Abnormally Colored Urine

Also known as: dark urine, brown urine, red urine, urine of abnormal color

What is abnormally colored urine?

When urine is healthy and a person is properly hydrated, urine is a light yellow, straw-like color. Deviations from that color can range from yellow to red to brown

What might cause abnormally colored urine?

Causes of abnormally colored urine can range from medication to foods to medical conditions. They include the following:
  • Foods such as beets, blackberries and items with artificial coloring
  • A variety of medications
  • Internal or vaginal bleeding
  • Dehydration
  • Live or bile duct problems
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Kidney stones
  • Muscle injury from extreme exercise

How can it be treated?

If your urine is dark and you’re dehydrated, then rehydrating with water or other fluids may be sufficient to alleviate the abnormally colored urine. Also, if the urine color can be easily traced to a specific food or medication and no other symptoms are present, then no action may be needed.

When should you seek medical attention?

If your urine is brown or red and does not appear to be related to foods or medication and is accompanied by pain or other unusual symptoms, see your health care provider.

Reviewed by: Nicole Christin, MD

This page was last updated on: January 30, 2020 03:20 PM


The Division of Nephrology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital treats kidney disorders and provides comprehensive evaluation of renal functions, including kidney biopsies.

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