Change in Urine Color Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your change in urine color symptoms, including 8 causes and common questions.

  1. 8 Possible Change In Urine Color Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  4. Statistics
  5. Related Articles

8 Possible Change In Urine Color Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced change in urine color. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.


Dehydration means the body does not have enough water to carry out its normal processes.

Most susceptible to serious dehydration are young children with fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. In adults, some medications increase urination and can lead to dehydration. Anyone exercising vigorously, especially in hot weather, can quickly become dehydrated.

Symptoms include extreme thirst; dry mouth; infrequent, dark-colored urine; dizziness; and confusion. Young children may have sunken eyes, cheeks, and soft spot on top of the skull.

Severe dehydration is a serious medical emergency that can lead to heat stroke, kidney damage, seizures, coma, and death. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through blood tests and urine tests.

Mild dehydration can be treated simply by drinking extra water, or water with electrolytes such as sports drinks. More serious cases may be hospitalized for intravenous fluids.

It's important for anyone who is outside in hot weather, or who is ill, to drink extra fluids even before feeling thirsty as thirst is not always a reliable guide.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea, racing heart beat, being severely ill

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Urinary tract infection

A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Urinary tract infections are usually caused by infections by fecal bacteria.

Symptoms of urinary tract infections include pain with urination (dysuria), ...

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Kidney stone

A kidney stone is a stone made up of various possible materials that forms in the kidneys. Factors that increase the risk of forming kidney stones include high levels of calcium, uric acid, and oxalate in the urine, low levels of citrate in the urine, abnormal urine pH, low urine volume, certain urin...

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Diabetes insipidus

Diabetes insipidus (DI) is caused by a lack of, or decreased sensitivity to the hormone vasopressin. Vasopressin is needed for the kidneys to concentrate urine, making sure you do lose to much fluids. If this function is impaired, it will result in urinating frequently and large amounts, extreme thirst and dehydration.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, irritability, constipation, excesive thirst, dry mouth

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Change In Urine Color Symptom Checker

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Autoimmune hemolytic anemia

Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. In some cases, this can be caused by an attack of the immune system on the body's own red blood cells.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), fever, racing heart beat, joint pain

Symptoms that never occur with autoimmune hemolytic anemia: painful urination

Urgency: Primary care doctor


Rhabdomyolysis is a syndrome most commonly resulting from muscle injury following extreme exertion such as endurance exercise or weight lifting or following a severe accident. Sometimes rhabdomyolysis may result from medications - most commonly medications to treat elevated cholesterol such as statins. Severity can range from mild to life threatening kidney disease from muscle enzymes entering the circulation.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, being severely ill, change in urine color

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Low blood sodium

Hyponatremia means there is too little sodium in the blood to maintain normal blood pressure and fluid balance. Sodium is a mineral provided by ordinary table salt (sodium chloride) in the diet.

Hyponatremia is caused by anything creating an imbalance of water and minerals in the body:

  • Chronic vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Diuretics or other medications which cause increased urination or sweating.
  • Drinking too much water, especially while sweating during heavy exercise.

Any illness causing fluid retention.

  • Low levels of adrenal gland or thyroid hormones.
  • The party drug Ecstasy, which can cause fatal hyponatremia.

Symptoms include nausea and vomiting; mental confusion; headache; extreme fatigue; and muscle cramps.

Untreated, hyponatremia can lead to brain swelling, seizures, and coma, and can be a life-threatening medical emergency.

Diagnosis is made through blood and urine tests. Treatment is done with hospitalization and IV sodium. Medications to manage sodium levels may be prescribed.

Prevention consists of treatment for any underlying medical conditions. During exercise, drink a moderate amount of water and consider using sports beverages (which contain minerals) instead.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, headache, nausea, loss of appetite, dizziness

Urgency: In-person visit

Non-specific change in urine

Urine is the product of the kidneys filtering the blood from waste products and excess water. Depending on what you eat, the color and odor of your urine can change. Beets are known to turn urine pink or red, which can be mistaken for blood. Asparagus sometimes gives a distinctive smell. Medication can also change smell and color of your urine.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: a change in either color of odor of urine, frequent urination

Symptoms that always occur with non-specific change in urine: a change in either color of odor of urine

Symptoms that never occur with non-specific change in urine: painful urination, bright red (bloody) urine, fever, frequent urination

Urgency: Wait and watch

Real-life Stories

Once your story is reviewed and approved by our editors, it will live on Buoy as a helpful resource for anyone who may be dealing with something similar. If you want to learn more, try Buoy Assistant.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Change In Urine Color

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Do you feel pain when you urinate?
  • What color is your urine?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Change In Urine Color Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your change in urine color

Change In Urine Color Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced change in urine color have also experienced:

  • 12% Bad Smelling Urine
  • 4% Vaginal Discharge
  • 3% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)

People who have experienced change in urine color were most often matched with:

  • 42% Dehydration
  • 42% Kidney Stone
  • 14% Urinary Tract Infection

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Change In Urine Color Symptom Checker

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