I often get called about all manner of urine questions, but one that is often the most curious to women is about the current color of their pee and what exactly it might mean. Women are often concerned about , in addition to the color, the clarity, and presence of particles in their pee Patients want to text pictures, and really, I must insist that we see the real thing! And one color that always gets our attention and never fails to set the office phone ringing: red urine, so keep reading.
Blue: Not a common one! Most likely artificial dye, like in a mixed drink
Red: This could be due to food coloration, natural color in beets, or bleeding. Farmer’s markets all over the nation bring a variety of wonderful beets to our sustenance, and don’t be alarmed if there are occasionally some fairly dramatic consequences to the color of your pee. The wind pollinated Beta vulgaris, or garden beet, which can occur in colors from deepest scarlet to golden pale orange can produce the medical condition of beeturia. Beeturia may appear to have the same bright red hues of urine with blood in it, but is not usually a medical issue in those who get this condition. It’s a genetically determined propensity to absorb the red and orange hues of the summer staple, so it won’t occur in everyone, but about 14% of individuals will observe this phenomenon. Even in those individuals in home it occurs, it may be an indication that there is iron deficiency, low chloride, low stomach acid, or other chemical lack that allows the pigment to pass unbound and thus appear in the urine. So the red color may have medical significance even though, technically it was just triggered by the beet root consumption.
Green: Green urine can be from some veggies, like asparagus, or from chemicals added (methylene blue used in surgery will temporarily turn the urine blood, then green when it gets mixed with the natural yellow of urine. And the green beer drinkers on St. Pats: they can have green urine too!
Bright neon yellow: Too much vitamin B2 called riboflavin can turn the urine bright yellow, but there is no known toxicity to the riboflavin, so if you don't mind the color it's not a signal that you absolutely need to decrease the amount you are getting in.
Cloudy (pretty much any color): Too much bread or gluten in your diet!
Brown: Fava beans! Urine can be brown just from dehydration.
Purple: Urine can be pink with blood, or urine can be purple in those wearing a catheter, or in women who have this same chemical reaction to their diaphragms!
Black: Infections, but not a common color, rarely some medications will do this too.
White: Urine will be white in cases when there are certain fats or too many white blood cells from infection.
So if you really want to know what's going on: call for an appointment!