Urine is normally transparent or yellowish in color. Orange urine can be a symptom of minor reasons like the intake of certain supplements, medications, foods, or drinks, or due to the presence of severe underlying conditions like dehydration; infections of the urinary tract; injury to urinary system components like the bladder, kidneys, urethra, or ureters; diseases like hepatitis, liver disorders, or other type of liver damage; or cancers of the kidneys, pancreas, bladder, or liver.
Mild cases of orange urine tend to resolve on their own without medical treatment. Patients however need to seek medical attention if orange urine persists for more than a few days, or if it is accompanied by additional symptoms like nausea, fever, etc.
Symptoms accompanying orange urine
As per the cause, patients may suffer from periodic episodes of orange urine or experience it frequently. Patients may elicit the below listed signs and symptoms along with orange urine:
- Hematuria or presence of blood in urine
- Burning sensations when passing urine
- Painful urination or difficulties when urinating
- Foamy or cloudy urine
- Urine with foul odor
- Urgent desire to pass urine
- Frequent urination marked by elimination of only small quantities of urine
In case orange urine occurs due to problems of varied body systems, then following symptoms may be visible:
- Increased bleeding
- Itchiness of the skin
- Hypotension or low blood pressure
- Lack of or appetite loss
- Lethargy or fatigue
- Pale colored stool
- Nausea; it may or may not be accompanied by vomiting
- Tachycardia, i.e., rapid heart beats
- Jaundice, i.e., yellowing of the sclera and/or skin
- Sudden and inexplicable weight loss
Occurrence of the below listed symptoms along with orange urine may be indicative a life-threatening underlying condition. Patients need to seek emergency medical care in such cases.
- Continuous vomiting
- High fever with body temperature of over 101 F
- Intense pain in lower back
- Extreme pain in abdomen
- Urinary retention
Causes of orange urine
Some of the common causes of orange urine are discussed below:
- Eating certain foods: Excessive intake of certain foods rich in vitamin C or carotenoids, such as winter squash, carrots, and red or orange fruits or veggies, can cause orange urine.
- Processed foods or food with preservatives, like jellies, junk foods, sodas, etc. have artificial coloring. These colorants cannot be processed or absorbed by the body and hence get removed from the body along with urine. Excessive intake of such food with orange coloring can thus cause orange urine.
- Dehydration: It is one of the most common causes of orange urine. Reduced levels of water in the body means that the urine produced tends to be very concentrated. Such urine may be dark yellow or orange in color. Drinking lots of water can help hydrate the body and get rid of abnormal urine coloration.
- Certain medications: Increased intake of vitamin supplements, like vitamin C, vitamin B, or beta carotene is another major cause of orange urine. It may be noted that all the vitamins from the supplements do not get absorbed into the body. The excess is eliminated out of the system via urine.
- Prenatal vitamins taken during pregnancy can also cause orange urine during pregnancy. These vitamins are however very beneficial for the health of the fetus and mother. Hence, expectant women should not cease the intake of these vitamins, if it has been diagnosed as the only cause of orange urine.
- Use of laxatives with senna as an ingredient can also cause urine color changes. Senna is a herb used for treatment of constipation.
- Some medicines that can impart orange color to urine include Pyridium/phenazopyridine, Coumadin/warfarin, and rifampin.
- Liver problems: Orange urine may also be a symptom of some liver dysfunction, liver damage, or liver diseases like liver inflammation, cirrhosis, liver scarring, hepatitis, or liver failure. If urine discoloration persists, even after adjusting the intake of supplements, foods, and water, then patients need to consult a doctor to check for underlying liver problems.
- Urinary tract infections/UTIs: Cystitis or bladder infection, pyelonephritis or kidney infection, or other kinds of urinary tract infections can cause changes in urine color. The bacteria and other pathogens that cause UTIs may enter the urinary system either via the urethra when passing urine or from the bloodstream. UTIs may be accompanied by varied symptoms like passing out limited urine, frequent urination, smelly urine, cloudy urine, and burning sensations during urination, etc.
- Other causes: Some other causes of orange urine include:
- Urinary elimination of certain toxins given during chemotherapy treatment.
- A temporary case of orange urine may occur due to the effect of dyes, contrasts, and other remnants of varied diagnostic procedures like MRI, CT scan, etc.
- Kidney diseases like kidney stones, kidney abnormalities, and kidney failure
- Prostate infection or prostatitis
- Bladder cancer, renal cell cancer, or prostate cancer
- Elevated levels of bilirubin in blood
Filed in: Conditions