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Different Colors of Urine: What Do They Mean?

Urine ColorUrine should be clear to light yellow in color, but it can turn many different colors.  Causes range from the foods you eat to the liquids you drink to the diseases and infections you might have.

Orange Urine

Some different medications can cause orange urine, like rifampin and phenazopyridine.  This color urine can also indicate that you’ve got some problems with your bile duct or liver.  If it is lighter yellow orange urine, you may just be dehydrated.

Dark Orange or Brown Urine

Infections of the bladder such as UTI infections or even kidney problems could be to blame.  Some foods- like fava beans- are known to turn your urine a little bit brown.  Medications for malaria can turn your urine brown as well.  If your urine is dark orange or brown, you could have one of several serious conditions, such as jaundice, rhabdomyolysis, or Gilbert’s Syndrome.

Pink or Purple Urine

If you like beets, you’ve probably seen this in the toilet.  It’s known in the medical community as beeturia.

If you are already on a UTI infection medication, especially pyridium, you may end up with pink urine.

Green Urine

Do you eat a lot of asparagus?  It can cause green urine.  Medications such as propofol, an anesthetic, can also do this, as well as certain multivitamin regimens.  Pseudomonas, a bacterium that causes bladder and urinary tract infections, can also cause green urine.


Red or Brown Urine

This color can be the result of porphyria, a skin (or nervous system) condition. Click MORE below to get more information on red urine.


Blue Urine

Blue urine color is often produced by medications containing methylene blue. Examples of diseases treated with methylene blue medications include malaria, plaque psoriasis, AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma, cancer, West Nile virus, Hepatitis C and carbon monoxide or cianide poisoning, to name a few.

In babies, blue urine can be caused by blue diaper syndrome, a rare disorder where the child’s body has difficulty digesting the amino acid tryptophan.

Hypercalcemia, a condition where you have too much calcium in your blood, can also cause your urine to turn blue. Hypercalcemia is not a disease in and of itself; it is a condition that may be a symptom of disease.

Dark Yellow Urine

You are most likely dehydrated if you have dark yellow urine.  If you’ve been exercising a lot and not drinking enough water, you could start seeing dark yellow urine when you urinate.  Down a few glasses of water and see if that doesn’t get rid of the problem. Another possibility, though, is excessive amounts Vitamin B6 that is causing your urine to turn darker.


Yellow Orange Urine

Your body may have removed excess vitamins from your bloodstream.  Yellow orange urine can also happen from drinking too much alcohol.  Dehydration is to yet another cause of yellow orange urine, so don’t forget to make sure you are drinking enough water to stay hydrated.

Red urine

Blood in urine is called hematuria.  Blood in urine could be caused by a UTI infection, but there is also a small chance it could be an early sign of bladder cancer.  Many more things can also cause bloody urine, including medications, exercise, injury and kidney stones.  If you’re seeing blood in your urine, you should call your doctor to get some tests done.

Black Urine

Certain substances used in laxatives, such as senna or cascara, can cause black urine.

Black urine is sometimes a symptom of melanoma, in which case it is called melanuria.

Another possible cause is a rare genetic condition called alkaptonuria (AKA black urine disease). Alkaptonuria is a genetic disorder that causes the body to have trouble metabolizing tyrosine and phenylalanine. Black urine disease is more common in the Dominican Republic and Slovakia, compared to other countries in the world.

If you have urine that is black in color, you need to seek medical help.

What Do I Do Now?

So many things can make your urine change color, from common foods and medications, all the way to serious illnesses and even hereditary disorders.  If you’re urine is a different color than usual, call your doctor and get some tests run- it’s always better to be on the safe side.

Need to Find Out More About Urine Colors?

There are many great websites out there for those wanting all of the details on their specific urine color.

Urine Colors Website

Better Medicine Article on Urine Colors

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Filed under Colors of Urine, Infections

Blood in Your Urine

If you notice blood in your urine (which is called hematuria), you should consult your doctor.  Although in some cases blood in your urine is not serious, it can also be a sign of a medical problem.  It is difficult to tell if the blood in your urine is harmless or if it is a sign of a disease, but your doctor can order tests to figure out what is causing it.

If your doctor determines that the blood in your urine has been caused by a medical condition, you will likely be given a treatment to resolve the root cause of the problem.  Once the problem is gone, the blood in your urine should be, too.  There isn’t really a specific treatment for bloody urine itself.  It is usually treated as part of a wider problem.

There are several likely places where the blood in your urine may have come from.  The bladder, kidneys, ureters (which connect the kidneys and bladder) or the urethra (which carries urine out of the body from the bladder) are all possibilities.  It is also possible that the blood came from somewhere else entirely, such as a cut in the skin that is bleeding or the vagina.

What Conditions Are Associated with Blood in Urine?

You can sometimes see blood in your urine- this will turn it an abnormal color, such as red, brownish red, pink or the color of tea.  However, on some occasions the blood isn’t visible and you find out about it because it was found in a urine sample you gave. 

If you are female, it is possible that the blood in your urine is related to menstruation.  For a short period of time after a period, lab tests may find red blood cells in your urine sample. 
If you have blood in your urine in addition to other symptoms, the likelihood that a medical condition is causing it is higher.  The following are possible causes of blood in urine:
• Kidney or bladder stones (urinary stones). Other symptoms you may experience include severe pain in the pelvic area or abdominal pain.

• Kidney infection. This is also known as pyelonephritis. Symptoms include lower back pain, fever and chills.

• Bladder or urinary tract infections (UTI). Symptoms of UTIs vary, but commonly include frequent urge to urinate and pain during urination. Babies that have urinary tract infections may run a fever, lose interest in eating and display signs of irritability.

• Enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. Early stage prostate cancer may not have any symptoms. Later, symptoms such as difficulty urinating, swelling in the legs, discomfort in the pelvic area and bone pain may be present.

• Sickle cell anemia. This disease is present at birth, but symptoms may not show until a few months later. Symptoms can be extreme and life-threatening. They include restriction of blood flow to organs or extremities, pain and many other serious symptoms. 

• Cystic kidney diseases. There are dozens of different types of cystic kidney diseases. All involve cysts on the kidneys. Some become apparent early in life, while others show up after age 50.

• Glomerulonephritis.  This is an inflammation in the kidneys. 

• Tumors in the urinary tract or prostate.

• Injury to the kidneys.

• Extremely vigorous exercise.

•Some medications, such as penicillin, heparin, phenazopyridine, cyclophosphamide and aspirin.

Foods & Dyes Can Make Urine Look Like It Has Blood In It

Some food dyes can turn your urine red or orange, which might look like your urine has blood in it.  Sometimes people will not realize they have ingested food dyes.  This is often the case when they take a product like AZO, an over-the-counter medication for urinary pain.  The change in urine color caused by food dyes is harmless and will go away once you stop ingesting the dye.

If you eat a lot of beets, it can turn your urine red.

Reasons You May Have Blood in Your Urine

There are many medical conditions that can make your urine bloody, and you need to know what they are if you’re seeing red in the toilet:

• UTI Infection
• Kidney Stones
• Bladder Stones
• Trauma
• Clotting
• Medications
• Cancer

Blood in urine is related to all of these conditions. If you’re seeing red when you should be seeing yellow, call your physician and schedule an appointment.  Don’t assume hematuria will go away on its own, especially if you are a bit older.

To find out the cause of your bloody urine for sure, you’ll have to see your doctor. Without the appropriate tests, it is difficult to tell what might be causing the problem.

If you’ve recently experienced any type of trauma, perhaps from a car accident or sports injury, you may very well have bloody urine for that reason.

Seniors especially should pay attention to any blood in their urine.  Men who are over the age of 50 should always get regular prostate checks to ensure prostate health.


Urinary Tract Infections

Cloudy Urine

Red Urine

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Filed under Bladder & Liver Diseases, Colors of Urine, Infections, Kidney

Red Urine


red urineUrine that appears red in color could be a sign of a serious health problem.

There are many reasons your urine might turn red. Foods known to make your urine red or pink include blackberries, rhubarb and beets. This is due to the fact that these foods contain anthocyanins. If the cause of your red urine is the foods you’ve eaten, the unusual color will go away in a day or two. It is harmless.

 Medications that Cause Red Urine
Certain medications can turn your urine red. If you’ve just started a new medication, check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if red urine is a side effect of your medication. Some medications known to cause red urine are:

  • Rifampin– an anti-biotic
  • Pyridium (phenazopyridine)- often an ingredient in medications for relief of urinary pain
  • Senna– sometimes an ingredient in laxatives
  • Compazine– an anti-nausea medication
  • Coumadin (warfarin)- a blood thinner
  • Aspirin– a common pain reliever
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)- an anti-seizure medication
  • Quinine (Quinerva, Quinite)- an anti-malaria drug that is also a component of tonic water and bitter lemon
  • Some tranquilizers and laxatives can turn urine a reddish color.

More Causes of Red Urine
The most common causes of red urine (if not caused by diet or medications) are urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney stones.

Blood in urine can make it look red. If you have blood in your urine, there are several possible causes. See our page on Blood In Urine for more information.

Although they are not the most common causes, kidney disease or a tumor in the urinary tract can cause red urine.

Another rare cause can be Sickle Cell Anemia.

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Filed under Colors of Urine, Infections, Kidney