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1/17/20 blog post

the color of my urine can mean something?

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If you are like many people, you probably do not pay a lot of attention to the color of your urine. Or you may not have even realized that your urine can come in a variety of colors. But did you know that urine color can potentially reveal some important information about your health? 

“Changes in the color of your urine can be related to non-worrisome things like recently consumed foods, medications or food dyes, but could potentially be related to more serious health problems,” says Dr. Christopher Brown, MD, pediatric urologist at Dayton Children’s.

Wondering what these colors could be and what they mean? Dr. Brown is here to answer our questions!

why do we urinate and what is a normal color?

Urine is one way for our body to get rid of the waste it produces. It is made up of water and different waste products (such as salt, urea, uric acid or urochrome, which gives urine its color).  When your body is functioning normally and you are getting an appropriate amount of fluid in your diet, your urine should be a faint yellow color and have a minimal odor.

what isn’t normal?

Most any other color of urine is not normal and could indicate there is a problem. Darker yellow or orange urine often indicates that you are dehydrated. Red or pink urine raises the possibility of blood in the urine, which in children is most commonly due to kidney stones, urinary tract infections, kidney disease or self-limited irritation of the lining of the urinary tract. Red urine can also be seen after an intense exercise session due to muscle breakdown. Other colors of urine (brown, blue, green, purple) are much rarer.

are there ways to fix your urine color at home?

The first step is to think back to recent food, fluid and medicine intake. If you notice that your urine changes colors after eating certain foods, fluids or medications, avoid these substances (if possible) for a period of time and monitor for change in your urine color. If you notice you have dark yellow urine, or it has a strong odor to it, start by drinking one to two glasses of water to address any dehydration. 

when should we see a doctor or specialist?

If you have any urinary symptoms (pain or burning with urination, change in urinary frequency) associated with a change in urine color, or persistent change in urine color or odor, contact your primary care physician.  They can troubleshoot some of the more common issues related to abnormal urine color, arrange for a urine test, and help determine if (and how urgently) seeing a specialist is necessary.

New urology patients are now able to book an appointment online. Click here to make an appointment with a Dayton Children's urologist. 

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Christopher Brown, MD

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