It always gets me thinking, “What medications could this leprechaun be taking that turn his pee green?” So if, like me, you’re wondering, here is the definitive guide to things that turn your urine green.
What makes your urine green?
Green urine is a pretty uncommon thing. The commonest cause is medications, but foods can factor in, too. Here are the big culprits you should know about.
Medications that can turn your urine green
How do these medications turn urine green?
This is usually caused by blue pigment mixing with the natural yellow color of urine to turn it green or bluish-green. In many cases, the blue color is caused by something called a phenol group in the chemical structure of the drug. It is broken down in the body to produce blue pigments in the urine, which look green when mixed with naturally-present yellow pigments known as urochrome.
What about asparagus?
Asparagus sometimes adds a greenish tinge to urine. This is also perfectly harmless. You may notice that your pee “smells green” after eating asparagus too…but that’s a topic for another day.
Is green urine serious?
Green pee caused by medications is usually nothing to worry about and fades within a few hours, or when you stop taking the medication.
In some cases, green urine can be a sign of a urinary tract infection: The presence of a bacteria called Pseudomonas in the urine can turn urine a blueish-greenish hue. And, if you have serious problems with your liver, pancreas, or gallbladder causing jaundice (a buildup of bile in the blood that causes a yellowing of your skin and eyes), your pee may look green, too.
Finally, if you are peeing green and you can’t find an obvious cause, it’s probably worth checking your toilet tank to make sure someone isn’t playing a trick on you.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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