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:
Sep. 30, 2011
- 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.
- Gerber GS, et al. Evaluation of the urologic patient: History, physical examination, and urinalysis. In: Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1445/0.html. Accessed June 21, 2011.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Differential Diagnosis: A practical guide to the differential diagnosis of symptoms, signs and clinical disorders. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011:82.
- Post TW, et al. Urinalysis in the diagnosis of renal disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 22, 2011.
- McPherson RA, et al. Components of basic (routine) urinalysis. In: McPherson RA, et al. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 21st ed. Philadelphia. Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1393/0.html. Accessed June 22, 2011.
- Foot CL, et al. Uroscopic rainbow: Modern matula medicine. Postgraduate Medical Journal. 2006;82:126.
- Hooton TM. Acute cystitis in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Castle EP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 5, 2011.
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