Quiz: What Does Healthy Urine Look Like?

What does healthy urine look like?

Healthy urine appears transparent yellow, straw-colored, and pale. This is normal and indicates you are adequately hydrated.

Pale Straw-colored Transparent yellow All of the above

Why is urine yellow?

Urine is a bodily fluid made in the kidneys. The yellow color of urine is caused by urobilin, a waste product that comes from the breakdown of old red blood cells by the kidneys.

B vitamins A waste product called urobilin Eating pineapple Drinking apple juice

What is urine mostly made of?

Water accounts for at least 95% of the composition of urine. The other components of urine include urea, chloride, potassium, sodium, creatinine and other dissolved ions, and inorganic and organic compounds.

Bile Water Mucus Saliva

What causes dark-colored urine?

One of the most common causes of dark-colored urine is dehydration from not drinking enough water.

Other common causes of dark-colored urine include:

  • Eating foods such as beets, blackberries, beans, and food colorings
  • Certain vitamins including carotene and B vitamins
  • Some medications such as laxatives (senna and cascara), antibiotics (metronidazole and nitrofurantoin), antimalarial drugs (quinine and chloroquine), and muscle relaxants (methocarbamol)
  • Blood in the urine
  • Bladder stones
  • Liver problems such as hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis or alcoholic liver disease
  • Liver cancer
Drinking red wine COVID-19 Dehydration Incontinence

What causes blood in the urine?

Blood in the urine (hematuria) can be caused by a number of conditions, such as:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Kidney stones
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia
  • Internal trauma
  • Cancer, such as bladder or kidney cancer
  • Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH)
  • Exercise-induced, such as from long-distance running or injury from contact sports such as football
  • Certain medications, such as blood thinners, aspirin and other pain relievers, and antibiotics
  • Viral illness, such as hepatitis
  • Sexual activity
  • Menstruation
  • Endometriosis
  • Inflammation of the kidney, urethra, or bladder
  • Blood-clotting disorders, such as hemophilia
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Polycystic kidney disease

When blood is present in urine, the urine can appear pink, red, or brown.

Urinary tract infection (UTI) Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) Certain medications All of the above

What causes urine to be cloudy?

There are numerous causes for cloudy urine. Some of the same things that can cause dark-colored urine can also cause urine to be cloudy, such as:

  • Dehydration
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Blood in the urine
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhea or chlamydia
  • Prostate problems

Other causes of cloudy urine include:

  • Excess phosphorus in urine (phosphaturia)
  • Sediment from a distended bladder
  • Enterovesicular fistula
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Treatments for prostate cancer, such as a radical prostatectomy including prostatectomy, laparoscopic prostatectomy, or da Vinci prostatectomy
  • Retrograde ejaculation, when semen backs up into the bladder
  • Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by parasitic worms
B vitamins Eating berries Excess phosphorus Smoking

Blue- or green-colored urine is a cause for concern.

Blue and green urine are unusual and you should see a doctor if this occurs.

A harmless cause of blue or green urine may be food dyes. Other causes of blue or green urine include:

  • Methylene blue, a medication used as a contrast during surgery to help identify structures, and to treat a condition called methemoglobinemia
  • Other medications such as amitriptyline (generic), indomethacin (Indocin), cimetidine (Tagamet), and promethazine (Phenergan)
  • A rare inherited metabolic disorder known as familial hypercalcemia or "blue diaper syndrome"
  • Any medication that contains phenol groups
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs) or fistulas between the bowel and the urinary systems may result in a greenish/brown color to the urine
True False

See a doctor for urine color changes when…

If you have urine color changes and you know the cause, for example, you recently ate beets which can turn urine red, or you took B vitamins which can produce bright yellow-green urine, see a doctor if you have urine color changes and:

  • Urine appears reddish for no known reason
  • Urine is cloudy
  • Urine has an unpleasant odor
  • Frequent and urgent need to urinate
  • Burning pain with urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Extreme pain in your back or side
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Vomiting

If you have any concerns about the color or appearance of your urine, see your doctor.

Urine is reddish for no known reason Urine is cloudy Urine has an unpleasant odor All of the above

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