The color of a person’s urine can indicate various health issues. Changes in pee color can result from hydration levels, consumption of certain foods, or medications. Sometimes, unusual urine color can indicate a urinary tract infection, liver disease, or kidney issues. This article will delve into what specific urine changes might mean and when it's necessary to see a doctor.
Many medical conditions that vary in severity can cause cloudy urine. These conditions may include dehydration, sexually transmitted infections, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, diabetes, etc. Furthermore, cloudiness can indicate increased protein levels, crystalline substances, pus, blood, or another chemical in your urine.
While darker-colored urine is a well-known symptom of dehydration, cloudy urine is another indicator that you aren’t consuming enough liquids. Dehydration is particularly dangerous for young children and older adults. Regardless of age, your risk for dehydration increases on hot summer days or after an intense workout, fever, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can cause increased discharge containing blood and pus, which can lead to cloudy urine. Both men and women can experience these infections. In the case of a UTI, the body produces more white blood cells than usual, making your pee look cloudy or milky.
Certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause inflammation in the body, leading to more white blood cells in your urine and cloudy urine. Some STIs can also cause an increase in vaginal discharge, which can leak out during urination and make your urine cloudier.
Clear urine usually indicates optimal hydration in your body. This is a good sign because being well-hydrated supports the proper function of your whole body. However, in some cases, clear urine can serve as a warning that you are drinking too much water and you are more hydrated than you should be. Although overhydration occurs very rarely, it can be a serious issue that disrupts the level of sodium and other salts in your body.
Apart from drinking plenty of water, the following conditions can cause clear pee:
Kidney failure involves the increased accumulation and concentration of substances that lead to a darker urine coloration. So, when the kidneys stop working properly, the urine may turn brown, red, or purple. This change occurs due to high levels of white and red blood cells, sugar, protein, or tube-shaped particles called cellular casts.
Blood in urine can cause it to look red, like tea or cola. Dark brown urine can happen when someone is not urinating as much or as often as they normally would or when the kidneys are not working properly, leading to the buildup of waste products in the urine.
Apart from discoloration, kidney failure can result in other apparent changes in urination, such as fizzing or foaming urine. Foam usually appears in the urine because of increased protein or kidney disease, which is a sign of a decreased capacity of the kidney to clean and filter the blood.
If you notice a visible change in your urine that doesn’t seem related to a recent meal or medication you are taking, consult your doctor - especially if the change doesn’t go away after a day or two. Dark or orange urine can indicate a liver issue, while blood in the urine can be a sign of kidney stones or UTIs.