Urine color

Urine color
The color of urine is usually yellowish, clear, and a beer- like hue . Numerous conditions, pathological or otherwise, can alter these chromatic characteristics, giving the urine an unusual appearance.Foods can also interfere with urine color .

Non-pathological color changes of color

Role of food, drugs and sport

Foods that color urine

Let’s start with the simplest and most known variable: the amount of liquids introduced with the diet. If you drink a lot it is normal to observe a pale color of urine , more similar to water, while in conditions of thirst you can notice an amber yellow color . In these cases the chromatic alterations depend on the simple dilution or concentration of the main pigment of the urine, called urochrome.
Still among the non-pathological conditions, the color of the urine, as well as its smell , can vary in response to the ingestion of certain foods. Consuming rhubarb or beets , for example, lends urinereddish hues . The same goes for feasting on prickly pears .

Heavy consumption of pumpkin or carrot juice can give urine an unusual orange hue . The reason lies in the exaggerated intake of carotene , a precursor of vitamin A , which can also lead to carotenosis ( yellow coloration of the skin and especially of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, but not of the whites of the eyes, a condition , this, which distinguishes it from jaundice ) .Lastly, asparagus , in addition to giving the urine a characteristic smell, can turn its color towards greenish .


Urine can also take on an unusual color after taking certain medications or supplements. Some B vitamins , for example, when taken in high doses, give the urine a bright yellow, almost phosphorescent color . Pyramidone and other antirheumatic drugs give urine a homogeneous and bright pink color .

Some drugs ( cascara -based laxatives , phenacetin, phentoin, ibuprofen , methyldopa , rifampicin ) give the urine a red color . Others can make it closer to orange, such as the antibiotic rifampin, the blood thinner coumadin , phenazopyridine (used to treat urination disorders ), some laxatives, and some chemotherapy drugs.

Taking methylene blue as an antidote or contrast agent , the antidepressant amitriptyline , indomethacin (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug ), the antiulcer cimetidine , or the diuretic triamterene, gives urine a green to blue color.
Brown shades can be seen after taking the antimalarials chloroquine and pyrimethamine, the antibiotic metronidazole , nitrofurantoin (used as an antibacterial disinfectant of the urinary tract in urethritis, cystitisetc.), cascara or senna- based irritant laxatives and methocarbamol (a muscle relaxant useful in the presence of muscle spasms).


Particularly intense and prolonged physical effort is often associated with hematuria (presence of blood in the urine ). The disorder is most common among marathon and triathlete runners.

Pathological color changes

Diseases and color of urine

The color of the urine is mainly linked to the presence of urochrome, a pigment originating from the degradation of hemoglobin .

Red urine

HEMATURIA: presence of blood in the urine ( kidney stones , bladder stones, bladder inflammation , urinary infections, prostatic hypertrophy , kidney disease , tumors located in the bladder or kidney, abdominal trauma , urethral stricture , use of anticoagulant drugs ).

PORPHYRIA: clinical syndrome (or rather group of clinical syndromes) affecting the skin and the nervous system; it is accompanied by the emission of dark red urine, similar to wine .

Blue urine

FAMILY HYPERCALCEMIA or blue diaper syndrome: a rare hereditary disease that significantly increases blood calcium levels.

RUPTURE OF THE INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON used in the treatment of obesity

Dark brown urine

LIVER DISEASES : in the presence of an altered liver function , for example due to acute hepatitis or cirrhosis , the urine may turn dark brown. The rare hereditary disease alkaptonuria and glomerulonephritis can also lead to the same discoloration.

HEMOLYSIS, HEMOLYTIC CRISIS: such as that associated with favism .
MELANOMA : Presence of melanin in the urine.

SUPPLEMENTS: bearberry .

Cloudy, dirty gray, greenish urine

URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS and KIDNEY STONES: due to the presence of leukocytes ( pus ), mucus and bacteria .

When to See Your Doctor

  • If cloudy urine is associated with an urgent need to urinate, pain when urinating , fever , weakness, sweating , abdominal pain , and a foul odor, it is likely a urinary tract infection.
  • If the same symptoms are associated with red urine, it could be prostate problems .
  • If your urine turns dark in color and your skin and eyes turn yellow, it is probably due to liver disease. The same applies if the urine appears dark and the feces light (probable presence of gallstones ).
  • If your urine turns red in color and you feel, or have recently felt, sudden, severe pain in your side, usually on one side only, you may have kidney stones.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *