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The rainbow of urine colors: What's typical, what's not

Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Regular urine color varies but usually ranges from clear to pale yellow. The exact hue depends 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 yellow color becomes stronger.

Some foods and medications can change the color of urine. For example, foods like beets, blackberries and fava beans can turn urine pink or red. Some medications also can give urine vivid tones, such as orange or greenish-blue.

An unusual urine color also can be a sign of a health problem, however. For instance, some urinary tract infections can turn urine milky white. Kidney stones, some cancers and other diseases sometimes make urine look red due to blood.

Here are some unusual urine colors, along with things that can cause them.

Red or pink urine

Red urine isn't always a sign of a serious health problem. Red or pink urine can be caused by:

 

•Blood: Health problems that can cause blood in the urine include an enlarged prostate, tumors that aren't cancer, and kidney stones and cysts. Vigorous exercise also can cause blood in the urine. Blood in the urine is common in urinary tract infections and with kidney stones. Those problems often cause pain. Painless bleeding might be a sign of a more serious problem, such as cancer.

•Foods: Beets, blackberries and rhubarb can turn urine red or pink.

•Medicines: Red or pink urine is possible if you take medications for tuberculosis, urinary tract pain or constipation.

Orange urine

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