'Urine' The Clear

Go ahead and look before you flush. The color of your urine provides important health clues.

“The darkness of your urine shows how hydrated you are, and the color can be the first clue of a medical condition that needs attention,” said Karen Staack, MD, CHI Health Clinic primary care provider.

Pale yellow, which comes from a pigment called urochrome, indicates healthy hydration.

Cloudy urine can signal an infection or the presence of phosphates which can lead to kidney stones. Urine that’s consistently foamy and frothy suggests a possible kidney issue.

The medications you take and foods you eat can also influence urine color – carrots can cast an orange tint – but that’s only temporary.

“Something you should never ignore is bright red urine. That can signal a bladder or kidney problem that requires evaluation,” Staack said.

Karen S. Staack, MD

Family Medicine

Urine Infographic