In a segment on ITV’s This Morning, our very own Dr Chris Steele has detailed what the colour of urine may be telling us about our bodies. He displayed a line of test tubes containing various possible urine colours and explained what each one may be indicating, from the healthy shades to the more worrying colours.
He described how the function of the kidneys is to filter out toxins, create waste matter and get it out of the body. They also balance fluid in the body. With this in mind, our urine can be suggestive of factors which are affecting the function of the kidneys.
What Does The Colour of Your Urine Say About You?
Clear urine could either be a sign of a “good hydrated person” or could be a result of taking diurectic medicine, which makes a person pass water frequently.
Contrastingly, deep yellow urine is usually an indicator of dehydration. It could also be “a sign of liver problems which cause jaundice of the skin, eyes, and the urine to become more yellow.”
Dr Steele added that colour of urine might generally be darker in the morning than later in the day “because in the night you’ve just been laying there doing nothing and your kidneys have been working concentrating the toxic effects.”
Blue or green urine can be the effect of food colourants or asparagus, while a more brown colour can be caused by kidney disease or the use of laxatives.
“Laxatives can cause a darkening colour of the urine. Always think about what you’re putting in your mouth. Could that be affecting things?”
Dr Steele emphasised that it is most important to take note of pink or red urine. Beetroot, blackberries, blackcurrants and rhubarb are all named as possible causes. “But the commonest reasons for red urine is cystitis or urinary tract infections,” he said. “This causes excess blood to come out into the urine.”
A very dark red urine is a sign of severe dehydration. “We’re talking about patients with liver disease,” he said.
It is not only the colour that can tell us what might be happening in our bodies – frothy or foamy urine can also be a warning sign. “It could be due to protein. Maybe you’re on a high protein diet. Or it could be due to infection.”
How To Look For Warning Signs
“You should look at the colour in the stream you’re passing, not when it’s in the toilet bowl, because it gets diluted in two litres of water,” said Dr Steele. “You can even catch it if you’re worried.”
He urges people to keep an eye on their urine to make sure their bodies are functioning as healthily as they should be.