If you never stop to take a peek at the toilet before you flush it, you may want to start: Your pee has a lot to tell you.
While yellow is the standard color of urine (the tint comes from urochrome, which is a broken-down version of bile), the shade of it is pretty important.
See this in the bowl? It may be time to hydrate. “Ideally, if the urine were in a clear bottle, you should be able to read a newspaper or an iPad through it. If your urine is a darker color, it’s a sign you might need to drink more,” explains urologist Marc Laniado.
If the color is clear for a longer period of time, it could be a sign of diabetes insipidus. Those with this rare diabetes release too much water, affecting the color of urine. It also makes people more thirsty and interrupts their sleep cycles (since they need to use the bathroom more often).
Not so much to worry about here; the change is most likely a result of too many vitamins. “While the body can absorb the B and C vitamins quickly, it can’t store them. So it has to get rid of them in the urine,” Neal Patel, of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, tells DailyMail.com.
This could either mean dehydration or too much salty food. Another more serious culprit: a cyst or tumor impeding the bile duct, leading to jaundice.
Food dyes and certain medications can color urine in this unexpected tint.
This can be a sign of a UTI if caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The hue can also come from medications for Parkinson’s disease and antidepressants.
Red could be a sign of cancer in the urinary tract and should be taken seriously.
This could signal porphyria, a group of rare disorders that affect the nervous system and skin.
If your urine is brown or black, laxative drugs could be the cause.
White or cloudy pee is more serious since it could be because of a bacterial infection.
In any case, if you’re concerned about the shade of your urine, see a urologist for further investigation.
By Marlisse Cepeda