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How Urine Color Can Show if You Have an Infection

by Arkansas Urology on Monday, August 21, 2017

Urine color is a factor that many of us flush away without a second thought, but it can actually be a very important indicator of your urinary health. While normal, healthy urine will vary in shade, changes in color should be noted and in some instances reported to your urologist. 

Healthy urine can vary all the way from almost clear to a golden color, although if your urine is always a strong yellow you are very likely dehydrated and should drink more water. Completely clear urine can also be caused by some medications, but it is not the color to aim for when trying to find your ideal hydration level. A pale yellow is generally considered ideal by most urologists. 

Colors for concern are shades of amber, pink, red, orange, blue, green, brown or black. Ambers and oranges are often signs of severe dehydration, severe enough that sometimes drinking water isn’t enough. Blues, greens and occasionally brighter oranges are most likely caused by medications, but if you aren’t taking any at the moment you should contact your urologist immediately because they can be signs of rare conditions.

The most dangerous urine colors of pink, red, brown and black usually all indicate blood in the urine. This is commonly a sign of severe infection that could reach to the bladder or even the kidneys. Any shade of these should be reported to your urologist so they can begin testing and treat the infection right away.
 
It’s important to note, however, that certain foods like beets, rhubarb and blackberries can cause pink or reddish tinges to urine if consumed in large amounts. Be sure to take this into account when enjoying these foods to avoid a scare later. Any changes to urine lasting longer than a day can still be linked to a medical issue and should be seen by a urologist, no matter what foods you have consumed. 
 
If you’ve noticed a strange color or odor in your urine lately, you should take it seriously and have your urologist take a look. Infections are best treated early to avoid spreading or worsening as infections are prone to do.
 
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