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Urine Color and Its Meaning in Health and in Disease

Updated on April 20, 2017
AliciaC profile image

Linda Crampton is a teacher with a first class honors degree in biology. She writes about human biology and the scientific basis of disease.

Beets or beetroot can color urine pink. This may be alarming but is harmless.
Beets or beetroot can color urine pink. This may be alarming but is harmless. | Source

An Interesting and Important Liquid

Peeing multiple times a day is such a routine part of our lives that most of us never think much about it. Urination is actually a vital function of our body. It plays a major role in maintaining proper hydration, helps to regulate pH, and gets rid of waste substances. A variation in the usual color of urine (or pee) requires attention because it may indicate a health problem.

Urine is normally pale yellow or straw-yellow in color. It may have a variety of other colors, however, including dark yellow, orange, pink, red, green, blue, brown, and even black. These rainbow hues may be caused by dehydration, ingested foods and drinks, supplements, medications, injuries, and illnesses.

If your urine has an unusual color, there's a good chance that the change is caused by a harmless factor. Some detective work is necessary, however, to pinpoint the cause of the change. If there is no apparent cause or if the strange appearance continues, a doctor's advice should be sought.

Urine is produced by the kidneys from blood plasma, stored in the urinary bladder, and then excreted out of the body when the bladder is full. It contains water, salts, and wastes produced by cell activity.

Urine from someone who has just finished a long chess game and is slightly dehydrated.
Urine from someone who has just finished a long chess game and is slightly dehydrated. | Source

Normal Urine Color

Urochrome was the first name for the yellow pigment in urine. This chemical is now known as urobilin. A few sources consider urochrome and urobilin to be different molecules, however.

Urobilin is produced from the breakdown of hemoglobin, a pigment inside our red blood cells. Hemoglobin transports inhaled oxygen around the body and releases it to tissue cells. The hemoglobin is broken down when old red blood cells are destroyed, which happens regularly. The cells live for only about 120 days.

Dehydration causes less water to enter the urine. The pee appears dark yellow because the urobilin is concentrated. Urine is usually darkest when we get up in the morning, since we’ve spent the night without drinking. Dark yellow urine during the day suggests that we’re not drinking enough water. It may appear if we’ve been sweating heavily without replenishing our body’s water content. It's important to keep in mind the quote from the nephrologist below, however. A nephrologist is a doctor who specializes in kidney function.

I never advise people to examine their urine color for hydration and never would recommend hydrating based on urine color. Instead, ‘drink to thirst.'

— Dena Rifkin MD, UC San Diego Health
Carbonated water for hydration
Carbonated water for hydration | Source

A Urine Color Chart

The website of Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, provides a urine color chart to check for hydration, although based on what the doctor quoted above says it may have limited value. (A link to the chart is given in the "References" section below.) The chart can be printed, but if you do this check that your printer produces colors that match the ones on the screen. The colors on the monitor screen may not be accurate, however.

Another problem with analyzing urine appearance is that the lighting in different rooms can affect the color, as can the exposure of a photograph. The recent ingestion of foods, drinks, vitamins, medications, or dyes that color the urine is yet another reason why a chart may be inaccurate.

There are many factors that can color urine, including foods, medications, and certain diseases. The information given below is for general interest only. A doctor should be consulted if urine has an unusual color with no obvious explanation.

Eating lots of carrots can turn urine orange.
Eating lots of carrots can turn urine orange. | Source

Fluorescent Yellow or Orange Pee

Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin, is yellow in color. If we eat more riboflavin than we need—which sometime happens when we take Vitamin B2 supplements—the excess riboflavin enters the urine and gives it a fluorescent yellow or neon yellow appearance.

Eating a lot of carrots can turn urine yellow or orange and can also give the skin a yellow-orange color, a condition known as carotenemia. The pigment responsible for these changes is beta-carotene. Vitamin C can also color urine dark yellow or orange. Warfarin (brand name Coumadin) is an anticoagulant and is one medication that causes pee to appear orange. Rifampin, an antibiotic, has a similar effect.

There are other drugs that can color urine besides the ones that I mention in this article. The product brochure of a drug, your pharmacist, or your doctor can tell you about a possible color change.

Beets or beetroot can turn urine pink or red. These are pickled beets.
Beets or beetroot can turn urine pink or red. These are pickled beets. | Source

Pink or Red Urine

Pink or occasionally red urine may be caused by eating beets, blackberries, or rhubarb. Pee can also turn pink after taking laxatives containing a substance called phenolphthalein. Phenolphthalein turns pink when it’s in alkaline urine. Some countries have banned phenolphthalein in laxatives, since at high doses the chemical has been found to cause cancer in lab animals.

Red urine may develop due to unusual bleeding that is not part of menstruation. Urine may sometimes contain red blood cells or hemoglobin released from damaged red blood cells. It may also contain myoglobin. Myoglobin is a red pigment that stores oxygen in muscles. Damaged muscle cells may release myoglobin, turning pee red. Blood in the urine could indicate an injured kidney, urinary bladder, or urinary tract.

Red urine is not necessarily caused by blood. Phenazopyridine (trade name Pyridium) is a medication that acts as an anesthetic in the urinary tract. It's prescribed for urinary tract infections and injuries and after medical tests or surgery on the tract. One of the medication's side effects is the production of an orange-red urine. Use of a senna laxative can sometimes produce red pee. The disease known as porphyria can also produce a reddish urine, as described below.

In females, the openings from the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, and reproductive tract are close together, so sometimes medical tests are needed to discover where blood in the urine is coming from.

Asparagus can give urine both an interesting color and an interesting smell.
Asparagus can give urine both an interesting color and an interesting smell. | Source

Green or Blue Pee

Eating a lot of asparagus can sometimes turn urine green and may also give the urine a distinct odor. An infection by a bacterium called Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause pee to turn green or blue.

Several medications may cause blue urine. These include:

  • amitriptyline, an antidepressant
  • indomethacin (trade name Indocin), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
  • cimetidine (trade name Tagamet), a stomach acid reducer
  • promethazine (trade name Phenergan), an anti-nausea drug
  • urised, a pain reliever for urinary tract problems; contains a dye called methylene blue, which stains pee

Metabolic disorders can also produce blue urine. Indicanuria is a condition in which the body is unable to absorb the amino acid tryptophan from the intestine. Intestinal bacteria break the tryptophan down into chemicals that are excreted in the urine and cause it to appear blue. In babies, the disorder is sometimes called “blue diaper syndrome.” The condition is sometimes accompanied by familial hypercalcemia, a condition in which the blood calcium level is too high.

Broad or fava beans can darken urine.
Broad or fava beans can darken urine. | Source

Brown or Black Urine

Eating lots of aloe or fava beans (also called broad beans) can result in brown urine. Taking a cascara laxative can produce the same effect. A senna laxative can cause a red, red-brown, or brown urine. Methyldopa (brand name Aldomet), a drug given to help high blood pressure, can cause urine to turn black when the liquid mixes with bleach in the toilet bowl. The antibiotic metronidazole darkens urine.

Alkaptonuria (also spelled alcaptonuria) is an inherited condition in which urine becomes brown-black when it's exposed to air. In this disorder a person cannot completely break down two amino acids called phenylalanine and tyrosine. As a result, a substance called homogentisic acid collects in the body and is deposited in the urine. The urine appears black when the acid reacts with air.

Liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, kidney disease. and kidney stones can all produce dark brown urine. Dark urine is also a symptom of some types of cancer.

This illustration of blood shows red blood cells as well as some white blood cells and platelets. Red blood cells contain a red pigment called hemoglobin. The heme part of the molecule belongs to the porphyrin group.
This illustration of blood shows red blood cells as well as some white blood cells and platelets. Red blood cells contain a red pigment called hemoglobin. The heme part of the molecule belongs to the porphyrin group. | Source

The terms porphyrin and porphyria are derived from the Greek word porphyrus, meaning purple.

— American Porphyria Foundation

The Biology of Porphyria

People with porphyria may have red-brown or red-purple urine. The illness develops when someone lacks a specific enzyme involved in the production of heme, the red, iron-containing part of the hemoglobin molecule. Heme belongs to the group of chemicals known as porphyrins, which are often intensely colored.

Heme is produced in a series of steps involving molecues known as heme precursors. Each step is controlled by a specific enzyme and makes a new precursor molecule. The molecule is then converted to a different precursor in the next step.

In people with porphyria, one of the enzymes involved in heme production is missing. This means that a specific precursor can’t be changed into the next one in the chain or into heme, the end product of the process. Precursor molecules build up in the body and may reach a toxic level. They collect in the skin, the organs, the feces, and the urine. The molecules are colorless, but when those in urine are exposed to light they are converted into colored porphyrins.

Acute Intermittent Porphyria (AIP)

Types of Porphyria

There are at least eight types of porphyria. Some types affect the skin, causing blisters, swelling, and itching when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Other forms affect the internal organs, nervous system, and brain, causing symptoms such as pain, cramping, vomiting, numbness, paralysis, personality changes, and mental disorders.

King George III of Britain, who was known as the “mad” king, exhibited periods of body pain, paralysis, and insanity. His doctors recorded the fact that he had dark red or red-purple urine on several occasions. Today’s researchers believe that King George probably suffered from a form of porphyria.

Porphyria is caused by a genetic problem. Sometimes the disorder is inactive and only becomes active when a person is exposed to a stress of some kind. Doctors today have several ways to treat the disorder.

Drinking a lot of milk may make urine cloudy.
Drinking a lot of milk may make urine cloudy. | Source

Cloudy Liquid

The most common cause of cloudy urine is the presence of phosphate crystals. These crystals may appear after eating or drinking high-phosphate foods, such as milk. They disappear if a small quantity of vinegar is added to the urine.

Cloudy urine may sometimes be a sign of a urinary tract infection, which causes white blood cells to collect in the urine. White blood cells fight invading bacteria and viruses. The urinary tract infection may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as a frequent need to urinate and a burning sensation during urination.

A disorder called proteinuria can also produce cloudy urine. In this condition protein builds up in pee. Proteinuria is sometimes temporary and disappears without treatment, but it may indicate kidney damage. It can also be a symptom of certain diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure). Proteinuria may develop in pregnant women who are suffering from preeclampsia. This is a condition in which a woman develops high blood pressure and a high protein level in her urine during pregnancy.

Antidiuretic hormone is made by the hypothalamus and stored in the posterior pituitary. The hormone causes reabsorption of water in the kidneys so that the water isn't lost from the body in urine.
Antidiuretic hormone is made by the hypothalamus and stored in the posterior pituitary. The hormone causes reabsorption of water in the kidneys so that the water isn't lost from the body in urine. | Source

Diabetes insipidus is a condition caused by a problem involving antidiuretic hormone or ADH. It's not the same condition as diabetes mellitus, which is caused by a problem involving insulin.

Colorless Liquid

Urine that looks like pure water, with no yellow color, may indicate that a person is well hydrated or even over–hydrated. Drinking too much water can be dangerous, since it dilutes essential electrolytes inside the body.

Large amounts of colorless urine may be a symptom of diabetes insipidus, which is not the same condition as diabetes mellitus. In diabetes mellitus (which is commonly broken down into type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes), a person doesn’t make enough insulin or their cells don’t respond to insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that increases the permeability of cell membranes to glucose, the sugar that travels in blood. The hormone allows glucose to leave the blood and enter the cells, where it's used as an energy source. Diabetes mellitus is sometimes called sugar diabetes, since glucose collects in the blood of an untreated diabetic.

In diabetes insipidus, the body doesn’t produce enough antidiuretic hormone (also known as ADH and vasopressin), or the kidneys don't respond to the hormone properly. ADH is made by the hypothalamus in the brain and stored in the posterior pituitary gland until it's needed. The hormone stimulates the kidneys to send water back into the tissues and bloodstream so that it isn't excreted in the urine. Without ADH, too much urine is produced and the person is constantly thirsty. Diabetes insipidus is sometimes called water diabetes.

A Nurse Describes Diabetes Insipidus Symptoms

Although diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus are unrelated diseases, they both have increased thirst and urination as symptoms. These symptoms should always be investigated by a doctor.

Investigating Urine With an Abnormal Color

Urine with an abnormal color may indicate a medical problem or may be the result of ingesting certain foods, drinks, medications, or multivitamins containing pigments or added dyes. Diagnostic dyes used in medical tests and medications can also color urine. It’s a good idea to check the information sheet that accompanies a prescribed medication or medical treatment so that you won’t be surprised by colored urine if this is one of the side effects.

It's important to discover why urine has changed color. Unless a change in appearance can be related to diet or a medical treatment and quickly disappears once the food or treatment is stopped, a doctor should be consulted.

References

© 2010 Linda Crampton

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    • bruzzbuzz profile image

      bruzzbuzz 6 years ago from Texas , USA

      I never knew any of this. Your hub was very helpful. Thank you so much.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, bruzzbruzz. I'm glad that you found the hub useful.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Very informative article. I had no idea about the various colors that urine can take. The asparagus one is always a surprise when that happens. I'll have to look up diabetes insipidus since I may have some of the symptoms. Valuable to know.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, PegCole17. I hope you find out whether you have diabetes insipidus and get appropriate treatment if you do. Good luck!

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Very well written and extremely informative, Alicia. thank you for this in depth study in how much we can learn from signs and symptoms associated with urination. So easy to read and so easily understood, even as a lay person. Great hub!!!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for your kind comment, Lucky Cats.

    • Naomi's Banner profile image

      Naomi's Banner 5 years ago from United States

      Very well written Hub full of information. I know you are right on target with your information as I have studied this somewhat. Excellent HUB!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the visit and the kind comment, Naomi's Banner!

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      Gabby 5 years ago

      Good to know.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the comment, Gabby.

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      hajeemasthan 5 years ago

      thanks for ur kind information,

      im getting the yellow color unination from past six months useually i will drink only one litter of water daily ,is that problem comes bcz of water or some other.recently im getting the skin problem also.Pls guide me how can i avoid this problem????

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, hajeemasthan. Urine color is affected by many factors. The usual recommendation of health agencies is that people drink between 2 and 3 liters of water daily, which includes water from food as well as from drinks. The amount of water required varies considerably, though, depending on a person’s activity level, the person’s state of health and the environment. Since you are experiencing skin problems as well as yellow urine you should check with a doctor so that he or she can determine if you need to drink more water, if something in your diet is coloring your urine or if there is another problem present.

    • Fiddleman profile image

      Robert Elias Ballard 5 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

      Great hub and I never knew our urine could be so many colors.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Fiddleman. I appreciate your visit and the comment.

    • profile image

      Josephine 5 years ago

      We normally have one freshly squeezed orange for breakfast every day. Could this be causing our orangey urine?

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Josephine. It's unlikely that drinking the juice from one orange every day would make urine turn orange. People usually have to eat a lot of foods that are high in beta-carotene or a large dose of vitamin C before their urine changes color.

    • profile image

      matthew 4 years ago

      Your experiances is so much great and well educated. Are you a doctor?

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, matthew. Thank you for the comment. No, I'm not a doctor, I'm a biology teacher who's very interested in human biology.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Very useful hub Alicia....your last sentence wrapping it up perfectly. "Unless a change in urine color can be related to diet or a medical treatment and quickly disappears once the food or treatment is stopped, a doctor’s advice should be sought for abnormal urine color." You are helping to educate people about an important topic. Up votes and sharing.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

      This some great info didn't see on searches, Alicia. Very thorough, thanks. Do you think damaged muscle cells- myoglobin, could be mistaken for trace blood in urine? What about mercury in certain fish pills turning urine red?

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the visit and the comment, Peggy. I appreciate the vote and the share, too! Urine color is an interesting topic. A change in color can range from an interesting and harmless variation to a sign of a serious health problem!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Alastar. Thanks for the comment. Yes, as I say in the hub, myoglobin from damaged muscle cells can give urine a red color, and so can mercury poisoning. I don't know how much mercury needs to be ingested before the urine changes color, though.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      This is really thorough and very intersting! I knew about a couple of these, like the B vitamins, but didn't know about a lot of the others. I'd actually wondered before about cloudy urine - now I know!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the visit and for the comment, Natasha. I appreciate them both!

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Very informative hub! The first time I ate beets, I am glad someone clued me in that my urine would be pink or red, as I would have thought it was blood. I had no idea that urine could be blue or black! Voted up and sharing.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, donnah75. Yes, the effect of beets on urine color can be alarming! Thank you very much for the comment, the vote and the share.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      AliciaC very good article. This information is what makes me prefer the color white for the toilet. What comes out of us really says how we are inside. Thanks for sharing.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, Lastheart. You've raised an excellent point - that is a good reason for having a white toilet! It helps us see problems in urine color.

    • profile image

      Macy 4 years ago

      Whoop whoop clear urine for me xD

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the visit, Macy.

    • profile image

      felix 4 years ago

      I really appreciate your informations Alicia..I don't know if am well 'cause I have not seen my urine colourless for a long time.Any advice?

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the visit and the comment, felix. You should see your doctor if your urine color concerns you - he or she will be able to help you.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Alicia... wow what an interesting and well researched hub. One can learn much from just reading. Well done and like always appreciated...

      Hugs from Alberta

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, Rolly. I appreciate your visit!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Alicia, I never knew that there could be so many colors to urine. I've learned so much from reading your hub. Thank you!

    • safiq ali patel profile image

      safiq ali patel 4 years ago from United States Of America

      I'm not doctor or anything. But I do believe that the color of our urine indicates our level of health and can also show if we are suffering some serious illness.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, Susan! I think that urine color is an interesting topic. The color may be significant, too.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, safiq ali patel. I agree - urine color can tell us something about our health. Examining urine can be very useful!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This was an interesting article. I didn't realized foods could color the urine. It makes sense though!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the comment, rebeccamealey. It can be quite surprising to discover that a food has colored urine!

    • moronkee profile image

      Moronke Odugbesan 4 years ago

      I have noticed that when I take iron tablets my urine gets black so I stopped taking it. Is it true that when you drink your own urine, it'll make you healthy ?A person told me that.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing the information about the link between iron supplements and darkened urine, moronkee. I know of no scientific evidence showing that drinking urine makes a person healthy. Urine contains materials that need to be removed from the blood, so it doesn't seem like a good idea to put them back into the body!

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Very thorough article. It makes sense that some foods and medicines can cause urine to change color. I watching a movie about King George (the V?) whose urine turned blue and he also went mad for a time. I wondered what caused it and now I have some answers!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the visit, carozy. I know that there was a movie made about King George lll and his suspected porphyria ("The Madness of King George"). Porphyria can sometimes give the urine a purplish tinge when it's exposed to air, so maybe this was the movie that you were thinking of. I appreciate your comment!

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      that is so useful and interesting..thanks for this..always love your informative articles alicia.

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 4 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      I had no idea that the urine color could be pink, red, blue, green and black. Thanks for sharing information on urine color significance.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Excellent tips on urine color an important health issue to be reminded about and you have done just that. Voted up!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much for the comment, unknown spy.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Anamika S. I appreciate your visit!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment and the vote, DDE. Urine color is an important topic, and it's interesting too!

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 4 years ago from United States

      I remember my science high school teacher relating about the condition of her friend, who, according to her, drank a lot of Coke, so that's why her urine was dark. I wonder if that's always the case with people drinking a lot of cola-based softdrinks.

      Very informative and interesting article. For now, mine is almost clear; however all I knew was that by having a clear urine, you're out of trouble, which you prove otherwise in your hub. I have to be a bit more careful now with what I eat and drink.

      Voted up and useful, interesting, and shared. :)

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, vibesites. Thank you very much for the comment, the votes and the share! I appreciate them all. Dehydration can darken the urine, and the caffeine in coke often makes people urinate more. I don't know if heavy coke drinkers urinate enough to darken their urine, though. It's an interesting thought! Colorless urine may not be a problem, unless a person has to urinate frequently as well or has other unpleasant symptoms.

    • KenWu profile image

      KenWu 4 years ago from Malaysia

      It's scary when we noticed that our urine color changes color, particular if it is indicating something is wrong internally.

      It's alright if it is due to things we consumed prior to the changes but if it is due to damages inside, it's definitely not something good.

      Great one Alicia, voted up, useful &shared.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Yes - a strange urine color is probably no problem if it's caused by our diet, but it may be a problem if it's caused by an illness. Thank you very much for the votes and the share, KenWu!

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      What an excellent and very informative hub this is! I think as well that it will go a long way to reassure most people that just because your urine turns a funny colour, doesn't usually mean that something drastic is going on!

      I've often had family and friends in a panic on the phone saying they have pink or some other weird colour in their urine, only to discover that they're on some kind of medication or overdoing it with a particular food. If this happens again, I'll just direct them to this excellent hub - this will give them all the answers they need!

      Very interesting and fabulous research! Voted up + shared!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the great comment, Seeker7! I appreciate it very much, as well as the vote and the share!

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

      Voted up aliciac. I notice my urine turns yellow-orange every time I drink multivits or drinking berocca. haha!!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the vote, beingwell. Yes, vitamins can have a big effect on urine color!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Wow, there is quite a lot of information about urine color! I have noticed a difference in odor after eating certain foods, especially asparagus. I'm glad to know urine doesn't always have to be colorless in a healthy person. Very interesting! Voted up and shared.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      How interesting! I knew that the color was recorded during lab tests, but I did not know all the ramifications. Thanks for this information!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, vespawoolf. Asparagus can certainly have an interesting effect on urine! I appreciate your comment, as well as the vote and the share.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, Marcy!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Very interesting and useful!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Audrey. I appreciate the visit!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This was very informative and comforting as well. Yay, I am hydrated and normal, it seems. Thanks for this useful knowledge.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Rebecca. It's good to know that we're hydrated! Thanks for the comment.

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      lisa 3 years ago

      Hi today my friend ran to the emergency with her 2yr old son he was peeing red at hospital a sample was finally taken only to find it was purple & blue also. From what I gathered apparently at this point they r saying his body is possibly breaking down his blood cells this doesn't sound right to me. Any opinion

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm sorry, lisa. I'm not a doctor and can't give an opinion about an individual's symptoms. I hope your friend finds a helpful doctor who is able to explain what is causing her son's problem.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Excellent information. I'm happy to find I am fully hydrated.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, KoffeeKlatch Gals. It's good to be hydrated!

    • LeslieOutlaw profile image

      Leslie 3 years ago from South Carolina

      Wow, what an interesting hub. I didn't even know blue urine was possible. Great information. Very useful!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Leslie. I'm happy to meet you!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I had no idea people could basically pee a rainbow. Wow. This is useful information, AliciaC.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, FlourishAnyway. I love that expression - "pee a rainbow"! It's a great image!

    • oldiesmusic profile image

      oldiesmusic 3 years ago from United States

      This is very helpful in diagnosing diseases early, or what to cut back on your diet. Thanks for posting, Alicia. Up and useful, shared.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, the votes and the share, oldiemusic! I appreciate your visit.

    • Kale George profile image

      Kale George 3 years ago from India

      The topic of urine is very interesting . There are lots of points is new for me. Great Hub !

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Kale George!

    • TotalHealth profile image

      TotalHealth 3 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

      Excellent hub, lots of useful information for the health conscious individual. Most people assume that adequate exercise and a proper diet equates to some guaranteed level of good health. However, indicators such as the color of urine, as you pointed out, can tell a much different story. Thanks of sharing! Voted up!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, TotalHealth. I appreciate the comment and the vote.

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 3 years ago from United States

      What an informative and well written hub! I had no idea urine could turn so many colors for such a variety of reasons. I must say if I noticed blue, black or red urine my first response would likely be alarm. Thanks for the information. Voted up and useful.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment and the votes, Gail! I appreciate your visit.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 3 years ago from Chicago

      This was very informative. Good to know. You must be a doctor, nurse or supper good researcher. Voted up!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the lovely comment, word55! It's nice to meet you. I'm a biology teacher, not a doctor or nurse. I think that biology is a fascinating topic and I love to explore it.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Alicia - This was very informative and very helpful. Diabetes runs in my family and your hub explains some of the conditions my family members have had to deal with. Good Hub. Theresa

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, Theresa. I'm glad that you found the hub helpful!

    • blueheron profile image

      Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

      Thanks for a wonderfully informative hub! You've solved a mystery that has been plaguing us: My daughter started taking a vitamin supplement, but was horrified that it turned her urine a florescent yellow. Now we know it was the B2 in the supplement!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, blueheron. I'm glad that your daughter's problem is solved!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the visit and the comment, sri ramana.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      How interesting to read the specific 'tracks' of various urine colors and how they relate to specific health issues. Happily, I'm disgustingly healthy and normal, but knowing the symptoms and possible complications is very useful. I've had a habit of drinking the juice of a half or a quarter of a fresh lemon in warm water every morning before anything else, which I believe has helped my kidneys work well. I've never had any problems with them and generally, very few health issues, especially for someone my age - which just became 82. I'm very thankful for it.

      I like your separation of the terms 'health' and 'disease'. It sometimes seems they become confused in people's minds. "Health Care" seems related to health and it would be good if more of it were dedicated to preventing disease.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, Nellieanna. Congratulations on being so healthy! I like the sound of the daily lemon juice. It would certainly be helpful for individuals and for society if disease prevention was emphasized more strongly.

    • Ilona1 profile image

      Ilona 3 years ago from Ohio

      Lots of interesting information, good to be aware of.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the visit and the comment, Ilona1.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Very interesting and informing! I didn't know certain foods like beets or asparagus could affect the color of urine. Well written and presented!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, Rebecca! I appreciate it.

    • profile image

      Tanvir 3 years ago

      please inform me .My urine color is straw well/bad

      kindly.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Tanvir. Urine is normally straw-colored. If you have any concerns about the color of your urine, though, you should visit a doctor.

    • profile image

      Manzer Hussain 3 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      Hi,

      I am MH. from Pakistan. please guide me more information about this topic?

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, nutritionalcoupon. If you would like more information about this topic, a library might be useful. If you want more information in relation to a health problem that you have, your doctor should be able to give it to you.

    • profile image

      Manzer Hussain 3 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      Hi, AliciaC

      Please you give me more detail for this topic I thank full

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi again, nutritionalcoupon. Perhaps you didn't notice my previous reply. I don't know what type of information you are looking for, but you should find a library or a doctor very helpful.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 years ago from India

      Hi, Linda. How informative this hub is ! An innocuous looking urine changes color and tells a lot. You have contained so much interesting stuff in this hub that I remained glued to it till the last word. Well-written and very useful. Voted up.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Harishprasad. Thank you very much for such a kind comment! I appreciate your visit and your vote.

    • raymondphilippe profile image

      Raymond Philippe 3 years ago from The Netherlands

      The things we can learn through hubpages. Fascinating. Very interesting read. Voted up.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, raymondphilippe. Yes, HubPages is an interesting place! Thanks for the comment and the vote.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 3 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Fascinating hub Linda! I had no idea about the vast array of colours that are available to human urine. And I didn't know about diabetes insipidus either... so thank you for the education!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, techygran. Urine color is an interesting topic! It can also be an important one in relation to health.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful and elaborate information about Urine color and its significance. Long long ago, when there were no pathological tests available, the color of urine helped the physicians to diagnose the illness.

      Well presented and well researched hub. Voted up and shared on HP!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, ChitrangadaSharan! I appreciate your comment, vote and share.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Came back to say that I will tweet, G+ and pin this hub to my health board and share with HP followers. Good information!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Peggy! That's so kind of you. I appreciate all the shares!

    • grosiramazonplus profile image

      Grosir Amazon Plus 2 years ago from Indonesia

      thank you for the information

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, grosiramazonplus.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very useful and interesting article. A great work with much knowledge.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Venkatachari M.

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      I will remember that, " Drinking too much water can be dangerous, since it dilutes essential electrolytes inside the body. Thanks for sharing the helpful information in the hub. Voted up.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the visit and the comment, SANJAY LAKHANPAL. I appreciate the vote, too!

    • caseymel profile image

      caseymel 2 years ago from Indiana

      I knew that if it looks concentrated, then the person needs to drink more water and if it looks cloudy, then it could be a UTI, but did not know the rest. Thanks for sharing

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, caseymel. I appreciate your visit.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for a very interesting article, I learnt a lot reading it I had no idea there were so many different colors and every color was explained so well.

      The color of our urine is something that isn't given much thought about until we are not well, we really should take more notice of an everyday function that we can't do without.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, Elsie! I appreciate it. It is a good idea to check urine color occasionally. It can give us useful information!

    • monia saad profile image

      monia ben saad 2 years ago from In my Dream

      i'am interested by your article and it contain full advice thank you

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the visit and for commenting, monia saad.

    • monia saad profile image

      monia ben saad 2 years ago from In my Dream

      you are welcom and you have great hubs :)

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you again, monia!

    • Joyfulcrown profile image

      Joyfulcrown 2 years ago

      Very interesting hub. I learned a lot and will be more aware now. Thanks

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the comment, Joyfulcrown.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Very useful hub!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Audrey!

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      All but Funny, then again I might have missed it while thinking about the new learning I gained from this very informative Hub. Thanks.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Perspycacious. I appreciate your visit and comment very much!

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Thank you for sharing a very informative hub, Linda. Since I am entering an age group where I have to be particularly aware of health issues, as well as various types of diseases, this one was great for me.

      I will keep this hub as my resource to always return to keep a check on my health issues.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the visit and the kind comment, Suhail.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Another useful and interesting hub. Will have to be more watchful now.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, aesta1.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      thanks for the hub, mine is dark yellow urine, too much sugar?

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, peachpurple. Thanks for the comment. If your urine continues to stay dark yellow I suggest that you visit a doctor to find the reason.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      This is real interesting to know about the variations of urine colors and how we eat depends on it. Real informative. Voted up!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment and the vote, Kristen!

    • RJ Schwartz profile image

      Ralph Schwartz 2 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

      Great information on a topic which many of us don't usually stop to think about - organized and thorough.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks, RJ Schwartz. I appreciate your comment very much.

    • profile image

      Raimer Gel 2 years ago

      Urine color truly talks a lot about ourselves. We must keep in mind the signs that they tell us.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      That's true, Raimer Gel. Thanks for the visit.

    • profile image

      Shari 2 years ago

      My stools have yellow moisture around them, my urine is yellow, and if I get a slight cut it leaks a yellow tinge with the moisture

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I would advise you to talk to your doctor, Shari. He or she will be able to answer your questions and give you medical advice.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      You have done an excellent job. Urine may not be the most pleasant thing to talk abut, but it can alert us to serious disease. This is very useful and helpful guide. Voted up++ and shared. Also kudos for doing this in a tasteful manner.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the kind comment, the votes and the share, Catherine. I appreciate your visit!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Excellent info in this article! I am a retired Lab. Tech. and the first thing we noted in our urinalysis report was the color. It is very important.

      Way back when, before there was a test for sugar (glucose) in the urine, the doctors would taste the urine. Can you imagine that??

      Voted this UP, and shared.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Mary. Thank you for the kind and interesting comment as well as the vote and share. I think that urine and its features are interesting topics, but I wouldn't like to taste urine!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 24 months ago from Germany

      Very useful and informative hub. I thought there are only 2 colors of urine, clear and yellow. Thanks for the loads of informations.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 24 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, Thelma.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 22 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you so much for this very informative article. I have a habit to drink a liter of warm water with a slice of lemon every morning before getting up. I drink this over a period of an hour while doing my social networking from my tablet. I do know that when I drink this liter too fast, ( because I have to get up) I have to run to the loo and I know the water went strait through. Now I'm ready for my coffee! Voted up!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 22 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment and for sharing your experience, Nadine. I appreciate your visit.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 22 months ago from Chicago

      Hi AliciaC, thanks for sharing such a very important subject. I will point out that when I've eaten beets the urine comes out pinkish but that seems to be normal. Looking forward to more of your health observations.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 22 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, word55. Yes, beets are known for producing pink urine! The colour should disappear once beets are no longer eaten, though. Thank you very much for the visit.

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 21 months ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Thank you for sharing your informative hub. Being a holistic practitioner, I am always interested in hubs pertaining to health. You did a nice job laying this one out and making it easy to read and understand. Have the best of evenings, Blessings, Bobby

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 21 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, Bobby. I appreciate your visit. I hope you have a great evening, too.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 21 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      mine is usually dark yellow, I think i drink too much tea and coffee

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 21 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the visit and the comment, peachpurple. I love tea and coffee, too, but they are both diuretics and can cause water loss from the body.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 19 months ago from California

      What a wonderful hub!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 19 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Audrey! I appreciate your visit.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 18 months ago from East Coast

      I knew about most of the colors except for BLUE! That's came as a shock to me. Thank you for sharing this information. As always you do an absolutely excellent job. In your career as a teacher, your students are truly lucky to have you!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 18 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for such a lovely comment, Express10! I appreciate your kindness very much.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 16 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Thanks for all this information; I sure had no idea. I know I don't drink enough water but I guess I am in a safe range. Water just isn't as good as it was when I was growing up. I just loved water. Now I just force it on myself! lol

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 16 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, Jackie.

    • profile image

      Annie 13 months ago

      Is there something in here about bleach, or did I just miss it? My urine has always been straw colored (except when trying to get rid of IUD's at which times it is cloudy white) and since I have been having so many troubles with that, and I sometimes get a splash-back from the toilet water which is close too the top, but I rent and have no control over what type toilet I have, I decided to leave a little bleach in the toilet water just in case. The next time I used it my urine was dark orange, almost brown. It has scared me. Is it the bleach or should I call my doctor now?

      Thanks for this web site. So very good!

    • profile image

      Annie 13 months ago

      Sorry, I meant to say "having trouble with UTI's. Got it wrong. I see you took down the post. Was something wrong with it?

      Anyway, thanks for the Hub. The info is great.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 13 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Annie. I'm not a doctor, but I would say that if your urine stays dark you should definitely visit a physician. Some foods and medications can create brown urine, but the colour can also be due to a health problem. As far as I know, the only situation in which bleach can darken urine is the one that I describe in the "Brown or Black Urine" section of this article, but there may be others.

      I expect you know this, but do be careful with bleach. It can mix with other chemicals added to toilet bowl water to create dangerous vapours!

      By the way, there was nothing wrong with your post. Comments that people make don't stay on the screen until I've had seen them and approved them. Best wishes, Annie. I hope your problems are solved.

    • profile image

      saul rosenberg 6 months ago

      thanks, well documented i think i'll be drinking more water plus i learned a lot. my urine was dark at the last urine test oct 25 2016 the nurse said she that some concerns, i'm 68 and i like to live so i'm doing all i can and thank you. saul rosenberg

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 6 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the comment, Saul. Good luck with maintaining your health. Drinking more water sounds like a good idea, especially if a nurse recommends it.

    • profile image

      Ren 3 months ago

      I had a cloudy urine and it turns out im infectedwith UTI.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I hope you get better soon, Ren.

    • profile image

      Diana 3 days ago

      Thank you for this article. I've been trying to drink loads more water as I thought it was better the more I drank. Then had a day in hospital due to illness and the doc said my sodium was very low and to limit water to one litre a day. I was worried about this as my wee has been dark brown for the last two days (since illness). Having read your article and the quote from the nephrologist, I shall stop worrying! Thank you.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 days ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Diana. Thanks for the comment. I think it's important that your doctor knows about the colour of your urine because it's sounds like it's very dark (if he or she doesn't already know this). In addition, if the dark color doesn't disappear soon, I think that it would be a good idea to see the doctor.

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