7 reasons for green pee: Is it dangerous & what does it mean? (female & men)

Most people will get worried when they look into the toilet and see the green color. While green is rare, it does not cause concern in most cases. The urine color will frequently change as the kidneys filter all the waste products from the blood.

woman in pain

Dyes added to the food are a common cause of neon green urine. Medicine and personal care products can also contribute to this effect. While it is usually not something to worry about, green can also be a sign of a more serious issue. 

It can be a symptom of various liver diseases or urinary tract infections. In that case, a doctor should conduct further tests and set the diagnosis and treatment instructions for a fast recovery. 

Some foods can also affect the color of urine, such as beet. This vegetable will make the urine orange or even brown. Take a look below at 7 reasons for green pee, where we explain the causes and whether or not it is dangerous for both men and women. 

What color should urine be?

urine sample

In normal cases, urine features a color ranging from yellow to amber. It is a result of the pigment called urochrome which is responsible for the dilution and concentration of the urine. But pigments from different foods and medications can change color as well.

There are beets and berries among the multitude of foods that affect the color. They contain strong pigments that will end up in urine, changing its color. Some medications can further change the color, ranging from red to yellow and, in some cases, even blue.

Sometimes, an unusual color can be a warning sign. A disorder of red blood cells will change the color to red, which is far from the normal color. 

In normal circumstances, the color varies a lot. It depends on how much water you drink, as fluids will remove the yellow pigments. In essence, the more you drink, the clearer your pee looks. It is normal for it to be more concentrated when you drink less. In some extreme cases of dehydration, it can have the color of amber. 

Your doctor might ask you for a urine test, but if you have a shy bladder, this can be a difficult task. Check out our article on X ways to overcome a shy bladder and make yourself go. 

Why is my pee neon green & what causes it?

woman about to pee

Strong neon green is not a common color. When it happens, it can be a good indication of certain health problems. Rare genetic diseases should also be considered as a possible reason.

A specific bacteria that cause UTIs can also be responsible for such a strong color. However, most people will experience this after taking medication with strong pigments or after eating specific foods

Asparagus is a tasty vegetable that does wonder to every plate. It can also be the reason why your pee is green, although asparagus is known for adding a strong odor. 

There are many more reasons why it is green. Take a look below at 7 of them, where we discuss their causes and give you a temporary solution. 

  1. Food Dyes
toilet

The most common cause of green urine is represented by food dyes, especially blue and green ones. A well-known food dye is indigo carmine, which will turn it green. Breakfast cereals, ice cream, and candy are among the foods that contain this pigment.

These dyes must be filtered out, and your kidneys do a good job processing them. These dyes are secreted, creating a green tint. The only solution for this problem is to wait and let your body process these pigments. 

It should return to a normal color after a day. If you don’t notice any change, the reason might be different from the food you ate. You should see a doctor. 

  1. Medications

Just like food, medications can have colored pigments. Anesthetics and medical products can also turn it green, just an effect of your body filtering out this medication. Antidepressants and pain relief medications can often change the color of urine. 

The green color will only last a day after surgery or certain medical procedures. It is enough time for your body to clear the medication out of your system. If you are following a long-term treatment, inform your doctor about this symptom. 

  1. Personal care products

Cosmetics and personal care products will often have dyes. They are not meant for consumption, but they could turn the urine green if you accidentally ingest them. 

Most mouthwashes contain an ingredient called thymol, which will cause green urine upon ingestion. Cosmetics and other products with green and blue dyes will have a similar effect.

These changes are not always harmful to your body. The color should return to normal once you stop using the products. However, ingesting personal care products might expose you to risks greater than the green color, and you should seek immediate help. 

  1. UTIs

The bacteria causing UTIs will create pyocyanin, which is a compound that can change the color of your urine. It is a clear symptom of UTIs, but you should also look for other symptoms. Some of them are fever, frequent urination, and even abdominal or lower back pain.

If you suspect you have UTIs, you should discuss them with your doctor. They will conduct specific tests and set a diagnosis based on the results. Untreated UTIs can lead to severe complications.

  1. Liver disease

Another reason for green urine might be caused by bilirubin, which results from the breakdown of red blood cells. In a healthy person, bilirubin is cleared by the liver, and it doesn’t become noticeable at all. Green urine can be one of the starting signs of liver disease.

It will continue to be green over time, and you will experience many more symptoms. Some of them include nausea, itching or fatigue, and weakness. When experienced together, they are a clear sign of liver disease.

Contact your doctor and ask for a test. They will be able to diagnose you based on the results and give you specific advice for getting healthy again. 

  1. Blue diaper syndrome

It is a disease that affects babies. Although very rare, it happens when the body cannot break down nutrients found in various foods. This syndrome will eventually lead to blue or green urine. 

As the little one grows up, a child with this syndrome will have a hard time gaining weight and meeting developmental checkpoints. Vomiting and changes in appetite are also common symptoms of this disease. 

Check with a doctor as soon as you notice the odd color in your baby’s urine. Based on a simple test, they will diagnose the disease and prescribe the necessary treatment for recovery. 

  1. Familial Benign Hypercalcemia
simple toilet

It is a condition where the body cannot regulate calcium levels. Therefore, too much calcium can end up in the blood and a very low amount in the urine, which turns green. 

You might have familial benign hypercalcemia if you also experience fatigue and weakness or excessive thirst among green-colored urine.

If you have this condition, contact your doctor and ask them about taking blood tests. With these tests, they can diagnose the problem and come up with solutions as well. 

What does it mean when your pee is clear?

While green indicates something wrong, clear one might not have the opposite meaning. It often indicates that you are drinking more water than necessary. It is good to be hydrated, but your body will lose electrolytes if you drink too much water.

While there is no reason to panic if your urine looks clear, it is a good indication that you should reduce your daily water intake. However, cirrhosis and hepatitis can also manifest through clear urine. If you suspect that you have liver disease, check with a doctor and seek professional help. 

Is green urine dangerous?

For most people experiencing it, it is not a cause of concern. It happens because of dehydration. It can also result from pigments from the food you ate.

However, there are two serious causes of concern when you notice green urine. Both of them are very rare, so you should not jump to conclusions quickly. The first cause is a UTI, where the bacteria can change the color of your pee.

The other cause is jaundice, a medical condition resulting from an excess bilirubin pigment. Liver diseases can cause it, so that further investigation might be necessary. 

luxurious toilet

What color is your pee when pregnant?

Pregnant women can often notice a change in their urine color. It is usually darker than the light yellow we are all used to. This change is completely normal. In some specific cases, it can be a sign of pregnancy problems. There are various reasons attributed to these changes. 

Normally, the color should be light yellow. In a pregnant woman, this change is more noticeable as the color changes from a light to a dark shade of yellow. 

When the body is fully hydrated, the concentration of urobilin increases and the urine gets a lighter shade. If there is a lack of urobilin, the color will become dark yellow or even orange.

Urine color chart

Urine color – MeaningClearClear is a sign of too much water intake. You should drink less water during the day.
YellowThis is a good indication of healthy urine. It is also the most common color.
Red or PinkRed can result from red-dyed things. In some rare cases, this is a symptom of an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, or even tumors in the bladder. Contact a doctor as soon as possible.
OrangeIn most cases, orange is a clear symptom of dehydration. You should increase your water intake and drink more water even if you are not thirsty. In some rare cases, orange can be an indication of issues with your bile duct.
Blue or GreenIt is a very rare color that is usually connected to something that you ate. Pigments can change the color, and specific foods will turn your pee green or blue. It can also be a sign of a bacterial infection in some rare cases.
Dark BrownDark brown signifies severe dehydration, and you should drink more water. It can also be a side effect of certain medications. In some rare cases, dark brown is related to liver diseases.
CloudyIt’s another shade that is related to dehydration and can also be a sign of a UTI. Chronic diseases and kidney conditions are also possible, although rare. If the cloudiness is also foamy, it is a serious indication.

Just like humans, pets can also have health problems related to their kidneys. If your puppy is peeing in small amounts frequently, you might want to check this article to find out the reasons.

Medication that turns urine green

A common cause of green urine can be specific medications that change the color of your pee once it is eliminated from your body. Depending on your condition, several medications will have an effect on your pee, and some of them are:

  • Reglan: This medication treats nausea.
  • Phenergan: Another medication that treats allergies and nausea.
  • Indocin: This medication can be used for pain relief.
  • Diprivan: An anesthetic is common in surgery.
  • Methylene blue: This water-based dye is used in surgery and treatment for a rare blood disorder.
  • Amitril: An antidepressant that treats depression.
  • Tagamet: This medication is used for acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Indocin: An anti-inflammatory.
  • Robaxin: Used as a muscle relaxant for neck and back pain.

FAQ

What color is urine when your kidneys are failing?

It will have a dark color: brown, red, or even purple. It happens because the kidneys are failing, and the increased accumulation of substances changes your pee color. 

An abnormal protein or sugar is responsible for this, but high levels of red and white blood cells can also contribute. In case of kidney failure, seek help immediately. 

What does orange pee mean?

Orange is typically a symptom of dehydration. But in some rare cases, it can indicate the presence of bile in your bloodstream caused by liver issues. Some medications will also cause orange pee, and the color should return to normal within a day. 

What does it mean when your pee is dark yellow?

The shade of dark yellow can be a sign of low urine volume. It happens mainly because of dehydration or strenuous exercise. You should drink more water and stay hydrated at all times, especially when it is hot.

What does brown pee mean?

Just like yellow urine, brown is a common sign of dehydration. But it can also be a sign of excess waste products circulating in your body, which can be potentially dangerous. Liver diseases will often manifest through the brown color. 

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