- What is the normal color of urine
- The urinary tract and how it works
- What color is urine supposed to be
- What does dark urine mean?
- What does the color of urine mean
- Discolored urine diagnosis
- Discolored urine treatment
What is the normal color of urine
Urine is basically human waste, filtered by kidneys and removed from your body through the urethra. Urine contains many by-products, poisonous soluble substances, toxins, inorganic salts, hormones, proteins that need to be extracted from your blood. Urine’s rich structure has been used by doctors for centuries in diagnosing patients’ health state as it can provide essential data about diseases and diet. Besides, certain visible changes in the urine, such as its color, clarity, consistency or odor can give important information about your body and eventual abnormalities. So it is worth having at least basic knowledge about your urine and be aware of what some changes in it tell you.
Urine can be a variety of colors, most often shades of yellow, from very pale or colorless to very dark or amber. Unusual or abnormal urine colors can be the result of a disease process, several medications (e.g., multivitamins can turn urine bright yellow), or the result of eating certain foods. For example, some people can have red-colored urine after eating beets; the color is from the natural pigment of beets and is not a cause for worry. However, red-colored urine can also occur when blood is present in the urine and can be an indicator of disease or damage to some part of the urinary system. Another example is yellow-brown or greenish-brown urine that may be a sign of bilirubin in the urine.
Pigments and other compounds in certain foods and medications can change your urine color. Beets, berries and fava beans are among the foods most likely to affect the color. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications give urine vivid tones, such as red, yellow or greenish blue.
Urine clarity refers to how clear the urine is. Usually, laboratorians report the clarity of the urine using one of the following terms: clear, slightly cloudy, cloudy, or turbid. “Normal” urine can be clear or cloudy. Substances that cause cloudiness but that are not considered unhealthy include mucus, sperm and prostatic fluid, cells from the skin, normal urine crystals, and contaminants such as body lotions and powders. Other substances that can make urine cloudy, like red blood cells, white blood cells, or bacteria, indicate a condition that requires attention.
An unusual urine color can be a sign of disease. For instance, deep red to brown urine is an identifying characteristic of porphyria, a rare, inherited disorder of red blood cells.
To perform the chemical examination of your urine, most clinical laboratories use commercially prepared test strips with test pads that have chemicals impregnated into them. The laboratory scientist dips the strip into urine, chemical reactions change the colors of the pads within seconds to minutes, and the laboratory scientist determines the result for each test. To reduce timing errors and eliminate variations in color interpretation, automated instruments are frequently used to “read” the results of the test strip.
The degree of color change on a test pad can give an estimate of the amount of substance present. For example, a slight color change in the test pad for protein may indicate a small amount of protein present in the urine whereas a deep color change may indicate a large amount.
The chemical examination is often done in conjunction with or may be followed by a microscopic examination of the urine if there are any abnormal results. Results from both sets of tests are then considered together for interpretation. Abnormal findings may be followed by additional urine and/or blood tests.
The most frequently performed chemical tests using reagent test strips are described below:
Urine specific gravity is a measure of urine concentration. This test simply indicates how concentrated the urine is. Specific gravity measurements are a comparison of the amount of substances dissolved in urine as compared to pure water. If there were no substances present, the specific gravity of the urine would be 1.000 (the same as pure water). Since all urine has some substances in it, a urine SG of 1.000 is not possible. If a person drinks excessive quantities of water in a short period of time or gets an intravenous (IV) infusion of large volumes of fluid, then the urine specific gravity may be very close to that of water. The upper limit of the test pad, a specific gravity of 1.035, indicates concentrated urine, one with many substances in a limited amount of water.
Knowing the urine concentration helps healthcare practitioners understand whether a urine specimen they are evaluating is the best one to detect a particular substance. For example, if they are looking for very small amounts of protein, a concentrated morning urine specimen would be the best sample.
As with specific gravity, there are typical but not “abnormal” urine pH values. The urine is usually slightly acidic, about pH 6, but can range from 4.5-8. The kidneys play an important role in maintaining the acid-base balance of the body. Therefore, any condition that produces acids or bases in the body, such as acidosis or alkalosis, or the ingestion of acidic or basic foods can directly affect urine pH.
Some of the substances dissolved in urine will precipitate out to form crystals when the urine is acidic; others will form crystals when the urine is basic. If crystals form while the urine is being produced in the kidneys, a kidney stone or “calculus” can develop. By modifying urine pH through diet or medications, the formation of these crystals can be reduced or eliminated.
This test screens for bilirubin in the urine. Bilirubin is not present in the urine of normal, healthy individuals. It is a waste product that is produced by the liver from the hemoglobin of red blood cells that are broken down and removed from circulation. It becomes a component of bile, a fluid that is released into the intestines to aid in food digestion.
In certain liver diseases, such as biliary obstruction or hepatitis, excess bilirubin can build up in the blood and is eliminated in urine. The presence of bilirubin in urine is an early indicator of liver disease and can occur before clinical symptoms such as jaundice develop.
The results of this test will be considered along with the result of urobilinogen. If positive, the healthcare practitioner will likely follow up with other laboratory tests, such as a liver panel, to help establish a diagnosis.
This test screens for urobilinogen in the urine. The results are considered along with those for urine bilirubin.
Urobilinogen is normally present in urine in low concentrations. It is formed in the intestine from bilirubin, and a portion of it is absorbed back into the blood. Positive test results may indicate liver diseases such as viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver damage due to drugs or toxic substances, or conditions associated with increased red blood cell destruction (hemolytic anemia). When urine urobilinogen is low or absent in a person with urine bilirubin and/or signs of liver dysfunction, it can indicate the presence of hepatic or biliary obstruction.
The urinary tract and how it works
The urinary tract is the body’s drainage system for removing urine, which is composed of wastes and extra fluid. In order for normal urination to occur, all body parts in the urinary tract need to work together in the correct order.
Kidneys. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. Every day, the kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine. The kidneys work around the clock; a person does not control what they do.
Bladder. The bladder, located in the pelvis between the pelvic bones, is a hollow, muscular, balloon-shaped organ that expands as it fills with urine. Although a person does not control kidney function, a person does control when the bladder empties. Bladder emptying is known as urination. The bladder stores urine until the person finds an appropriate time and place to urinate. A normal bladder acts like a reservoir and can hold 1.5 to 2 cups of urine. How often a person needs to urinate depends on how quickly the kidneys produce the urine that fills the bladder. The muscles of the bladder wall remain relaxed while the bladder fills with urine. As the bladder fills to capacity, signals sent to the brain tell a person to find a toilet soon. During urination, the bladder empties through the urethra, located at the bottom of the bladder.
The urinary tract is important because it filters wastes and extra fluid from the bloodstream and removes them from the body. Normal, functioning kidneys:
- prevent the buildup of wastes and extra fluid in the body
- keep levels of electrolytes, such as potassium and phosphate, stable
- make hormones that help regulate blood pressure
- make red blood cells
- keep bones strong
The ureters, bladder, and urethra move urine from the kidneys and store it until releasing it from the body.
What affects the amount of urine a person produces?
The amount of urine a person produces depends on many factors, such as the amounts of liquid and food a person consumes and the amount of fluid lost through sweat and breathing. Certain medications, medical conditions, and types of food can also affect the amount of urine produced. Children produce less urine than adults; the amount produced depends on their age.
Figure 1. Kidney location
Figure 2. Kidney anatomy
Figure 3. Kidney structure
Figure 4. Microcirculation of the kidney
Points to Remember
- The urinary tract is the body’s drainage system for removing urine, which is composed of wastes and extra fluid.
- In order for normal urination to occur, all body parts in the urinary tract need to work together in the correct order.
- The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist.
- Every day, the kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine.
- Ureters are the thin tubes of muscle—one on each side of the bladder—that carry urine from each of the kidneys to the bladder.
- The bladder, located in the pelvis between the pelvic bones, is a hollow, muscular, balloon-shaped organ that expands as it fills with urine.
- Bladder emptying is known as urination.
- During urination, the bladder empties through the urethra, located at the bottom of the bladder.
- The urinary tract is important because it filters wastes and extra fluid from the bloodstream and removes them from the body.
- The ureters, bladder, and urethra move urine from the kidneys and store it until releasing it from the body.
- The amount of urine a person produces depends on many factors, such as the amounts of liquid and food a person consumes and the amount of fluid lost through sweat and breathing.
What color is urine supposed to be
Normal urine color varies, depending 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 color becomes more concentrated. Severe dehydration can produce urine the color of amber.
But urine can turn colors far beyond what’s normal, including red, blue, green, dark brown and cloudy white.
Figure 5. Urine color chart
The most common reason is simple dehydration. However, if you drink enough water and still have a change in urine color, don’t start to panic as it may also be caused by some food you consume, namely beets, blackberries, colorings, some vitamins. In other cases dark urine can represent a symptom of certain health issues, including STIs (sexually transmitted infections), internal bleeding and other disorders that require professional medical treatment.
Dehydration urine color
When you’re dehydrated, your urine becomes more concentrated and 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.
When your body does not receive enough water, it increases the concentration of urobilin in the urine. Urobilin is a waste product, resulting from hemoglobin breakdown, necessary for blood cells’ renewal.
What does dark urine mean?
Normal urine is clear in appearance and has a straw-yellow color which comes from a pigment called urochrome. As you already know, dark urine can refer to multiple health issues, from lack of water to serious health conditions. If you observe your urine that seems darker than usual, first make sure you drink enough water as it is the most common reason for it. Try to remember if you have eaten something that is normally causing dark urine, particularly beets, blackberries, asparagus, or have taken some drugs. If none of this works for you, do not hesitate to pay a visit to a doctor as there might be a dangerous problem behind the symptom. Some diseases require immediate attention and can develop complications if not treated on early stages. Remember, only a doctor can provide you with comprehensive diagnosis.
Certain types of foods and medications have the ability to change the color of urine. Carotene containing foods, food colorings, berries, aloe, fava beans, rhubarb, beets, laxatives, vitamin B complex, drugs (example: Pyridium, anti malarial drugs, iron supplements, levodopa, methocarbamol) etc. can change the urine color leading to darker urine. Some disease and health conditions also changes the urine color into a darker one. These include- bleeding into the urine, liver disorders, kidney disorders, hemolytic anemia , porphyrias, urinary stone, melanoma, urinary tract infection etc. If you see any change in urine color, don’t panic and check whether it is due to your food habit or medication. If the color change is not related to foods or medication, then you should consult with a doctor immediately.
Common causes of dark urine
Here is a list of causes of dark urine in order from the most common to the least ones:
- Jaundice: Jaundice is term which is used to describe yellowish discoloration of skin and sclerae . jaundice occurs due to an excess of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment. In jaundice, the body fluids may also turn into yellow color.
- Dehydration: Dehydration occurs when your body loses more amount of fluid than you take in, as a result the organ , cells and tissues of your body can not carry out their normal function because there is insufficient amount of water. People of any age group can get dehydrated, but younger children and older people are more vulnerable to dehydration because they suffer from more complications. The commonest cause of fluid loss from the body is excessive sweating , commonest cause of dehydration in younger children is severe diarrhea and vomiting. Every day an average non-active person should take 8 to 10 glasses of water in order to avoid dehydration. Physically active person such as athletes, construction workers, people exposed to more temperature etc should drink more water than an average non-active person. Dehydration can be mild or severe. Severe dehydration causes serious complications. Mild dehydration can be corrected at home but severe dehydration needs to be treated immediately under special care settings.
- Hepatitis: Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver. There are several causes of hepatitis, but the most common cause of hepatitis is viral infection. The viral infection of liver that is called hepatitis is classified into five types. They are hepatitis A,B,C,D & E.
- Hepatitis A is mild type of hepatitis. It is commonly transmitted by hepatitis A virus contaminated food or drink.
- Hepatitis B is transmitted through infectious body fluids such blood, semen, saliva etc. wound caused by injection syringe, razor etc which is contaminated with hepatitis B virus can also transmit this disease. Currently 350 million people all over the world is suffering from this chronic disease.
- Hepatitis C is a severe form of hepatitis. It is transmitted by using contaminated syringe or having unprotected sex.
- Hepatitis D is also a severe viral infection. It is a rare disease and it can’t occur without the help of hepatitis B virus.
- Hepatitis E is transmitted through contaminated water. It is found in those areas which have poor sanitation. Hepatitis E is a common disease all over the world.
- Cirrhosis: Liver cirrhosis is characterized by loss of normal hepatic architecture due to diffuse hepatic fibrosis with nodular regeneration. Morphologically cirrhosis is of two types. They are micronodular cirrhosis and macronodular cirrhosis. Chronic hepatitis C infection and alcohol abuse are the commonest cause of liver cirrhosis. Obesity is also a risk factor for developing liver cirrhosis. The common symptoms of cirrhosis include decreased appetite, epistaxis, weight loss, anorexia, weakness, jaundice etc. In more severe state the following symptoms can be seen. They are confusion, abdominal swelling, swelling in the legs, gynecomastia, breast atrophy in female, impotence etc.
- Porphyria: Porphyrias are a group of rare hereditary disorders of blood. People having porphyrias lack some specific enzyme and can not make heme which is a component of hemoglobin. As a result porphyrin accumulate in the blood. Porphyria is a genetic disease. It ia caused by an abnormal gene which is inherited from one of the parents. There are some risk factors for porphyrias. They are drug, sunlight, infection, alcohol abuse etc. Porphyrias are of two types. They are hepatic and erythropoietic. Symptoms of porphyrias include abdominal pain, light sensitivity, neuropathy and hypertension.
- Hemolytic anemia: Hemolytic anemia can be described as a condition in which red blood cells are removed from circulation blood before completing their normal life span. Hemolytic anemia is of two types. They are Extrinsic and Intrinsic hemolytic anemia. In extrinsic hemolytic anemia, the red blood cells are trapped and destroyed in the spleen. Some infections and tumors also can destroy these red blood cells. In intrinsic hemolytic anemia, defective red blood cells are produced in the body. Sign and symptoms of hemolytic anemia include- pale skin, fatigue, fever, confusion, dizziness, lethargy and lightheadedness. The common methods for treating hemolytic anemia are – blood transfusion, intravenous immunoglobulin, corticosteroid therapy and surgery.
- Gallstones: Gallstones are not exactly stones, they are some solid materials which deposit in the gallbladder. Many people have gallstones and they might never know it until it blocks their bile duct and cause severe pain. Gallstones consist of cholesterol, salt or bilirubin. Gallstones may vary in their size. Their size can range from size of a grain to the size of an apricot. 80% gallstones are made of cholesterol and 20% gallstones are made of calcium salts and bilirubin. Risk factors for gallstones include being overweight or obese, eating high fat or cholesterol diet, low fiber diet, diabetes mellitus, cirrhosis of liver, being female, age 60 or above and family history of gall stones.
- Glomerulonephritis: Glomerulonephritis is the inflammation of glomeruli of your kidneys. Glomerulonephritis can be life threatening and it may damage your kidney glomeruli which will eventually lead to kidney failure. Acute glomerulonephritis can be caused by strep throat, tooth abscess, systemic lupus erythematosus, goodpasture syndrome and polyarteritis nodosa. Chronic glomerulonephritis does not have a clear cause. Symptoms of acute glomerulonephritis are puffy face, less micturition, hematuria, and high blood pressure. Symptoms of chronic glomerulonephritis are – blood in urine, hypertension, nocturia, swelling in ankle and face, abdominal pain and frequent epistaxis.
- Rhabdomyolysis: Rhabdomyolysis can be defined as a condition in which damaged skeletal muscle breakdown occurs. As a result of muscle breakdown, myoglobin is released in the bloodstream. Too much myoglobin can damage your kidneys. Sign and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis are muscle weakness, low urine output, bruise, fatigue, dark urine, fever, malaise, nausea and vomiting.
- Urethral Stricture: Normally the urethra is wide enough for free passage of urine. But, if the urethra narrows , it obstruct the urinary outflow. This medical condition is known as urethral stricture. This condition mainly affects men. Cause of urethral stricture- tissue inflammation, presence of scar tissue, having penile implant, a straddle injury, pelvic fracture, catheter insertion, radiation injury etc. Sign and symptoms of urethral stricture:
- less urine volume
- reduced urine outflow
- frequent micturition
- burning sensation during urination
- urinary incontinence
- urethral discharge
- penile swelling
- inability to micurate (requires immediate treatment)
- Biliary Obstruction (Bile duct obstruction): It is a medical condition which is characterized by blockage of blie ducts. If the blockage remains untreated for a long time , it may lead to life threatening liver disese. The causes of biliary obstruction are gallstones, inflammation in the bile ducts, trauma, biliary stricture, enlarged lymph nodes, pancreatitis, hepatitis and liver cirrhosis. Symptoms of biliary obstruction is dark urine, light colored feces, jaundice, itching sensation, pain in the upper right quadrant of abdomen, fever, nausea, vomiting and weight loss.
- ABO blood incompatability reaction: This is a medical condition which occur if you get wrong type of blood during blood transfusion. It is a very rare condition, but if it occurs, it may be fatal. This type of reaction occurs due to the response of your immune system. Cause of ABO incompatability – transfusion of wrong type of blood. Sign and symptoms include fever and chill, breathing difficulty, muscle aching, nausea, chest pain, pain in the back and abdomen, jaundice and hematuria.
- Heat stroke emergencies: Heatstroke is an emergency condition that occurs due to exposure of a person to hot weather and sun. Heat stroke emergencies have three stages. They are – heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Sign and symptoms of heat emergencies are muscle pain, tightness, muscle cramps, dizziness, confusion, fast breathing, tachycardia, headache, extreme thirst, nausea, heavy sweating, fainting, hallucinations, rapid but weak pulse, dry skin and seizures.
- Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia: Autoimmune hemolytic anemia is a group of disorders in which antibody from your body mistakenly attach to your own red blood cells and destroy the red blood cells by the action of own immune system. As a result the red blood cells can’t complete their normal life span. Causes of autoimmune hemolytic anemia – 50% of autoimmune hemolytic anemia are idiopathic. Some illness can cause autoimmune hemolytic anemia. They are leukemia, systemic lupus erythematosus and infectious mononucleosis. Sign and symptoms are: excessive fatigue and weakness, pale skin, tachycardia, jaundice, dark urine, abdominal fullness, headache, muscle pain, diarrhea and vomiting.
- Chlamydia Infection: It is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by bacteria. In early stages Chlamydia infection does not exert symptoms. It causes health in the later stages. Causes of Chlamydia infections – unprotected sex, newborn baby can get this infection from infected mother during the birth process. Symptoms burning sensation during micturition, yellow or green discharge from penis or vagina, lower abdominal pain, testicular pain and dyspareunia.
- Alcoholic liver disease: If a person consumes excessive amount of alcohol for an extended period of time, an inflammatory condition occurs which is known as alcoholic liver disease. Continuous alcohol consumption may lead to cirrhosis , or even liver failure. Symptoms of alcoholic liver disease changes in appetite, dry mouth, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, abdominal swelling, pain in the abdomen, jaundice, confusion, fever and fatigue.
- Renal cell carcinoma: Renal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer of kidney found in adults all over the world. renal cell carcinoma is a very fast growing cancer. It can spread to the lungs and other surrounding organs. Common causes and risk factors for renal cell carcinoma: family history of renal cell carcinoma, hypertension, obesity, dialysis, smoking, PKD (polycystic kidney disease), Von Hippel-Lindau disease and chronic drug abuse. Symptoms of renal cell carcinoma are: hematuria, a lump in the abdomen, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, visual disturbance, pain in the renal angle, and excessive hair growth in females (hirsutism).
- G6PD Deficiency: Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is a genetic abnormality that is characterized by inadequate amount of G6PD ( glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) enzyme in circulating blood. Without this enzyme the red blood cells break down prematurely leading to hemolytic anemia. Causes of G6PD Deficiency: it is mainly a genetic disease. This disease is inherited from one or both parents. Symptoms are tachycardia, shortness of breath, dark urine, fever, fatigue, paleness, dizziness and jaundice.
- Malaria: Malaria is a serious and life-threatening disease that is caused by bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Causes of malaria bite of a female Anopheles mosquito which is infected by Plasmodium group of parasites transmission from mother to baby during birth and transmission by blood transfusion. Symptoms of malaria include moderate to severe shaking, chills, high fever followed by profuse sweating, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, muscle pain, convulsion, coma and dark urine.
- Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is mild type of hepatitis. It is commonly transmitted by hepatitis A virus contaminated food or drink Symptoms of Hepatitis A- Flu like symptoms (such as fever, fatigue, body ache), abdominal pain , dark urine, jaundice, loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss.
- Bladder stones: If concentrated urine, less water, more waste product are left in the bladder after micturition, some crystallized minerals are formed in the bladder which are known as bladder stones. Causes of bladder stones- Urinary tract infections, damaged urethra, enlarged prostate, neurogenic bladder, weak bladder and kidney stones. Symptoms of bladder stones are nocturia, lower abdominal pain, burning sensation during micturition and dark urine.
- Hepatitis C: Hepatitis C is a severe form of hepatitis. It is transmitted by using contaminated syringe or having unprotected sex.
- Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is transmitted through infectious body fluids such blood, semen and saliva, wound caused by injection syringe and razor, which is contaminated with hepatitis B virus can also transmit this disease. Currently 350 million people all over the world is suffering from this chronic disease.
- Hepatitis E: Hepatitis E is transmitted through contaminated water. It is found in those areas which have poor sanitation. Hepatitis E is a common disease all over the world.
- Hepatitis D: Hepatitis D is also a severe viral infection. It is a rare disease and it can’t occur without the help of hepatitis B virus.
- Acute Pancreatitis: Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas. It causes pain in upper quadrant of the abdomen and may radiate to the back. Causes of acute pancreatitis include immunological attack on the pancreas, pancreatic injury, gallbladder injury, cystic fibrosis, alcohol abuse, Kawasaki disease, mumps and Reye’s syndrome. Symptoms of acute pancreatitis are pain immediately after taking food or drinking, pain radiating from abdomen to back, persistent pain for several days, pain when lying on your back and the pain increases when sitting up.
- Sickle cell anemia: Sickle cell anemia is genetic disease which affects the red blood cells. It is also known as sickle cell disease. Normally the red blood cells are disk shaped, which makes it easy for them to travel through blood vessels. But in sickle cell disease the red blood cells are abnormal crescent shaped which makes them sticky and rigid. As a result the red blood cells get trapped in small vessels and can’t reach to different parts of the body. This causes severe pain and damage of tissues.
- Transitional Cell Carcinoma: It is the most common type of cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter. Symptoms of Transitional Cell Carcinoma are hematuria, persistent back pain, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, painful micturition and frequent micturition.
- Liver Cancer: Cancer occurring in the liver is called liver cancer. Liver cancers may classified into two types. They are primary liver cancers and secondary liver cancers. Primary liver cancera occur in liver cells, on the other hand secondary liver cancers occur due cancer cells which come to liver from another cancer site (metastasis). Different types of primary liver cancers: Hepatocellular carcinoma, Cholangio carcinoma, liver angiosarcoma and hepatoblastoma. Symptoms of liver cancers are abdominal pain and tenderness, jaundice, chalky white stools, nausea, vomiting, weakness and fatigue.
- Infectious Mononeucleosis: A group of disorders caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), is known as infectious mononeucleosis. The virus is commonly spread through saliva. Symptoms of infectious mononeucleosis are fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fatigue, muscle weakness and night sweat.
- Breast Milk Jaundice (Newborn Jaundice): It is a very common condition in new born babies. The main cause is the high level of bilirubin in the circulating blood. Normally it occurs one week after birth which may persist up to 12 weeks. Normally it does not cause any problem and resolves on its own after a few days.
- Pancreatic cancer: Cancer occurring within the pancreatic tissues is known as pancreatic cancer. Risk factors are being obese, smoking, chronic alcoholism, high fat diet, less fruit and vegetables in diet, less exercise, diabetes, liver damage and a family history of pancreatic cancer. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer are: loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, low back pain, depression and jaundice.
- Goodpasture Syndrome: Goodpasture Syndrome is an auto-immune disease. In this condition your immune system mistakenly attack your lung walls and the filtering units of your kidneys. General symptoms include weakness, lethargy, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and pale appearance. When Goodpasture Syndrome attacks the lungs you can have a dry cough, hemoptysis and shortness of breath. When Goodpasture Syndrome attacks the kidneys, you can have a burning sensation during micturition, hematuria, swelling of hand and feet and hypertension.
- Idiopathic Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia: Idiopathic Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia is an autoimmune disorder in which immune system produces antibody and destroy the red blood cells rapidly. Symptoms include tachycardia, weakness, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, dark urine, headache, abdominal discomfort and diarrhea.
- Drug induced Immune Hemolytic Anemia: Drug induced Immune Hemolytic Anemia is a condition characterized by a medication which you are taking stimulates your immune system to mistakenly attack your red blood cells and destroy them. Some medications which may cause this are: Cephalosporin, dapsone, levodopa, methyldopa, levofloxacin, NSAIDs, penicillin and quinidine.
- Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria: Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria is a disorder which break down your red blood cells sooner than their normal life span. There is no known risk factor for this disease. It is not an inherited disease. This disease is caused by losing of a gene called PIGA.
- Thalassemia: Thalassemia is an inherited disorder of blood which is characterized by formation of an abnormal form of hemoglobin. Thalassemia has two main forms- Alpha thalassemia and Beta thalassemia. Symptoms of Thalassemia include paleness, fussiness, poor appetite, frequent infections, jaundice and enlarged glands.
- Yellow fever: Yellow fever is a flu-like disease which is spread by mosquitoes. Yellow fever is a very serious and potentially fatal disease. It is characterized by high fever and jaundice. Yellow fever is not curable but you can prevent this disease by taking yellow fever vaccine.
- Hepatorenal Syndrome: Hepatorenal Syndrome is a progressive kidney failure in people having severe liver damage commonly cirrhosis. There are two types- type 1 Hepatorenal Syndrome and type 2 Hepatorenal Syndrome. This an extremely serious condition of the body and should be treated immediately as an emergency condition. Symptoms of Hepatorenal Syndrome are confusion, delirium, nausea, vomiting, dementia, weight gain, jaundice, decreased urine output and dark urine.
- Autoimmune Hepatitis: Normally viruses attack liver cells. But, sometimes immune system attack the liver cells and causes chronic damage to the liver resulting in cirrhosis and ultimately liver failure. They are of two types- type I Autoimmune Hepatitis and type II Autoimmune Hepatitis. Symptoms of Autoimmune Hepatitis are hepatomegaly, spider angioma, abdominal swelling, dark urine, pale stools, jaundice, itching, fatigue, joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort.
What does the color of urine mean
Urine of an abnormal color appears different from the usual straw-yellow color. Abnormally colored urine may be cloudy, dark, or blood-colored.
Discolored urine is often caused by medications, certain foods or food dyes. In some cases, though, changes in urine color can be caused by specific health problems.
The color categories here are approximate, because what looks like red to you might look like orange to someone else.
Diseases that can change the urine color include:
- Acute cystitis
- Acute glomerulonephritis
- Acute tubular necrosis
- Acute unilateral obstructive uropathy
- Alport syndrome
- Carcinoma of the urinary bladder
- Chronic glomerulonephritis
- Chronic prostatitis
- Nephrolithiasis (kidney stones)
- Prostate cancer
- Renal cell carcinoma
Cloudy or milky urine is a sign of a urinary tract infection, which may also cause a bad smell. Milky urine may also be caused by bacteria, crystals, fat, white or red blood cells, or mucus in the urine.
Red or pink color urine
Despite its alarming appearance, red urine isn’t necessarily serious. Red or pink urine can be caused by:
- Blood. 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.
- Foods. Beets, blackberries and rhubarb can turn urine red or pink.
- Medications. 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.
- Urinary tract disorders that cause bleeding, such as cystitis, an enlarged prostate, a kidney or bladder tumor, tuberculosis, bladder stones, kidney infection, or kidney cancer such as Wilms’ tumor (in children) or hypernephroma
Orange color urine
Orange urine can result from:
- Medications. Medications that can turn urine orange include the anti-inflammatory drug sulfasalazine (Azulfidine); phenazopyridine (Pyridium); some laxatives; rifampin and certain chemotherapy drugs.
- B complex vitamins or carotene.
- 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 color urine
Blue or green urine can be caused by:
- Dyes. Some brightly colored food dyes can cause green urine. Dyes used for some tests of kidney and bladder function can turn urine blue.
- Medications. A number of medications produce blue or green urine, including amitriptyline, methylene blue, 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:
- Dark brown but clear urine is a sign of a liver disorder such as acute viral hepatitis or cirrhosis, which causes excess bilirubin in the urine.
- Food. Eating large amounts of fava beans, rhubarb or aloe can cause dark brown urine.
- Medications. 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.
Risk factors for discolored urine
Discolored urine that isn’t the result of foods or medications could be caused by a medical condition that affects urine color. Factors that put you at risk of medical conditions that can affect urine color include:
- Age. Tumors of the bladder and kidney, which can cause blood in the urine, are more common in older people. Men older than 50 occasionally have urinary blood due to an enlarged prostate gland.
- Family history. A family history of kidney disease or kidney stones makes it more likely that you’ll develop these problems. Both can cause blood in the urine.
- Strenuous exercise. Distance runners are most at risk, but anyone who exercises vigorously can have urinary bleeding.
Discolored urine diagnosis
In addition to taking a thorough medical history and performing a physical exam, your doctor might recommend certain diagnostic tests, including:
- Urinalysis. Your doctor uses urine tests to look for red blood cells, high levels of protein, and excreted minerals in the urine that may indicate kidney or urinary tract problems. A sample of your urine is also likely to be checked for bacteria that cause infection.
- Blood tests. Certain blood tests measure the level of creatinine and blood urea nitrogen — waste products that build up in your bloodstream when your kidneys are damaged and not filtering properly. Your doctor might also check a sample of your blood for elevated levels of liver enzymes, and for conditions such as diabetes.
- Urine culture for infection
- Ultrasound of kidneys and bladder
Discolored urine treatment
Treatment, if needed, will depend on the condition that causes the change in urine color.