Fluctuating Urine Color and Odor – What Does It Mean?

27 Jan 2020 Blog

Urine color can range from pale yellow to deep amber – but what does it mean? There are many factors that can affect urine color, including fluid balance, diet, medicine and disease.

Urine Color

How light or dark the color of your urine is depends on how much water you drink. Water and other fluids dilute the yellow pigments in urine, so the more you drink, the clearer your urine will be. In cases of dehydration, the urine can become a dark amber color.

Some vitamins and supplements – such as Vitamin B – can turn urine bright yellow. Some foods – such as blackberries, beets or rhubarb – can turn urine a reddish-brown. Having blood in your urine can also make it appear reddish-brown, so it’s important to observe and take note of these subtle signs and symptoms.

Urine Odor

Some foods (such as asparagus), vitamins, and antibiotics (such as penicillin) can cause urine to have a different odor. A sweet, fruity odor may be caused by uncontrolled diabetes. A urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause a foul odor.

When to See a Doctor

Sometimes, symptoms can be very vague or subtle which makes it very difficult to figure out what the problem is. If you are dehydrated your urine will be more concentrated and urinating may cause discomfort. Drink enough fluids to keep your urine light yellow or clear, this will help decrease discomfort.

Visible blood in the urine is often a sign of a urinary tract infection or kidney stone. Dark or orange urine may be a sign of liver malfunction. You should notify your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.


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