Dr. Rachel: Is your urine color normal?

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - There's an easy way to gauge how much water you should be drinking on a day-to-day basis. Dr. Rachels tells us what that is.

Urine can give clues as to how your body is doing. Kidneys make urine by filtering toxins and other waste products from your body.

In a well-hydrated, healthy person, urine should be a light yellow color, which comes from a pigment the human body makes called urochrome.  Fluids dilute this yellow pigment so the more water a person drinks, the clearer the urine will appear.

"If your urine is not light yellow color, you may be drinking too much water or fluids, but if the color is a very dark yellow, then you are probably dehydrated and need to drink more fluids. If you are severely dehydrated, your urine will be amber in color and you need to drink fluids immediately."

Dehydration is not the only thing that affects your urine color. Medications, foods, and illnesses can also change the color of your urine. Foods such as carrots, beets, and rhubarb can turn urine a pinkish color. A medication used in urinary tract infections called Pyridium, and taking a lot of Vitamin B will turn urine orange.

If there is blood in the urine, it will look pink or red. Bloody urine is seen in urinary tract infections, prostate and kidney problems, and cancer.

Coke colored urine usually means there is something wrong with the liver, blue or green urine can be a sign of a genetic disorder and cloudy urine could indicate an infection.
If urine is foamy, a protein may be present in the urine and which means there might be something wrong with the  kidneys.

Dr. Rachel advises us: "The next time you use the restroom, take a look before you flush, to get an idea of how your body's doing."

If you have any medical questions, email Dr. Rachel at drrachel@wgno.com.