Urine color


Depending on the fluid intake, humans produce around one to two liters of urine per day with the help of our excretory organs, the kidneys. In addition to water, harmful metabolic products that are no longer required can also be excreted in the urine. These urinary substances are filtered out of the blood through the kidneys.

Our urine is usually clear and from light yellow to colorless in color. The odor of fresh urine is usually neutral, but bacterial decomposition quickly takes on the typical pungent, ammonia-like odor. However, this can vary depending on diet and fluid intake. The morning urine is usually darker than the urine given during the day.

Why is urine yellow?

The yellow color of the urine is caused by urochrome. These are metabolic products that arise when the red blood pigment hemoglobin is broken down. Urine is 95 percent water. It also contains many organic and inorganic substances such as electrolytes, creatinine, urea, uric acid, amino acids, ketone bodies, small amounts of protein and possibly vitamins and hormones.

Metabolic end products as well as toxins and drugs are disposed of from the body through the urine. Our urine can also take on other colors. Discolored urine, but also abnormal smell and appearance can be completely harmless, but also indicate certain diseases.

Read more on the subject at: Why is the urine yellow?

What can dark urine mean?

The color of the urine naturally depends on the amount of water consumed by the person. If a lot of fluid is ingested, the urine color is light yellow to transparent. If too little is drunk, this can lead to a dark yellow to amber discoloration of the urine.

Diet also plays a role. A protein-rich diet leads to more urine being produced because too much protein is converted into water-soluble urea and then excreted in the urine.

Certain drugs with the active ingredients L-dopa or alpha-methyldopa can also cause the urine to become very dark in color.

Very often a dark urine color is caused by not drinking enough water.

Furthermore, fluid and electrolyte loss in other ways, such as increased sweating, severe diarrhea or vomiting, can be the cause of a dark urine color. If there is such a lack of fluids, the urine becomes much more concentrated and therefore discolored to the point of brown.

If the urine is dark in color despite an increase in the amount consumed and for none of the above reasons, this should be clarified by a doctor.

Read more about this under: Why is my urine dark?

Why is my urine not getting lighter even though I drink a lot?

If a dark discoloration of the urine cannot be explained by one of the possible causes listed above and the urine does not improve or lighten despite increasing the amount of water consumed, a doctor should be consulted and the symptoms should be clarified by a doctor.

Dark urine can appear in different facets. It can be colored from yellowish-brown to dark-orange-red to dark brown or almost black. This can have harmless causes, for example the use of certain medications and specific antibiotics.

What does light-colored urine mean?

Naturally, depending on the amount of water we drink, our urine is light yellow to transparent and of a clear consistency.

If large amounts of urine are given during the day, one speaks of polyuria (> 2000ml production / day). The polyuria is usually accompanied by a light coloration of the urine that is almost colorless. This is perfectly normal after drinking a lot of fluids.

Light-colored urine can also indicate diseases such as diabetes insipidus or untreated diabetes mellitus. Since these clinical pictures require treatment, abnormalities in the urine should be clarified by a doctor.

Can change in urine be a sign of pregnancy?

The color of the urine itself cannot be a sign of a pregnancy. When determining pregnancy, a distinction is made between certain and uncertain signs of pregnancy.

Uncertain signs of pregnancy are the absence of a menstrual period, nausea, vomiting and a feeling of tension in the breasts.

What is certain, however, is the detection of a certain hormone, the β-HCG, which is formed by the placenta during pregnancy. Β-HCG can be detected in the blood 6-9 days after fertilization and in the urine from around the 14th day. This can be done in the urine with the help of a rapid urine test, with the earliest possible detection in the morning urine.

Read more about this under: Signs of pregnancy

How does urine color change during pregnancy?

The human body adapts to an existing pregnancy through various changes. For example, the heart rate and blood volume increase, the vascular resistance in the periphery decreases and the chest grows. The metabolism changes, which can lead to changes in bowel function and constipation, among other things.

Since the kidneys are also supplied with more blood during pregnancy and kidney function and filtration behavior change, this can also have a certain effect on the color of the urine. Large changes in color or consistency should be seen by a doctor and the urine should be examined.

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What are the causes of green urine?

Blue or green urine is rare. Possible causes can be:

  • various drugs such as amitriptyline, indomethacin, mitoxantrone or propofol turn the urine green;
  • Taking certain multivitamin supplements can also trigger green urine;
  • in addition, some diseases and infections can cause the urine to turn green. For example, if there is a urinary tract infection caused by the Pseodomonas species, this may be the case;
  • It is also possible that there is a connection, a so-called fistula duct, between the gastrointestinal tract and the urinary tract, and in this way a bit of bile is excreted through the urine. In this case, the urine can also turn a greenish color.

What is affecting my urine color?

  • nutrition
  • inflammation
  • certain drugs

Normally, human urine is light yellow to translucent and of a clear consistency.

Foamy urine can indicate an increased protein content in the urine, cloudy urine can contain pus and fibrin and be caused by an inflammation, for example a urinary tract infection.

Diet and drinking behavior also play a major role in the color of the urine. An example is the red color of the urine after eating beetroot. A red color in the urine may also be caused by urinary tract or kidney disease, or it may be the result of medication (Rifampicin) be. Other medications can turn the urine blue-green.

Some dietary supplements, especially vitamin preparations, lead to a more intense coloring up to a neon yellow color.

Depending on our eating and drinking habits, our physiological urine can also vary in color. If the urine is colorless, it may be the result of a large amount of drinking, but it can also be caused by an undetected diabetes disease. Other clinical pictures such as liver and kidney diseases or rare diseases such as porphyrias can also cause the urine to change color.

One should pay attention if the urine color or urine odor changes or if it suddenly becomes cloudy without a plausible cause being found. In such a case, a doctor should be consulted urgently.

Orange urine

If the urine is orange to brownish in color, this can be a sign that you are drinking too little. However, taking certain medications, for example the antibiotic nitrofurantoin, can lead to such discoloration of the urine.

A disease of the liver or biliary tract can also be the cause. For example, if the biliary tract is blocked by a gallstone, the bile pigment bilirubin cannot be excreted in the stool. As a result, more bilirubin is released in the urine and the stool loses color.

Ingesting large amounts of carrot juice or berries can also lead to a slightly orange color of the urine.

Lemon yellow urine

If the urine turns lemon yellow, it may be the result of excess vitamins that the body cannot absorb. This is particularly common when taking nutritional supplements, especially vitamin preparations. The ingestion of large amounts of fruit juice, possibly in combination with otherwise only a small amount of drink, can turn the urine very yellow.

Neon colored urine

If the urine takes on a neon yellow color, this can have similar causes as a lemon yellow discoloration. The reason for this is usually the intake of a dietary supplement or a vitamin preparation, especially the intake of high doses of vitamin B2 leads to a deep yellow or neon-colored discoloration of the urine.

What color of urine can indicate diabetes?

General symptoms of diabetes mellitus are decreased performance and tiredness, but also so-called polyuria, a significantly increased urine production (<2000ml / day). In addition, the patient may suffer from an almost excruciating thirst (Polydipsia). The strongly increased urge to urinate is caused by glucosuria, so the appearance of glucose in the urine (<15mg / dl) designated. Glucose is an osmotically active particle, so it draws water with it, causing increased urine output. Since the strong thirst often causes increased drinking behavior, this leads to less concentrated urine. This poorly concentrated urine then has a light yellow to transparent color.

In the case of diabetes insipidus (so-called "water clock") the kidneys lose their ability to concentrate urine and large amounts of unfocused, i.e. pale yellow to transparent urine are excreted. As a result, patients constantly suffer from an excruciating feeling of thirst as the body tries to compensate for the loss of fluid.

Read more about this under: How do I recognize diabetes?

What color of urine occurs with liver disease?

Liver and gallbladder diseases such as hepatitis, liver cirrhosis or jaundice (Jaundice) as a result of gallstone disease can darken the urine. The urine can take on a yellow-orange to brownish color. In addition, this can be caused by metabolic disorders such as porphyrias (disturbed heme biosynthesis) be conditional.

In the case of gallstones, the cause of the dark color is that the bile pigment bilirubin is no longer excreted through the intestine due to the obstruction of the biliary tract. As a result, it is increasingly released in the urine and causes a dark discoloration. On the other hand, the chair will lose its dark color.

What is the color of the urine with renal insufficiency?

Patients affected by acute kidney failure are often only able to pass little or no urine at all. Depending on the cause and course of the disease, it can also lead to polyuria, i.e. a greatly increased urine excretion. This can make the urine either lighter or darker and the amount can vary.

A change in urine color in a chronic event occurs gradually. Kidneys can no longer concentrate the urine, which is why it is usually light or not very colored. If non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, tiredness, water retention or loss of appetite occur over a longer period of time, chronic kidney failure can be a possible cause and the symptoms can be clarified by a doctor.

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