It may be strange to take a look at the business you do in the washroom, but it’s a habit that can prove to be very useful.
Just like your stool can reveal a lot about your digestive system, your pee also give insight on how your kidneys are doing.
Keeping track of the color and consistency of your urine helps you stay hydrated throughout the day and can be an early warning sign that something in your body just isn’t right.
Here are a few colors to look out for (1,2)!
Drinking enough water is important to help your kidneys filter toxins. However, too much water can lead to too much sodium being expelled from your body, causing hyponatremia.
Symptoms of overhydration include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in mental state (confusion or disorientation)
Symptoms of hyponatremia include:
- Muscle weakness, spasms or cramps
Bubbles in urine that disappear within seconds are not usually significant but if the bubbles stay then it is a sign of protein being inappropriately allowed to leak through the kidney filtering mechanism and end up in your urine.
This can be either from kidney disease, an infection or from eating too much protein. (source)
3. Murky/Cloudy Urine
Tiny amounts of blood in the urine can make it appear slightly murky (3). If it’s accompanied by a burning sensation and painful urination, cloudiness can be an indication of bacteria associated with a bladder infection or UTI.
Alternatively, it can also indicate kidney stones but is completely normal during pregnancy. Pregnant women produce higher amounts of vaginal discharge, which gets mixed with urine when they go to the washroom.
4. Amber- Or Honey-Colored
Yellow urine can be an indication of dehydration, but can also be caused by supplements like Vitamin B12, which turn you urine bright yellow.
If you notice that your urine is often amber-colored, consciously try to drink more water to help your body get rid of waste more effectively.
Orange urine can a sign of dehydration or may simply be a case of ingested food coloring. However, it can also indicate a problem in your liver or bile duct, which is also indicated by light-colored stool.
6. Brown or Dark Amber
Urine that resembles coca-cola can be caused by ingesting fava beans, rhubarb or aloe. Liver and kidney disorders, Urinary Tract Infections and extreme muscle injury are some of the other causes of this strange urine. (source)
Certain medications can also cause this color, like antimalarial drugs chloroquine and primaquine, the antibiotics metronidazole (Flagyl) and nitrofurantoin, laxatives containing cascara or senna, and methocarbamol — a muscle relaxant.
7. Red/ Pink
Beets, blackberries or rhubarbs can give you reddish stool and urine. It can also be a sign of a urinary tract infections, kidney diseases, cancerous tumors, and even prostate problems or a side effect of chemotherapy drugs, laxatives, and antibiotics used to treat tuberculosis.
Blue or green urine is typically caused by artificial food coloring or the dyes used in bladder and kidney function tests. In rare cases, it can be a sign of a genetic condition called “hypercalcemia,” or of a bacterial infection. (source)
A few second’s glance is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that your body is healthy and well. The ideal color of your pee you should strive for is yellow-transparent.