ABC Medical Center > Urine color

What is Urine color?

21:53 - 4 May , 2021


Urine color is variable because it depends on various factors, such as the amount of water and food consumed, as well as medications ingested, altering urine dilution, making it lighter or darker, an aspect that also has to do with the concentration of urochrome, which is a pigment present in urine.

Urinary shades range from light amber to dark brown, going through all the intermediate variations between both.

Although many times urine coloration will be due to the intake of foods such as beets or drugs that can make the urine look orange, red, or blue, sometimes the color changes can be caused by conditions such as hepatitis, diabetes, urinary tract infections, porphyria, or cancer.

Here is a brief description of the main colorations and their possible cause:

Pink or reddish:

  • Hematuria: the presence of blood in the urine due to infections, kidney stones and cysts, prostatitis, or cancer.
  • Food: red fruits and beets.
  • Drugs: certain antibiotics and laxatives.
  • Strenuous physical activity.


  • Drugs: anti-inflammatories, laxatives, and chemotherapy.
  • Conditions: liver or biliary problems.


  • Food: food colorings and dyes used for kidney and bladder tests.
  • Drugs: antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, and anesthetics.
  • Conditions: urinary tract infections and hypercalcemia.

Dark brown:

  • Food: excessive consumption of foods such as aloe or beans.
  • Drugs: some antimalarials, antibiotics, laxatives, and muscle relaxants.
  • Conditions: kidney and liver conditions, as well as urinary infections.
  • Strenuous physical activity.

Signs and symptoms Urine color

  • Hematuria:
    It is usually caused by kidney or gallstones, as well as urinary infections, and is accompanied by discomfort or pain. When there is bleeding that does not cause pain, it may be a sign of cancer.
  • Orange or dark brown urine:
    It can be a sign of liver diseases such as hepatitis if it is accompanied by jaundice and light-colored stools.

Diagnosis and treatment Urine color

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination and request the following tests:

  • Urine test: the levels of protein, minerals, bacteria, and the presence of blood can be verified.
  • Blood test: To measure creatinine and urea nitrogen levels to confirm possible kidney and liver damage.

The treatment will be established based on the condition that has caused the urine color change.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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