Urine - abnormal color


Urine of an abnormal color appears different from the usual straw-yellow color. Abnormally colored urine may be cloudy, dark, or blood-colored.

See also: Urine, bloody or dark

Alternative Names

Discoloration of urine


Tell your health care provider about any changes in urine color that do not go away, or that do not seem to be caused by a food or drug. This is very important if the urine changes color for longer than a day or two, or you have repeated episodes.


Some dyes used in food may be released in the urine. A wide variety of drugs can change the urine color.

Diseases that can change the urine color include:

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.

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

Make an appointment with your health care provider if you have:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The health care provider will perform a physical exam, which may include a rectal or pelvic exam. You will be asked questions about your medical history and symptoms, including:

Tests that may be done include:


Gerber GS, Brendler CB. Evaluation of the urologic patient: History, physical examination, and the urinalysis. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 3.

Landry DW, Bazari H. Approach to the patient with renal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 116.

Review Date: 9/16/2011
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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