Eating foods that can discolor urine, such as berries, beets and rhubarb, or taking certain medications makes it more likely that you'll have harmless changes in the color of your urine. Whether you react or not depends on the amount of food or medication you take, your state of hydration, and your own body chemistry.

Factors that put you at risk of medical conditions that can affect urine color include the following:

  • 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.
  • Your sex. More than half of all women will have a urinary tract infection at some point, often with some urinary bleeding. Men are more likely to have kidney stones or bladder stones.
  • 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.
Sep. 30, 2011

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.