What Does It Mean If Your Urine Is Orange? (2023)

Orange urine (pee) can be caused by dehydration, diet, or medications. In some cases, though, it could mean a more serious issue, such as a liver disorder or problem with a bile duct.

This article discusses orange urine and some of its possible causes, including diet, medication, and certain health conditions. It explains how orange pee can provide clues about your health and when you may need to call your healthcare provider.

What Does It Mean If Your Urine Is Orange? (1)

Causes of Orange Pee

Your kidneys filter between 120 and 150 quarts of blood each day. Urine is a byproduct of this process. Most people produce 1 to 2 quarts of urine per day.

Urine consists mostly of extra fluid and waste products the body can't use. It is stored in the bladder until it can be expelled from the body.

Urine gets its signature color from a pigment called urochrome, which is created when dead blood cells are broken down. The more concentrated urine is, the more urochrome it contains and the brighter in color it will be.

Urine is typically yellow. Normal, healthy urine varies in color from pale yellow to straw-colored.

Orange urine can be a sign of a few different conditions. In most cases, there's a simple explanation for orange urine.

These are the most common reasons your urine might turn orange.


Water from the fluids you drink dilutes, or waters down, your urine. You can also get water from things you eat, like juicy fruits and vegetables.

If your urine is orange or dark yellow, it's probably because you aren't well hydrated. This means you aren't drinking enough water or getting fluids from other sources.

Because you don't drink while asleep, you may notice your urine is darker in the morning. Your urine might also be darker after a sweaty workout. This is because you lose fluids when you sweat.

Research shows that the color of your urine can be related to whether you're getting enough fluids. If yours is dark yellow or shades of orange, you need to take in more fluids. Drinking water is the most efficient way to do this.

An Overview of Dehydration

(Video) My Is My Urine Orange?

Diet and Supplements

Orange urine may be related to what you eat and drink. Food and drink that is red, orange, or very dark yellow can darken urine. This is mostly because these foods contain beta-carotene.

Carrots and carrot juice are examples of food and drink that might darken your urine. For a small number of people (about 14%), beets may have the same effect. Beet-tinted urine may look more red than orange.

You also might notice orange urine after taking high doses of certain vitamins and supplements, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • Beta-carotene
  • Vitamin B12


If your urine is orange, it could be because of a drug you're taking. These are some common culprits:

  • Laxatives:Some laxatives contain the herb senna. Senna is used to relieve constipation. These laxatives might cause reddish-orange urine. Senokot (docusate and senna) is an example of this type of laxative.
  • Pyridium, Uristat, and other drugs containing phenazopyridine:These are usually prescribed to treat pain fromurinary tract infections. Phenazopyridine can also discolor other things it touches.
  • Rifampin:This antibiotic is used to treat tuberculosis and certain bacteria in the nose and throat. Some drugs, like IsonaRif and Rifamate, contain a combination of rifampin and isoniazid. These drugs may also cause orange urine.
  • Azulfidine(sulfasalazine):This is an anti-inflammatory medication used to treat ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. A delayed-release version is sometimes prescribed for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Azulfidine can turn urine orange. It may also cause the skin to take on a yellow tinge. Neither of these side effects is harmful.
  • Adriamycin (doxorubicin): This is a powerful chemotherapy drug that's given intravenously, through a needle into a vein. This drug can cause orange or reddish urine for a day or two after treatment.

Bile Duct or Liver Disease

Orange urine may be a sign of cholestasis. This is when the flow of bile stops between the liver and the small intestine. Bile is a digestive fluid that's produced in the liver.

When this happens, bilirubin can build up and escape into the bloodstream. Bilirubin is a yellowish substance in bile.A buildup of bilirubin in the blood will eventually tint the urine.

Cholestasis has a number of potential causes, including:

  • Acute hepatitis, inflammation of the liver, usually due to infection
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Use of Moxatag (amoxicillin), an antibiotic
  • Certain oral contraceptives

Cholestasis Symptoms

Orangeurine is just one symptom of cholestasis due to bile duct or liver problems. Other symptoms may include some or all of the following:

  • Very pale stools
  • Jaundice, a yellowish tint to the skin and eyes
  • Itchy skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

If you experience any of these, see a healthcare provider. Blood tests and, if necessary, an ultrasound or biopsy of your liver can help diagnose your condition.

It is important to detect and treat cholestasis promptly. Early treatment can prevent further damage to your liver or bile ducts.

Understanding Unusual Urine Color, Odor, or Appearance


Urine is usually a pale shade of yellow. A number of things could make it a darker color like orange.

Usually, orange pee means you need to take in more fluids. It may also be an effect of something you ate, or a medication or supplement you're taking.

Sometimes orange urine is a symptom of a more serious illness, like bile duct or liver disease. If your orange urine doesn't resolve on its own or you have other symptoms like pale stools and stomach problems, it's a good idea to see a healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is my urine orange even though I drink plenty of water?

    It's possible "plenty" isn't enough. Unless you're taking a medication or have a medical condition known to affect urine color, you may just need to drink more. Drink plenty of unsweetened, nonalcoholic beverages. Juicy fruits, vegetables, and even soup can also help you get enough fluid.

    Learn More:Simple Tricks to Drink More Water

  • Why does my urinary tract infection medicine turn my urine orange?

    Phenazopyridine, the active ingredient in most UTI medications, is a reddish-brown powder. It passes out of your body in your urine and can turn it orange. The color is harmless but it can stain your clothing. It may also stain contact lenses if you handle them right after touching your medication.

    Learn More:How a Urinary Tract Infection Is Treated

  • Can orange urine be a sign something is wrong with my kidneys?

    Probably not. Kidney disease is not usually associated with changes in the color of urine. If you notice your urine is foamy or bubbly, however, see your healthcare provider. This could be a sign of excess protein in your urine. Excess protein in the urine is an early sign of kidney disease.

    Learn More:Possible Causes of Cloudy Urine

    (Video) What Urine Color Indicates About Your Body – Dr.Berg

(Video) What Your Urine Color Says About Your Health | Urinary System Breakdown | #DeepDives

5 Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Your kidneys and how they work.

  2. Kostelnik SB, Davy KP, Hedrick VE, Thomas DT, Davy BM. The validity of urine color as a hydration biomarker within the general adult population and athletes: a systematic review. J Am Coll Nutr. 2021;40(2):172-9. doi:10.1080/07315724.2020.1750073

  3. Akbar Hussain, E., Sadiq, Z., Zia-Ul-Haq, M. (2018). Betalains as Colorants and Pigments. In: Betalains: Biomolecular Aspects. Springer, Cham. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-95624-4_7

  4. Merck Manuals. Phenazopyridine.

  5. National Kidney Foundation. What the color of your urine means.

Additional Reading

By Tracee Cornforth
Tracee Cornforth is a freelance writer who covers menstruation, menstrual disorders, and other women's health issues.

See Our Editorial Process

Meet Our Medical Expert Board

Share Feedback

Was this page helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

(Video) Understanding Urine Color. Foamy urine, Dark Urine, Red Urine, Green Urine, Cloudy Urine

What is your feedback?


1. MY URINE IS ORANGE | It Could Be Hemolytic Anemia
(Heal With Samantha)
2. Orange Urine Medical Course
(Abiezer Abigail)
3. What The Color of Your Urine Says About Your Health
(Natural Cures)
4. The Color of Pee and What it Means
(Phoenix Children’s)
5. Strange/Abnormal Urine Colors :- What Does It Mean? Urine Discoloration [Orange, Red, Green Urine]
(Med Today)
6. Different Colors of Urine And Its Causes
(MLT Hub with kamran)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lidia Grady

Last Updated: 05/09/2023

Views: 5435

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lidia Grady

Birthday: 1992-01-22

Address: Suite 493 356 Dale Fall, New Wanda, RI 52485

Phone: +29914464387516

Job: Customer Engineer

Hobby: Cryptography, Writing, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Calligraphy, Web surfing, Ghost hunting

Introduction: My name is Lidia Grady, I am a thankful, fine, glamorous, lucky, lively, pleasant, shiny person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.