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Pink or red urine frequently, but not always, indicates the presence of blood in the urine. Do you have a kidney problem, or could something else be the matter?

Pink or red urine is often, but not always, a sign that there is blood in your pee. Peeing any color except for the pale to slightly deeper yellow color you have rightly grown to expect might rightly cause you to worry, and you have likely arrived here after Googling possible causes of red urine. 

Rather than making you read to the end to find out that it's quite possible nothing is wrong with you, we'll give it to you straight, right away: your red pee can be caused by quite a few things that don't involve blood in your urine, and even if that is the reason for your abnormal urine color, you need not freak out before you see a doctor, because you usually won't have a serious medical condition

Now that we have that bit out the way, we can move on and examine the possible reasons for your pink or red urine

Red Urine: Non-Hematuria Causes

Hematuria, or blood in the urine, is one thing that will turn your pee red. It's absolutely not the only one, so let's look at the less scary reasons for red urine first. Abnormal urine colors can be caused by four different factors — foods and liquids, medications and nutritional supplements, your level of hydration, and medical conditions

Since any red pigment tends to look more pink when diluted, I'll write the rest of this piece with the understanding that you know that "red urine" can also mean "pink urine", and that they are both caused by the same things. 

Foods that can turn your urine red include rhubarb, blackberries, and beets. Any foods and drinks that contain artificial red food dyes can do the same thing. If something you ate or drank is responsible for your funny colored pee, rest assured that you'll be all back to normal within a few "sessions", as long as you quit consuming the offending items. Red urine as the result of consuming food and liquids is nothing to worry about, although we ought to note that the definition of a "varied diet" kind of excludes eating the same things day in, day out. Eat something else, already!

Your red urine can also be caused by medications, which you're often stuck with for much longer than specific food items, prolonging your oddly colored problem. If a medication you are taking has the potential to discolor your urine, it should say so on the package insert and your doctor should also be able to provide you with that information. Having said that, here are some of the drugs that are notorious for turning your urine red or pink:

  • Rifampin
  • Phenazopyridine
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Phenazopyridine
  • Any laxative containing Senna
  • Many chemotherapy drugs
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