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Urine color

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 10, 2023.

Overview

Regular urine color ranges from clear to pale yellow. But certain things can change the color.

Foods such as beets, blackberries and fava beans can turn urine pink or red, for example. And some medicines can give urine vivid tones, such as orange or greenish-blue.

An unusual urine color also can be a sign of a health problem. For instance, some urinary tract infections can turn urine milky white. Kidney stones, some cancers and other diseases sometimes make urine look red due to blood.

Symptoms

The regular color of urine varies. It depends on how much water you drink. Fluids dilute the yellow pigments in urine. So the more you drink, the clearer your urine looks. When you drink less, the yellow color becomes stronger.

But urine can turn colors far beyond what's typical, including:

When to see a doctor

See your health care provider if you have:

Causes

A change in urine color is often caused by certain medicines, foods or food dyes. Sometimes it's caused by a health problem.

Here are some unusual urine colors along with things that can cause them. Keep in mind that colors can look slightly different to different people. For instance, what looks red to you might look orange to someone else.

Red or pink urine

Red urine isn't always a sign of a serious health problem. Red or pink urine can be caused by:

Orange urine

Orange urine can be caused by:

Blue or green urine

Blue or green urine can be caused by:

Dark brown or cola-colored urine

Brown urine can be caused by:

Cloudy or murky urine

Urinary tract infections and kidney stones can cause urine to look cloudy or murky.

Female urinary system

Your urinary system includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. The urinary system removes waste from the body through urine. The kidneys are located toward the back of the upper abdomen. They filter waste and fluid from the blood and produce urine. Urine moves from the kidneys through narrow tubes to the bladder. These tubes are called the ureters. The bladder stores urine until it's time to urinate. Urine leaves the body through another small tube called the urethra.

Male urinary system

Your urinary system includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. The urinary system removes waste from the body through urine. The kidneys are located toward the back of the upper abdomen. They filter waste and fluid from the blood and produce urine. Urine moves from the kidneys through narrow tubes to the bladder. These tubes are called the ureters. The bladder stores urine until it's time to urinate. Urine leaves the body through another small tube called the urethra.

Risk factors

A change in urine color that isn't due to foods or medicine could be caused by a health problem. Some things that put you at risk of health problems that can affect urine color are:

Diagnosis

Your health care provider will likely ask you about your health and do a physical exam. You also may need tests, including:

Treatment

Treatment, if needed, will depend on the health problem that causes the change in urine color.

Lifestyle and home remedies

When you're dehydrated, your urine becomes darker in color. If this happens, it might mean you need more fluids. Make sure you drink enough fluids daily to stay hydrated and keep yourself healthy.

Preparing for an appointment

You'll likely start by seeing your primary care provider. In some cases, you might be referred to a doctor who specializes in urinary tract disorders, called a urologist.

Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.

What you can do

When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do to prepare. Make a list of:

For urine color, questions to ask include:

What to expect from your doctor

Your health care provider is likely to ask you questions, such as:

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