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Orange Urine – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis,Treatment

Updated on September 26, 2013

The normal color of urine ranges from deep amber to light yellow. Urine contains a pigment known as urochrome and the color depends on the concentration (amount of water) in the urine. There are times that the color of urine may change due to nutritional factors. Some foods have pigments which are released in the urine giving it an abnormal color. Similarly the color may change due to medication that you may be using. Orange urine occurs in cases of dehydration and urinary tract infections; trauma to the urinary system, which includes organs like the bladder, kidney and tissues surrounding the ureter and urethra. It may also occur if your liver is infected with hepatitis, there will be a lot of bilirubin in the blood and this will be excreted in the urine. Patients who may be suffering from liver, bladder, kidney and pancreatic cancer may also pass urine that is orange in color. When one passes orange urine, he or she may have the urge to urinate frequently and the urine may at times be cloudy and have a strong pungent smell.

What are the symptoms of orange urine?

As mentioned earlier, orange urine can be caused by other underlying factors. The symptoms are:

  • Orange urine, also known as hematuria

  • Pungent smelling urine

  • The urgent and frequent need for urination and sometimes you will only pass a few drops

  • Painful urination which may be difficult to push a condition known as dysuria

  • Cloudy urine

Apart from the urinary tract symptoms, there are other symptoms that may manifest at the same time. These are:

  • Pale stools that indicate that most of the bilirubin is being lost through the urine

  • Sudden and unexplained loss of weight and a consequent loss of appetite

  • Low blood pressure which may lead to tachycardia as the heart tries to pump more blood

  • Nausea that may be accompanied with vomiting

  • Forever, chills and itchy skin.

  • Jaundice, which makes the eyes and skin to become yellow

There are conditions that need immediate attention since they may indicate a life threatening underlying condition.

  • An extremely high fever, which goes over 101 degree Fahrenheit

  • Severe abdominal pain and lower back pain

  • Persistent vomiting

  • Urinary retention – where urine refuses to come out even if you strain

What are the main causes of orange urine?

Orange urine can be caused by medication, food and infections in the body. Here are the common causes of orange urine:

  • Kidney infections, also known as Pyelonephritis

  • All types of kidney diseases

  • An infection of the bladder, also known as cystitis

  • Consuming vegetables that have high levels of carotenoids e.g. carrots, and all forms of red fruits and vegetables

  • Taking certain medications such as warfarin and pyridium; supplementing your diet with beta-carotene supplements.

  • Infections of the prostate gland.

  • There are other causes of orange urine that may be life threatening and these are

  • Acute hepatitis and other liver diseases such as cirrhosis and failure

  • Cancer of the cells in the renal system

  • Cancer in the bladder

  • Serious dehydration which can lead to loss of electrolytes and fluids and this can be fatal.

What is the diagnosis for orange urine?

The doctor will ask you questions so as to determine what could be causing the orange urine:

  • Does your urine have a pungent odor?

  • Are you on any medication?

  • What fruits and vegetables do you include in your diet, and do you use beta-carotene supplements in your diet?

  • When did the orange urine begin?

  • Is there pain or a burning sensation accompanying the orange urine?

  • Are there any traces of blood in your urine?

Depending on the answers to the questions above, the doctor may ask for a number of tests in order to rule out certain serious conditions such as inflammation of internal organs or cancer of certain organs in the body. The tests are necessary to rule out serious damage to the kidneys or the liver, the growth of cancerous cells, the beginning and spread of a serious infection, or the possibility of sepsis, also known as blood poisoning – a condition that can be fatal.

What is treatment for orange urine?

Once the doctor has identified the underlying cause for the orange urine, he will prescribe a treatment for you.

  • If the cause is simply your diet, then there is no cause for alarm. If it makes you uncomfortable, then you can eat foods that have less beta-carotene.

  • If the cause is an infection, then the doctor will prescribe a regimen of pills that you should take until the infection is gone.

  • If the cause is a serious infection, damage, or cancer, then you will be referred to specialized treatment to address what is causing the orange urine.

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