Urine, made up of water and waste products filtered by the kidneys, is usually clear and pale yellow to deep amber in color. According to MayoClinic.com, most changes in urine color are harmless and result from some prescription medicines, supplements such as B vitamins, foods and dyes. Changes in urine color and other characteristics can also be a danger sign warning of serious disease.
Pink or Red Urine
Pink or red urine can be alarming. Blood in the urine, called hematuria, is the main cause, MayoClinic.com says. Hematuria can result from a urinary tract infection, kidney stones, an enlarged prostate, kidney disease and cancer of the kidney or bladder. Chronic mercury poisoning and a disease called porphyria can also cause red urine. According to the National Cancer Institute, common symptoms of bladder cancer include painful urination, frequent urination, blood in the urine and the urge to urinate without producing urine. These symptoms are similar to those caused by infection. Consult a doctor to determine the cause.
Urine that has a strong odor or is foul-smelling can be a danger sign of a urinary tract infection, or UTI, says MayoClinic.com. Other signs include pain and burning during urination, frequent urges to urinate, fever, chills and intermittent abdominal pain. According to the National Institutes of Health website Medline Plus, cloudy urine and bloody urine are also signs of a UTI. You need a prescription for antibiotics to treat a UTI.
Brown urine can be a danger sign of liver disease, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Jaundice is often the first sign of liver disease, causing dark urine and yellowed eyes and skin. Cirrhosis, hepatitis, pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, bile duct cancer and alcoholic liver disease all cause dark urine. Other symptoms of liver disease include an enlarged abdomen, disorientation, easy bruising or bleeding, nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue. Liver disease is a life-threatening disorder.
An Unusual Amount of Urine
Urine production drastically decreases or stops completely in the presence of acute kidney failure, which decreases the ability of the kidneys to filter waste products from the blood. Other symptoms can include cola-colored urine, swelling of the feet, hands and face, nausea, fatigue, itching and difficulty breathing, according to the Merck Manual. Treatment varies, depending on the cause of the kidney failure.
Occasional passing of foamy urine is normal and can be caused by urinating rapidly or mild dehydration, says MayoClinic.com. Persistently foamy urine can be a sign of protein in the urine that requires further evaluation. If present in large amounts, protein in the urine can be a sign of serious kidney disease.