Normal, healthy-looking urine is a light yellow color. If you look into the toilet and see green pee, you’ll probably be concerned or at least wonder why your pee is green. Most often, green pee is caused by coloring in food or drink.
Medication can also color your urine green. In rare cases, green-colored urine can indicate something more serious, like an infection or medical conditions such as liver trouble.
This article discusses why you have green pee, including when to seek help.
Possible Causes of Green Urine
In most cases, green pee is not a cause for concern. The most common cause of green urine is food coloring in your food or drinks. If this is the case, your urine should return to normal color in a day or two. However, there may be other reasons why the strange urine color sticks around, such as medications, liver disease, and more.
If your urine is green, you likely ate or drank something that contributed to the change in color. Healthy vegetables, including asparagus, can cause green urine in some people.
However, the more common culprit is artificial food dyes added to foods like candy, Popsicles, or icing. If your green pee is caused by food, it will be most visible in the six hours after you ate the dye and generally resolve within a day.
Many medications contain blue dye, which can cause green urine. If a change in urine color co-occurs with starting a new drug, talk to your healthcare provider about this side effect. Medications that might cause green pee include:
Green pee can signify a urinary tract infection (UTI). Cloudy urine is a more common sign of a UTI, but if the infection is caused by a bacterium called Pseudomonas, you may have green urine. Talk with your healthcare provider if you experience any other symptoms of a UTI, like a burning sensation or an increased desire to urinate.
Familial Benign Hypercalcemia
Familial benign hypercalcemia is a condition in which the body cannot regulate calcium levels. This can lead to too much calcium in the blood and a low amount in the urine, which can turn green. This condition is often asymptomatic, but other symptoms can include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Trouble concentrating
- Excessive thirst
If you believe you have familial benign hypercalcemia, talk to your healthcare provider about taking blood tests that can diagnose the condition.
Bilirubin is a byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells. In healthy individuals, it’s cleared away by the liver. But if you have liver disease, you may have bilirubin in your urine. This can cause urine to turn green.
If your green pee is caused by bilirubin, you might experience other symptoms of liver disease, including:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- Abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting
You should see your healthcare provider if you have these symptoms since liver disease is serious.
When Should I Be Concerned?
If your green urine is caused by something you ate, it will go away within a day. See a healthcare provider if your green pee lasts longer or if you have other symptoms like burning during urination, fatigue, weakness, or nausea.
In most cases, green pee doesn’t need treatment. It will go away on its own. However, if your green pee is caused by another medical condition like a UTI, hypercalcemia, or liver disease, you will need to treat the underlying condition.
In most cases, green pee is nothing to worry about. Dyes most often cause it in food or medication. However, it can also indicate medical issues, including UTIs, hypercalcemia, or liver disease. You should speak with your healthcare provider if you have other symptoms besides green pee.
A Word From Verywell
Talking about your bathroom habits can be uncomfortable, but urine is an important indicator of your health. If you experience unexplained or long-lasting green urine, you should talk to your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is green urine serious?
No, in most cases, green urine is not serious. It’s often caused by dye coloring in food, drinks, or medications. In rare cases, it can indicate an infection or serious disease, so talk to your healthcare provider if you have any other symptoms.
What does diabetic urine look like?
Having lots of sugar in your urine can make your urine look cloudy. However, diabetes isn’t usually a cause of green pee.
What color is urine when your kidneys are failing?
Kidney disease can cause symptoms, including foamy urine. Green pee isn’t usually caused by kidney disease, but if you’re concerned about your kidney function, it’s best to see a healthcare provider.