In a healthy person, pigment known as urochrome determines the colour of urine, which may range from almost clear to bright yellow. With today’s modern monitoring devices, doctors don’t even think about looking at the urine, which could reveal important facts about the patients’ health.
For example, when urine becomes dark yellow or brownish, it indicates you are not getting enough fluids and that it’ s time for a drink. Dark brown or tea coloured urine in patients who had heart or valve operations done indicates that they are haemolysing, or breaking down red cells. When urine turns black, it shows a rare enzyme disorder that causes abnormalities of the skin and cartilages and when it turns pink, it may indicate gout.

The colour of urine can often tell a doctor if the patient is getting enough, too little or too much of a certain medicine.

Looking at the urine is a diagnostic tool that goes a long way back. It was the ancient Greeks who first looked at the colour of the urine and diagnosed a rare blood disorder porphyria. The same practice went on through the Middle Ages until recently, when new devises and tools have been created.