Urine – abnormal color; Discoloration of urine
Urine is a waste product, produced by the kidneys, which is excreted from the body through the urinary system. Normal urine color is pale yellow, transparent and odorless.
However, the color of urine can change depending on various factors., such as hydration levels, food intake and certain diseases. Abnormally colored urine may be cloudy, dark or blood-colored.
Causes of abnormal urine color
Several factors can cause abnormal urine color. Some of the most common reasons:
- Cloudy or milky urine is a sign of a urinary tract infection, which can also cause an unpleasant odor. Milky urine can also be caused by bacteria, crystals, fat, white or red blood cells or mucus in the urine.
- dark brown, but clear urine is a sign of liver disease, such as acute viral hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver , what causes excess bilirubin in the urine. It may also indicate severe dehydration or a condition, associated with muscle breakdown, known as rhabdomyolysis .
- Dehydration. When the body is dehydrated, urine becomes more concentrated, which results in a darker color.
- Eating. Certain foods can cause urine color to change.. For Example, beets can make urine pink or reddish, and asparagus can give urine a greenish tint.
- Medicines. Some medications, such as rifampin, can turn urine orange, while some laxatives can turn urine green.
- Medical disorders. Some Medical Problems May Cause Abnormal Urine Color. Some of the most common include:
- Urinary tract infection (IMP). UTIs can lead to, that the urine becomes cloudy, dark or bloody.
- liver disease. Liver disease can lead to, that the urine will turn dark brown.
- Hematuria. Hematuria is a disease, in which there is blood in the urine, causing it to turn pink, red or brown.
- Stones in the kidneys. Kidney stones can cause urine to turn pink, red or brown.
- Jaundice. Jaundice is a condition, in which the skin and eyes turn yellow, and urine may turn dark yellow or brown.
- Porphyria. Porphyria is a rare genetic disease, in which urine turns dark purple or reddish brown.
Symptoms of abnormal urine color
Abnormal urine color is often the only symptom, associated with this disease. But, if abnormal urine color is caused by an underlying medical condition, other symptoms may be present. For Example, if the abnormal color of urine is caused by a urinary tract infection, other symptoms may be present, such as painful urination, frequent urination and fever.
When to contact a healthcare professional
If you notice, that your urine has an abnormal color, and the reason for this is not obvious, you should see a doctor. Besides, if you are experiencing any other symptoms, such as painful urination or fever, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Questions, that your doctor may ask
Your doctor may ask you a few questions during your appointment., to determine the cause of abnormal urine color. Some of the questions, that your doctor may ask, include:
- When did you first notice abnormal urine color??
- Have you experienced any other symptoms?
- You have recently started taking any new medications or supplements?
- How much water do you drink per day?
- Have you taken any products recently?, which can cause discoloration of urine?
Diagnosis of abnormal color of urine
To diagnose the cause of abnormal urine color, The doctor may do several tests., eg:
- Analysis of urine. Urinalysis can help determine, are there any abnormalities in the urine, such as blood or bacteria.
- Blood tests. Blood tests can help determine, whether there are any underlying diseases, which can cause abnormal urine color.
- Imaging Tests. Imaging Tests, such as ultrasound or computed tomography, can help determine, are there any abnormalities in the urinary system.
Treatment for abnormal urine color
Treatment for abnormal urine color depends on the underlying cause. If abnormal urine color is due to dehydration, drinking more water can help solve the problem. If the cause is a disease, the doctor will develop a treatment plan, disease-specific. For Example, If the cause is a urinary tract infection, They can be treated with antibiotics. If the cause is kidney stones, may require pain medication and/or surgery.
Home treatment for abnormal urine color
If the cause of the abnormal color of urine is not related to the underlying disease, there are several things, which you can make at home, to improve the color of urine. These include:
- Drink plenty of water. Hydration can help prevent overly concentrated urine, which can lead to darkening.
- Refusal of certain products. If you notice, that certain foods cause your urine to change color, avoiding these foods may help improve the color of your urine..
- Taking medication as prescribed. If you are taking any medications, what causes your urine to change color, taking them as directed by your doctor may help improve the color of your urine.
Prevention of abnormal color of urine
To prevent abnormal urine color, it is important to maintain a good level of hydration, drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Food Avoidance, which can cause discoloration of urine, such as beets and asparagus, may also help prevent abnormal urine color. Besides, it is important to take medication, prescribed by a doctor, and seek medical attention, if you notice any change in the color or smell of your urine.
Abnormal urine color can be caused by several factors., including dehydration., food intake, medicines and health conditions. If you notice, that your urine has an abnormal color, and the reason for this is not obvious, you should see a doctor. Your doctor will run some tests, to diagnose the cause of abnormal urine color and develop a treatment plan, condition based.
Besides, drinking large amounts of water, avoiding certain foods and taking medications as prescribed can help prevent abnormal urine color.
Used sources and literature
Elsamra SE. Evaluation of the urologic patient: history and physical examination. In: Party AW, Domochowski RR, Kavousi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 1.
Landry DW, Bazari H. Approach to the patient with renal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 106.