The color of your urine is an indicator of your health. It lets you know if your body is hydrated, dehydrated or whether your organs are functioning well. The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio has created an infographic specifying what the color of your urine indicates about your health status.

Dr. Daniel Shoskes, a urologist at the Cleveland Clinic, says that changes in the color of your urine are usually influenced by your body’s hydration levels. If you are hydrated, you will pass clear urine. Yellow and dark yellow colored urine signify that your fluid intake is less than your body needs. However, if your urine has another strange color, then it is important to find out what is responsible.

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There are certain colors that are linked to specific organs. Blood in the urine is a sign that blood is coming from the urethra, urinary tract, kidneys, bladder or prostate. Shoskes says that if the color of your urine is more brownish, it can be linked to a liver dysfunction. Checking the color of your urine is only a preliminary examination. Your doctor may look at it under the microscope to learn more.

The following explains the various shades of urine and their relation to your health:

Transparent: If you pass clear or transparent urine, it signifies that you are drinking lots of water. This is a condition known as overhydration. Drinking excessive amounts of water is generally not harmful to your health. However, in rare cases it may dilute the amount of salt in your body. This generally won’t put you at risk unless you are pushing yourself to drink more than the recommended amounts of water.

Pale Yellow To Amber or Honey

If you pass urine with a lighter shade of yellow, it indicates that you are well hydrated. However, if the color of the urine darkens, it means that your fluid intake is low and you need replenish your fluids.

Brown Ale or Syrup

According to Shoskes, brown-colored urine is usually a sign of dehydration. However, brown urine can also be an indication of liver dysfunction. People with severe liver disease often pass brown urine. This can be determined by a dip stick test of the urine.

When you suffer from liver disease, your liver is unable to process and eliminate all the bile salts through the stools. A few of the bile salts that remain in the blood pass through the urine. If you are worried about the health of your liver, consult your doctor for an examination.

Pink To Reddish

A pink to reddish tinge in your urine can indicate something serious with your health. If you have not eaten foods such as beetroot, rhubarb or any other foods that may change the color of your urine, then most probably a red hue in your urine signifies blood. Traces of blood in your urine can be caused by various health issues such as a urinary tract infection, kidney disease, tumours, prostate problems or cancer in the kidneys or bladder. You should consult your doctor to find out the real cause of a red or pink hue in your urine.

Blue Or Green

Blue or green colored urine is a rare occurrence. Shoskes says that diseases like porphyria, which is an inherited enzyme condition, can cause a change in urine colour to blue or green. In some cases, green or blue urine can also occur after eating dyed foods. There are many dyes that are not effectively absorbed by the gut and make their way to the GI tract, and finally are excreted in the urine. Food dyes often change the color of the faeces as well. However, not everyone is affected by food dyes in this way. Other causes of blue or green urine are genetic factors and certain medications.

Other Factors

  • Smell: There is nothing to worry about if your urine smells strange as it is not an indicator of your health. Odor in urine is usually caused by the foods and medications you may be eating.
  • Foamy Appearance: Usually foaminess in your urine occurs if you use strong force when urinating. However, foam can also indicate protein in your urine, which is a sign of a kidney problem. If you think that your urine looks foamy and you haven’t been urinating with force, consult your doctor.

Shoskes advises people to visit their doctor if they notice anything unusual about their urine. Your doctor will examine your urine to find out the reason for any changes. Shoskes says that an unusual urine color is only a preliminary finding and not a sole tool for final diagnosis.

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