Why is my pee orange? 9 causes (bright & dark orange & red)

The urine should feature a light yellow color under normal circumstances. But sometimes, you can notice different colors ranging from blue to yellow or even dark brown. There are various factors why your pee changes in color, including dehydration or more serious medical conditions.

When you are hydrated, it is clear with a shade of light yellow. If it is orange instead, it doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong with you. Sometimes, this can be a clear sign of a liver disorder or even a urinary tract infection.

Below, we will discuss why your pee is orange. Take a look at these 5 causes that change the color, especially if it is bright & dark orange or even red. 

woman in pain

What does it mean when your pee is orange & what happens?

Normally, your kidneys can filter between 120 and 150 quarts of blood each day. It is their main purpose, and urine is just the result of this process. It is represented by extra fluid or waste products that the body cannot use for anything.

After processing, it is stored in the bladder until you remove it from your body. The pigment called urochrome gives a specific color to urine. This pigment is created when the dead blood cells are broken down. If your pee is more concentrated, there will be a higher level of urochrome. It results in a brighter color.

Typically yellow, healthy urine can change in color due to several factors. In the case of orange, this can be a sign of different health conditions. In most cases, there is always a simple explanation. Take a look below at the possible causes. 

Orange urine causes

There are many reasons why you may have orange urine. We will talk about the most common ones:

1. Liver disease

woman about to pee

Cholestasis might also cause the orange color. It appears when the flow of bile stops between the small intestine and the liver. Bilirubin is a yellow substance that will build up and can enter the bloodstream. Too much bilirubin in the blood will give the urine an orange color.

Liver disease has several causes, including alcoholic liver disease or inflammation of the liver due to an infection. If you have one, orange urine is just one of the symptoms. There are many more, including abdominal pain and itchy skin. You can also experience loss of appetite and even vomiting. 

These are all serious causes of concern, and you should take them as warning signs. It means your health is in danger and you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Most likely, they will take a blood test and an ultrasound of your liver to diagnose the problem.

2. Medication

Certain medications can change the color of your pee and give it several shades. There are specific medications that will turn it orange, including:

3. Laxatives

They contain a herb named senna which is used to relieve constipation. As a side effect, this herb also causes orange-reddish urine. It is not a cause of concern as the medication is just getting eliminated from the body. 

4. Pyridium

Usually prescribed to treat pain from a UTI, Pyridium and other similar drugs will change the color of your pee to orange.

5. Rifadin

It is used to treat certain bacteria in the throat and nose and tuberculosis. A combination of rifampin and isoniazid will specifically affect your urine. It changes it to an orange shade. 

6. Azulfidine

Used as an anti-inflammatory medication to treat inflammatory bowel disease. While highly efficient, it can turn the urine and the skin orange. 

7. Diet

urine sample

Some specific foods and drinks contain pigments that alter your pee color. An orange shade can be related to red, orange, or dark yellow foods. They contain beta-carotene, which will change the color of your pee when eliminated from the body.

Beets and carrots are also good examples as they can darken your urine. Carrots will make it orange, while beets will feature a red shade. You can also notice the same effect after taking certain supplements such as vitamin C or vitamin B12.

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8. Dehydration

Our daily water intake is not strictly related to the pure water that we drink. Juicy fruits and vegetables have a high concentration of water, which we can also take from other foods. But orange pee can be the most common sign of dehydration, which means that you are not drinking enough water.

We spend 6 to 9 hours every day sleeping, and we cannot hydrate during this time. That is why you notice your pee being orange in the morning. The same effect can happen after an intense workout, as you lose fluids when you sweat. 

The color can be precisely related to your hydration levels. After noticing dark yellow or orange shades, increasing your water intake during the day is recommended. 

toilet

9. Kidney disease

When not working properly, kidneys will allow substances to build up in the urine. As a result, the color will change to an orange shade. It is because blood enters the stream in small quantities.

In the case of chronic kidney disease, darker or lighter shades of yellow can be expected. It depends on the concentration of urochrome and the presence of blood, but the color can vary.

Some kidney conditions that cause the situation are kidney failure, kidney stones, and even infections. 

  • kidney failure
  • kidney stones
  • infections

Why is my pee bright orange?

Many things can change the color of your pee, but most of the time, it is harmless and does not represent a serious cause of concern. For example, bright orange can result from dehydration as you haven’t had enough water on a given day.

But some causes can be serious, and orange pee is one of the symptoms of a health problem. If you notice more symptoms showing up, it is time to see a doctor and have them diagnose the problem. If the color does not change to a yellow shade in a couple of days, you should take action.

simple toilet

Why is my pee dark orange?

The cause of a dark orange is similar to the bright yellow one. However, dehydration is more advanced if the urine features a darker shade. It means you are in a critical state of dehydration and should increase your water intake as soon as possible.

Some specific foods and medications can also result in this change. But medical conditions are not to be ignored especially if you have multiple symptoms. Several liver diseases can increase the blood’s presence in the urine, making it dark orange. 

Why is my pee orange-red?

This color can be worrying, especially for those that do not know the reason behind their orange-red urine. Most of the time, this is not a serious cause of concern, and you should not worry.

Beets and blackberries have pigments that can turn the urine red or pink. Some specific antibiotics will also give the same result when they are eliminated from the body. 

But there are risks involved, and you should pay attention to all the symptoms. UTIs and an enlarged prostate will increase the blood’s presence in the urine, giving it this specific shade.

Does azo make your pee orange?

The Azo urinary pain relief will treat your urinary pain while relieving the UTI symptoms quickly. It has an immediate effect, and you can see results in just a few minutes. But some side effects come as well.

One of the key ingredients of this drug is responsible for relieving UTI symptoms quickly, but it also turns your pee orange. So if you took this medication recently, seeing orange should not be a cause of concern. 

Sometimes you have to take several tests if the doctor requests that. If you wonder how long meth stays in your system, we have an article made specifically to answer this question.

luxurious toilet

Orange pee while pregnant

During pregnancy, orange pee could be a symptom of dehydration. The color varies significantly based on the amount of water you drink. Normally, it should have a shade of yellow, which is a good indication that you are drinking enough water.

When pregnant, women have to drink more water than usual. If they don’t have an ideal daily water intake, their pee might turn orange or even feature darker colors. It happens because the body retains more water and eliminates less of it.

Newborn orange pee

In their first days of life, babies might eliminate orange or pinkish urine in their diapers. It is more common for boys and is not something you should worry about. It would be normal to assume that blood gives this specific color. In this case, urate crystals change the structure of urine.

These crystals develop due to the high concentration of urine, which will decrease as the baby starts drinking more fluids. After some time, the natural yellow shade should appear. 

Medicine that makes your pee orange

Many medications turn your pee orange, but the most known one is Phenazopyridine. It has a harmless effect that will disappear after you stop taking it. If you notice other symptoms, such as painful urination or a frequent urge to go to the bathroom, inform your doctor and have them take a specialized look at your problems.

But before you start any medical tests, let them know that you are taking this medicine. It can affect the result of the test, and it might be inaccurate. 

FAQ

What should I do if my urine is orange?

If your notice that the urine is orange, there is no reason to worry. Most of the time, the color varies depending on how much water you drink. These fluids will dilute the yellow pigments, which will be clear if you drink more water or feature darker shades if you are dehydrated.

The color becomes more concentrated as you drink less, and severe dehydration can produce amber-colored urine. Other factors can even make it blue or pink, and as long as you don’t have any other symptoms, then you should not stress out.

However, you should seek medical attention if you have visible blood in your urine or you experience pain while using the toilet. 

How long will my urine be orange after taking AZO?

Phenazopyridine is an azo dye that is usually prescribed for relieving pain and irritation in the urinary system. It is eliminated through the kidneys and will stay up to 7 and a half hours in your system. 

This medicine causes the urine to turn orange as it gets eliminated from the body. When you are using azo, you should expect this effect. It is usually harmless and will go away on its own, but be aware that it can also stain clothing. 

Should I be worried if my urine is orange?

If you notice this for the first time, there is no reason to be worried. The most common cause of orange is dehydration which you can easily fix. All you have to do is increase the water intake, and the color should return to normal soon. 

The original and natural color of urine is light yellow, which should occur several hours after drinking more fluids. But if this effect comes with several other symptoms, it might be a good indication of an advanced health problem. In that case, it is recommended to see a doctor to get a specific diagnosis. 

Can a UTI make your pee orange?

Orange pee usually occurs due to dehydration, diet, or specific medications. In some rare cases, it can be a sign of more advanced diseases such as liver disorders or even UTIs. These will manifest through various symptoms, one of them being the change in your pee’s color.

When you get treatment, the doctor might prescribe Phenazopyridine. It’s a highly effective solution against UTIs. As a side effect, this will also turn your pee orange. It happens due to an increase in bilirubin and should not be a reason for concern. 

Can a kidney infection make your pee orange?

Kidney infections will generate several uncomfortable symptoms, and the change in your urine color is one of them. The role of your kidneys is to filter the waste and toxic substances from your body while returning vitamins and hormones into the bloodstream. 

Your kidneys receive a high blood flow, and special blood vessels filter it. If they are not working correctly, several substances can end up in the urine and change the natural color. You might notice shades of pink, red, and orange in the urine. It can also be brown.

When they are not working properly, kidneys won’t be able to filter the blood correctly, and some of it might end up in the stream. It results in a different color than what you are used to, and you should check with a doctor if you experience other worrying symptoms. 

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