Did you know that every time you pee, your urine gives important clues about your overall health? The healthiest urine color is clear. It’s a sign of good hydration. But if your urine is any shade other than clear or light yellow, it could indicate trouble. Here’s a color-coded guide to what your pee may be trying to tell you—and what you should do.
If your urine is cloudy
You may have an infection. Bacteria from a urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause a cloudy appearance, not to mention a painful burning sensation when you pee. If you think you may have a UTI, see your doctor.
If it’s dark orange or muddy brown
Start drinking more water. When you’re dehydrated, your kidneys hold on to as much water as possible, which means the urine will be darker in colour and more concentrated. The urine may have a stronger odour too. Liver disease or a UTI can cause a similar change in colour.
If it’s blue or green
Think back to what you ate. The weird colour may be a result of certain dyes in your food. If dinner’s not to blame, check your medication. The colour of the pill can actually excrete into the urine. If your urine is blue or green, read the warning labels on your prescription bottles to see if a change in urine colour is a known side effect. If not, give your doctor a call.
If it’s pink or reddish
Make a doctor’s appointment now. Red urine is the most concerning. While a pinkish hue can sometimes be explained by strenuous exercise, a side effect from medication, a UTI, kidney stones— or even a healthy helping of beets for dinner—it may mean something more serious. The most significant thing red urine can indicate is a urologic cancer.