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Prostate cancer symptoms: What colour is your urine? The key changes that may be a warning

Prostate cancer: Dr Philippa Kaye discusses symptoms

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Changes when you go to the toilet are one of the most common signs of prostate cancer, along with an array of other diseases and health conditions. Urine is a waste product which is made in the kidneys, containing water and dissolved waste products your body needs to get rid of. These products are largely made up of substances that can be harmful to your major organs if left to build up inside. This is why keeping an eye on the colour of your urine is very important.

The waste liquid tends to change colour, sometimes as the result of certain food or drinks consumed, other times because something isn’t quite right within your body.

If you are concerned about the colour of your urine, it is best to speak to your GP who can offer more information or refer you for specific tests.

Typically, there are seven main colour changes commonly reported with urine.

Pink or red coloured urine is often a symptom of prostate cancer, however, it can also be the result of another condition or even something as simple as your diet.

Here is a guide to the common urine colour changes and what each one might mean.

Red or pink

Red or pink urine can either be caused by a medical condition, or by the food you have been eating.

Therefore, if you do notice this colour change and are concerned it is imperative you speak to a doctor.

Foods that can cause your urine to change colour include beets, rhubarb or lots of blueberries. This is because they have naturally deep pink or magenta pigments.

However, pink or red shades can also be caused by blood in the urine, a symptom of a medical condition known as hematuria.

An enlarged prostate is one of the leading causes of hematuria, as well as kidney stones or tumours in the bladder or kidney.

Certain medications may also change the colour of your urine, such as the antibiotic rifampin.

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Yellow is the most common colour and usually means that everything is in working order.

The colour is caused by urochrome – a chemical formed when the body breaks down haemoglobin.

In most cases, urine can vary from a dark shade to a pale yellow, according to the medical website Healthline.


If you notice your urine is less yellow and veering towards a close-to-clear colour, this usually isn’t something to worry about.

This tends to mean that you are extremely hydrated, and have been drinking a lot of water.

Typically this is a good thing, and being hydrated is beneficial for the body.

However, if you notice that your urine is clear all of the time, it could rob your body of essential electrolytes.


A deep orange shade tends to mean you are dehydrated and not drinking enough water. The best way to combat this is to increase your fluid intake.

However, there are medical conditions associated with orange urine too.

According to Healthline: “If you have urine that’s orange in addition to light-coloured stools, bile may be getting into your bloodstream because of issues with your bile ducts or liver.

“Adult-onset jaundice can also cause orange urine.”

Medicines such as the anti-inflammatory drug sulfasalazine or some chemotherapy drugs may also lead urine to turn orange.

Blue or green

Most often blue or green urine is caused by colourings in certain foods.

However, infections may also play a role in changing the shade of your urine.

Healthline explains: “The pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterial infection can also cause your urine to turn blue, green, or even indigo purple.

“In general, blue urine is rare and most likely connected to something in your diet.”

Dark brown

Just like orange urine, if you notice a brown shade this is likely associated with dehydration.

In some rare cases, this can be caused by food in large quantities such as rhubarb, aloe or java beans.

A condition called porphyria can also cause a buildup of the natural chemicals in your bloodstream and cause rusty or brown urine, according to Healthline.

It adds: “Dark brown urine can also be an indicator of liver disease, as it can be caused by bile getting into your urine.”

Cloudy urine

Most often, cloudy urine is associated with a urinary tract infection.

In some cases, it may also be caused by a type of chronic disease or kidney condition.

Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis may cause patients to develop cloudy urine with foam or bubbles.

If you have cloudy urine and you’re pregnant, it could be a sign of a dangerous condition called preeclampsia.

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