Imagine a lovely sunny morning when, by some miracle, you have just enough time for a to-go cup of coffee or tea before you head out to work. Something warm and caffeinated is just the thing to help you welcome the day!
But then you get stuck in traffic. Or a meeting. Or your kids won’t get out of the bathroom and you need to use it now! That cup of tea is ready to be free, and the only thing you want in life is a bathroom so you can release the pressure on your bladder before you burst!
But when you do finally get to the bathroom, don’t miss out on a good opportunity for a quick health check before you flush and go. Your urine may be trying to tell you something, but it can’t send a text, so you’ll have to decipher its clues on your own!
Clue #1: Urine Color
The color of your urine can give you heads-up about health concerns, or it may simply signal that you ate a lot of beets. Here’s your bathroom color guide:
Blue or Green Urine
If you look down and are shocked to see a blue or greenish stream, don’t panic. It could be a result of eating certain food dyes or using certain medications, such as amitriptyline, indomethacin, or propofol. Rare disorders may also cause green or blue urine. Talk to your doctor if you are not using medications where this is a side effect and symptoms don’t go away.
Red or Pink
The main concern with reddish urine is that you could have blood in your urine. If that’s the case, you need to see a doctor as it could indicate an infection, cyst, kidney or bladder stones, or even cancer. But some medications, including laxatives containing senna, can cause red urine, and if you’ve been eating a lot of rhubarb, beets, or blackberries, you may see a rosier hue during bathroom breaks.
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Dark yellow or orange-ish urine may be a sign of dehydration, but orange urine can also be caused by anti-inflammatory drugs, certain chemotherapy drugs, and some laxatives.
If you’re consuming large amounts of fava beans, rhubarb, or aloe, you may experience brown urine. Antimalarial drugs, some antibiotics, some laxatives, and the muscle relaxant methocarbamol may also cause brown urine.
Talk to your doctor if there isn’t an obvious cause for your brown urine, because it could be a sign of a liver or kidney disorder or even a muscle injury from extreme exercise.
Milky or Cloudy urine
Kidney stones or urinary tract infections can cause cloudy urine. If urine cloudiness gets worse or is accompanied by burning or pain, see a doctor.