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What Your Urine Says About Your Health

Don't be embarrassed. Reading this could save your life.

With the coronavirus still spreading across America, the CDC recommends you monitor your health, and one clear signal regarding your well-being is your urine. Read on to discover what it can mean for your health, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.


Light to Dark Yellow

Medical urine test, close-up

"The normal color is light yellow. Yellowish color is due to urochrome pigment in the urine," says Dr. Waqas Ahmad. "If the urine is dark yellow, it is a sign that the person needs to drink more water. The neon yellow color is due to the presence of an increased amount of vitamin B in the blood."


Completely Clear/Transparent

Urine sample and urine analysis

"Completely clear urine is an indicator that you're drinking more than the recommended daily amount of fluids," says Dr. Edie Reads. "This could mess up the number of electrolytes in your body."


A Red or Pink

Test strip for control of the urine

"Urine colors you want to pay close attention to include pink or red, as these shades can indicate that blood may be present in the urine. The presence of blood in the urine can signal a variety of concerns—from a simple infection to cancer," says S. Adam Ramin, MD, urologic surgeon and medical director of Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles. "The vital thing to know is that bloody urine is never normal and needs to be immediately evaluated by a healthcare provider."



Medical urine test, close-up

"This could be due to dehydration or jaundice, or the presence of bile in urine. Medicines like sulfasalazine, chemotherapy drugs, and laxatives may also cause this," says Dr. Ahmad.

"Interestingly, in some people, consuming a hearty serving of carrots is enough to turn their urine orange temporarily," says Dr. Ramin.


A Pale/Clear Yellow

A doctor holding a urine sample

 "This means you are staying very hydrated," says Jessica Lubahn, MD. "It should still have a tinge of yellow."



Medical urine test, close-up

"Cloudy urine can be a symptom of an illness in the urinary tract. It can also be a sign of some chronic disorders and kidney problems," says Dr. Vikram Tarugu. "Cloudy urine is a potential indicator of dehydration in certain instances."


Dark Brown

A female doctor tests urine for infections and various substances

"This usually means you are dehydrated, but rhubarb and aloe consumption can also turn urine brown," says Dr. Lubahn. "This could also be due to UTI, chloroquine, metronidazole, hard exercise, or jaundice," says Dr. Ahmad. 


Green or Blue

Worker use hands holding test tube with pH indicator comparing color to scale from water in shrimp pond

"Food coloring can affect blue or green urine. It may also be the product of dyes used on the kidneys or bladder in diagnostic studies," says Dr. Tarugu. "Infection with Pseudomonas Aeruginosa may also be the cause of blue or green colored urine. Drugs like indomethacin, amitriptyline, or propofol may also cause this," says Dr. Ahmad.


When Should You See a Doctor?

patient with doctor

"Keeping hydrated is the easiest and most effective way of giving your urine the normal color," says Dr. Reads. "If the difference in color persists, be sure to see your doctor for more specialized care." As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these COVID Mistakes You Should Never Make.

Emilia Paluszek
Emilia specializes in human biology and psychology at the University at Albany. Read more about Emilia