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So, you're peeing green urine? That alone is quite enough to dispel your previous impression of green as an "all natural" color! In fact, you're probably worried that there's something seriously wrong with you.
Spoiler alert: while green urine is definitely not normal, it should not scare you nearly as much as some other pee colors. You're not dying. At least, not because of anything related to the green urine. You still want to get to the bottom of what is going on with you, though. Today, we're going to take a closer look at the possible causes of green pee.
What Does My Urine Color Say About My Health?
Looking at your pee up close might be a little yucky, but observing your urine color can let you know that you're dehydrated, overhydrated, experiencing liver or kidney issues, or that you are suffering from another health condition that sometimes discolors your urine. Strangely colored pee can also be the result of ingesting certain foods (rhubarb and fava beans, I'm looking at you!), taking nutritional supplements, or taking medications.
Unless it's an absolute emergency, however, everyone with a reliable internet connection will almost certainly consult "Dr Google" before heading to their actual doctor. In some cases, they'll find out that the strange symptom they were worried about now has a perfectly logical explanation. Green urine almost always falls under this heading.
Why Is My Urine Green?
Before we get to discussing possible causes of green urine, you may want to be aware that the pigment urochrome, also called urobilin, is what gives healthy and normal urine its yellow color. Since this pigment will still be present when other components are added to the equation, that affects the final color. Green urine is frequently actually caused by blue pigment, but since blue and yellow make green, truly blue urine is rare. It can occur though, as the result of the very same things that also make pee green.
Green Urine: What Have You Been Eating?
While plenty of foods and drinks create orange, red, or pink urine, green urine is only caused by a very few food items. They are:
- Asparagus, which can also tint your urine dark yellow or blue.
- Artificial food dyes, whether blue or green, can make you produce green urine.
- Black licorice, when eaten in large quantities. Licorice will also give your bowel movements a darker color.
Should you recently have consumed anything that is known to create a green urine color and you haven't dealt with green pee before, there is no need to panic. Simply quit consuming the offending items and see if your urine color returns to normal after you relieve yourself a few times. If it does, there is no need to call your doctor.