The inner landscape of the toilet bowl is not a pleasant sight, but one glance could potentially save your life. 

Let the lesson begin...

The yellow tint of urine comes from a chemical byproduct of the kidneys as they process waste. The more dehydrated the body becomes, the more concentrated the urine, the darker the color. Although, healthy urine ranges in color from clear to dark yellow, so don't be too concerned if you've consistently urinated a darker hue. You can always get a blood test to determine your level of hydration. 

So, what do the other colors mean? 

Red

You could have a simple case of Beeturia, from eating beets, blackberries or rhubarb. The crimson tide should pass within a day or so, but if it doesn't contact your doctor; it could be a sign of a bladder or kidney tumor. 

Orange

You and Bugs Bunny may need to lay off the carrots. Excess ingestion of beta-carotene could be the culprit. Over-the-counter UTI medication (Pyridium) and blood thinners can cause your urine to orange. If you see neon or fluorescent orange in the bowl, it may be a sign of liver issues. 

Neon Yellow

If your urine looks like it's dressed for a rave, you may be taking too much Vitamin B12. Consult your doctor for proper dosage. 

Green 

Usually this color is accompanied by an odor from eating too much asparagus, however, it is also caused by a urinary tract infection. The bacterium, which causes UTIs is also the cause of kidney stones. 

Blue 

Blue urine is a symptom of a condition called hypercalcemia, in which an excess of calcium builds up in the bones. This is an extremely rare condition, chances are you will not bare witness to this color stream. 

Brown 

Brown urine ranges from the benign: too many fava beans and rhubarb, to a rare disorder, which interrupts the break down of red blood cells. If your urine turns brown and is accompanied by abdominal pain, rash or seizure, contact a healthcare provider immediately. 

White 

White, not to be confused with clear. If your urine is cloudy white it could be a sign of kidney stones and an infection; call your doctor.

Remember to always look before you flush!  

To learn about the 7 shades of urines click here

 

Primary Care & Hospitalist