Urine Color as Health Indicator
by Ron Kurtus (20 May 2005)
The kidneys process liquids from what you have been eating and drinking, as well as material from various body processes. The resulting urine consists of water and dissolved waste material.
Since some organ malfunctions or the effort to fight off a disease can results in excess waste material, the color of the urine can be an indicator of what you have been ingesting and the condition of your health.
Certain colors can indicate problems, diseases or imbalances in your diet.
Questions you may have include:
- Of what does urine consist?
- What are abnormal colors for urine?
- What should you do if your urine is an abnormal color?
This lesson will answer those questions. Health Disclaimer
Urine consists of water and dissolved waste material from what you have been drinking and eating. It also includes dead blood cells and other material the body wants to eliminate.
The kidneys process the blood plasma, allowing water, sugars, vitamins, amino acids and other vital substances back into the bloodstream. They eliminate excess water, salts and minerals, as well as urea from protein digestion, uric acid, creatinine from muscle breakdown, hormone waste and toxins. Also eliminated is urochrome, which is a yellow pigment that comes from the processing of dead blood cells in the liver.
The urochrome gives the urine a pale yellow color, which is its normal color.
Since the normal color of urine is pale yellow, variations can be an indication of health problems or be the result of certain foods that have been eaten.
If a person has been drinking an excess of water or diuretics such as coffee or beer, the urine may have little or no color. Typically, it is nothing to worry about if it happens occasionally.
Excess sweating could result in the urine becoming a deeper yellow. Also, it is a sign that you have not been drinking enough liquids
Dark yellow urine
Liver problems or jaundice can cause the urine to become consistently a dark yellow color. Be sure you have been drinking enough fluids before jumping to conclusions.
People who eat too many carrots--like from a juicer--may see orange urine. Also, too much Vitamin C can turn the urine orange.
Brown urine can an indication of a serious condition. It could be caused by liver disease, hepatitis, melanoma cancer, or copper poisoning. Other symptoms from those ailments should also be considered as indicators. But note that if you had recently eaten fava beans or taken a laxative, your urine also could turn brown.
A urinary tract infection, bile problems and certain drugs can cause the urine to turn greenish. A brighter green color is an indication of an excess of B vitamins.
Urine with a bluish tint can be caused by a psuedomonas bacterial infection. It can also be an indication of high levels of calcium.
There are a number of things that can cause the urine to have a red tint.
A small amount of blood in the urine can give it a red tint. Sometimes droplets of blood are seen. A bladder infection, kidney stones or bladder stones can result in urine with red in it. Also, a slight injury to the bladder or kidney can result in bleeding into the urine. Some professional boxers have been known to pass blood in their urine after a fight.
If you see what looks like blood in your urine, it is a good idea to go to the doctor to check the condition.
Eating beets can result in reddish-purple urine.
Acidic urine will turn red after eating blackberries. Alkaline urine will look reddish after eating rhubarb. Whether your urine is acidic or alkaline is usually determined by other foods you have eaten.
Candy or pills with a dye can temporarily turn the urine red.
Lead or mercury poisoning can turn the urine reddish. If you suspect you have ingested and have been handling those toxic metals, and your urine is red, you should see your physician.
What to do
If your urine has a strange color, and you have not been eating foods or taking pills that would cause the change in color, you should check yourself for other unusual symptoms and perhaps visit your doctor.
Also, if the urine has a bad odor, it may be an indication of disease.
The color of your urine may determine the state of your health. Your kidneys process liquids from what you have been eating and drinking, and the resulting urine consists of water and dissolved waste material. Certain colors of your urine can indicate problems, diseases or imbalances in your diet.
Keep a positive attitude toward your health
Resources and references
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