerals (such as calcium or phosphate) in your system, or you may have a UTI or excessive proteins in your urine. Talk to your doctor
Murky, Cloudy Urine This could be related to bacterial vaginosis, a yeast infection, a UTI, kidney stones or other urinary tract diseases. May be accompanied by painful urination, reduced urine flow and/or increased urinary frequency. Talk to your doctor. Tell him or her about additional symptoms such as urinary pain, urgency or frequency. If you have a UTI, you’ll need a prescription antibiotic. You can also use an over-the-counter urinary pain reliever as an adjunct to your UTI antibiotic.
Foamy Urine Proteins in your urine could make it foamy or frothy – perhaps signaling a kidney problem. Talk to your doctor.

If you are experiencing any of the urine changes indicated above, see your medical practitioner as soon as possible.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.