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 sometimes urine can turn colors far beyond what's normal, including red, blue, green, dark brown and cloudy white.
When to see a doctor
Seek medical attention if you have:
Sep. 30, 2011
- Visible blood in your urine. Bloody urine is common in urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Both of these problems usually cause pain. Painless bleeding may signal more serious problems, such as cancer.
- Dark brown urine. If your urine is dark brown — particularly if you also have pale stools and yellow skin and eyes — your liver might be malfunctioning.
- 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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