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Urine - abnormal color

Discoloration of urine

The usual color of urine is straw-yellow. Abnormally colored urine may be cloudy, dark, or blood-colored.

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Female urinary tract
Male urinary tract

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Causes

Abnormal urine color may be caused by infection, disease, medicines, or food you eat.

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.

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. It can also indicate severe dehydration or a condition involving the breakdown of muscle tissue known as rhabdomyolysis.

Pink, red, or lighter brown urine can be caused by:

Dark yellow or orange urine can be caused by:

Green or blue urine is due to:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

See your health care provider if you have:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The provider will perform a physical exam. This may include a rectal or pelvic exam. The provider will ask you questions about your symptoms such as:

Tests that may be done include:

Related Information

Urine - bloody
Urinary tract infection - adults
Hepatitis B
Cirrhosis
Renal cell carcinoma
Bladder stones
Wilms tumor
Hemolytic anemia

References

Gerber GS, Brendler CB. Evaluation of the urologic patient: history, physical examination, and urinalysis. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016: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.

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Review Date: 7/31/2019  

Reviewed By: Sovrin M. Shah, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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