Dark, cloudy or clear urine can be worrisome, especially if it is persistent. Healthy urine is light yellow, but there are several things that can change the color of urine. Vegetables and fruits such as beets, blueberries and asparagus, vitamin B2, food coloring and prescription medications. Most of us tend to become frightened (with good reason) at any unusual color change in our urine.
Clear urine simply means you are well hydrated. An adequate amount of fluids, dilutes the urine, giving it a clear appearance. Clear urine is healthy unless you are drowning yourself in water which can cause “water intoxication”.
Water intoxication (hyper-hydration) is when electrolytes are severely imbalanced from extreme water consumption. However, water intoxication normally occurs in extreme situations such as athletic and drinking competitions and is quite rare under normal circumstances. Therefore, it would be nearly impossible for someone to become water intoxicated unless they’re drinking it by the bucketfuls.
Cloudy urine is typically nothing to worry about. While change in the color of urine is certainly cause for concern, unless other symptoms accompany the cloudy urine, the cause is more than likely something as simple as mild dehydration. Most commonly, cloudy urine is a result of phosphaturia, a benign condition in which excess phosphate crystals form in urine.
Most often, cloudy urine occurs following a meal or after ingesting a large quantity of milk. Cloudy urine occurs largely with night or morning urination as no fluids were consumed so urine is more concentrated, which is perfectly natural and no cause for concern.
Dark yellow urine is usually indicative of dehydration. Without adequate fluids to eliminate waste, the urine becomes more concentrated. Brown colored urine points to a liver problem. Pink or red urine strongly warrants a trip to the doctor.
When urine is dark with a strong acidic odor, more than likely, you’re simply not consuming enough fluids. However, urine that has an exceptionally strong or foul odor, is a sign of infection but usually doesn’t affect the color.
In conclusion, it is wise to check your urine for color changes. Changes in the color of urine, not associated with food, beverages, or medicine, warrant a trip to the doctor. Anyone concerned with their fluid intake can judge by the color of their urine whether or not they are getting enough fluids. If your urine is dark yellow, you should increase your fluid intake. But typically, occasional dark, cloudy or clear urine isn’t particularly important.