The normal color of urine ranges from pale yellow to deep amber, the result of a pigment called urochrome and how dilute or concentrated the urine is.
pigments and other compounds in certain foods and medications can change the color of urine. beets, berries, and fava beans are among the foods most likely to affect color. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications give urine bright colors, such as red, yellow, or blue-green.
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Unusual urine color may be a sign of disease. for example, bright red to brown urine is an identifying feature of porphyria, a rare inherited disorder of red blood cells.
The normal color of urine varies depending on the amount of water you drink. liquids dilute the yellow pigments in urine, so the more you drink, the clearer your urine will appear. when you drink less, the color becomes more concentrated. severe dehydration can produce amber-colored urine.
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but urine can change colors far beyond normal, including red, blue, green, dark brown, and cloudy white.
when to see a doctor
Seek medical attention if you have:
- Visible blood in the urine. Bloody urine is common in urinary tract infections and kidney stones. these problems usually cause pain. painless bleeding may indicate a more serious problem, such as cancer.
- dark or orange urine. if your urine is dark or orange, especially if you also have pale stools and yellow skin and eyes: your liver may not be working properly.
Discolored urine is often caused by medications, certain foods, or food dyes. In some cases, however, changes in urine color can be caused by specific health problems.
The color categories here are approximate, because what looks red to you may look orange to someone else.
red or pink urine
Despite its alarming appearance, red urine is not necessarily serious. red or pink urine can be caused by:
- blood. Factors that can cause blood in the urine (hematuria) include urinary tract infections, enlarged prostate, cancerous and noncancerous tumors, kidney cysts, long strokes, distance and kidney or bladder problems. stones.
- foods. beets, blackberries, and rhubarb can make urine red or pink.
- medicines. Rifampin (rifadin, rimactan), an antibiotic often used to treat tuberculosis, can turn urine reddish-orange, as can phenazopyridine (pyridium), a drug that numbs discomfort of the urinary tract and senna-containing laxatives.
Orange colored urine may be due to:
- Medications. Medications that can turn urine orange include the anti-inflammatory drug sulfasalazine (Azulfidine); phenazopyridine (pyridium); some laxatives; and certain chemotherapy drugs.
- medical conditions. In some cases, orange-colored urine may indicate a problem with the liver or bile duct, especially if you also have stools from light color. dehydration, which can concentrate urine and make it much more intense in color, can also make urine appear orange.
blue or green urine
Blue or green urine can be caused by:
- dyes. Some brightly colored food dyes can turn urine green. dyes used for some kidney and bladder function tests can turn urine blue.
- medications. several medications cause blue or green urine, including amitriptyline, indomethacin (indocin , tivorbex), and propofol (diprivan).
- medical conditions. Familial benign hypercalcemia, a rare inherited disorder, is sometimes called blue diaper syndrome because children with this disorder they have blue urine. green urine sometimes occurs during urinary tract infections caused by pseudomonas bacteria.
dark brown or cola colored urine
Brown urine can result from:
- food. eating large amounts of fava beans, rhubarb, or aloe can cause dark brown urine.
- medications. various Medications can darken urine, including the antimalarial drugs chloroquine and primaquine, the antibiotics metronidazole (flagyl) and nitrofurantoin (furadantin), laxatives containing cascara sagrada or senna, and the muscle relaxant methocarbamol.
- medical conditions . some liver and kidney disorders and some urinary tract infections can cause urine to turn dark brown.
- extreme exercise. the injury muscle from extreme exercise can cause pink coloration or glue. colored urine and kidney damage.
cloudy or cloudy urine
Urinary tract infections and kidney stones can cause urine to appear cloudy or cloudy.
Discolored urine that is not the result of food or medication may be due to a medical condition that affects the color of urine. Factors that put you at risk for medical conditions that can affect urine color include:
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- age. Bladder and kidney tumors, which can cause blood in the urine, are more common in older people. men over the age of 50 occasionally have blood in the urine due to an enlarged prostate gland.
- family history. a family history of kidney disease or kidney stones makes it more likely to develop these problems. both can cause blood in the urine.
- strenuous exercise. distance runners are most at risk, but anyone who exercises vigorously can have urinary bleeding.