Urine Discoloration and Diagnosis

Urine discoloration and their diagnosis

The normal urine color in a healthy individual ranges from pale yellow to amber-colored urine. The darkness of your urine is based on your hydration status. Pale yellow urine means you are more hydrated and dark amber urine means you are less hydrated.

Your urine may show a different color based on what you have eaten, the drugs you may be consuming or the condition you may be suffering from.

The following urine chart, the Dr. Kaaki’s urine color chart may be helpful as a comparison: 


The following are the various possibilities when your urine appears to be discolored:

Red or pink urine

Red or pink urine can be caused by:

  • Factors that can cause urinary blood (hematuria) include urinary tract infections, an enlarged prostate, cancerous and noncancerous tumors, kidney cysts, long-distance running, and kidney or bladder stones.
  • Beets, blackberries and rhubarb can turn urine red or pink.
  • Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), an antibiotic often used to treat tuberculosis, can turn urine reddish orange — as can phenazopyridine (Pyridium), a drug that numbs urinary tract discomfort, and laxatives containing senna.

Orange urine

Orange urine can result from:

  • 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 urine can indicate a problem with your liver or bile duct, especially if you also have light-colored stools. Dehydration, which can concentrate your urine and make it much deeper in color, can also make your urine appear orange.

Blue or green urine

Blue or green urine can be caused by:

  • Some brightly colored food dyes can cause green urine. Dyes used for some tests of kidney and bladder function can turn urine blue.
  • A number of medications produce 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 the disorder 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:

  • Eating large amounts of fava beans, rhubarb or aloe can cause dark brown urine.
  • A number of drugs can darken urine, including the antimalarial drugs chloroquine and primaquine, the antibiotics metronidazole (Flagyl) and nitrofurantoin (Furadantin), laxatives containing cascara or senna, and methocarbamol — a muscle relaxant.
  • Medical conditions.Some liver and kidney disorders and some urinary tract infections can turn urine dark brown.
  • Extreme exercise.Muscle injury from extreme exercise can result in pink or cola-colored urine and kidney damage.

Cloudy or murky urine

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