We all know what our urine should look like and we know that the color changes, depending on the time of day, our activities and our level of hydration. It tends to be a deeper yellow first thing in the morning or if you’ve been doing hard physical labor and not drinking enough water to maintain your hydration. It tends to be lighter later during the day or if you are drinking a lot of fluids.
We also know that our urine should never be red or pink or brown or any color other than pale to deep yellow. If your urine has a reddish or brownish tint to it, you may have blood in your urine, or hematuria. If there are enough red blood cells in your urine that it changes color to pink, red or brown, you are said to have frank hematuria or gross hematuria. If blood is not visible in your urine to the naked eye, but under the microscope shows numerous RBCs (red blood cells) you have what we call microscopic hematuria or occult hematuria.
Hematuria is an abnormal condition in which blood is present it the urine. This can be secondary to injury, infection, kidney stones, tumors or other conditions which cause the kidneys, ureters (tubes leading from kidneys to bladder), bladder or urethra (tube leading from bladder to the outside) to leak or ooze blood into the urine. There are also a number of medications which can cause the urine to darken or turn red/pink, but that should resolve within a day or two after discontinuing the medication.
There are certainly benign causes of gross or occult hematuria, or of discolored urine, including certain foods (red meats, beets), medications (Pyridium, certain laxatives), excessive physical exercise, or even a UTI (urinary tract infection). However, if your urine has recently changed colors, and persists with the color change, please contact us so we can help you figure out what is going wrong and come up with a solution. Here at Urology Austin, our dedicated, compassionate staff and practitioners look forward to helping you with your urology woes.