What Is the Cause of Bright Yellow Urine?

Using certain medications and vitamin supplements, such as B-complex vitamins, can make urine a bright yellow color, according to WebMD. The color of urine typically depends on the concentration of the yellow pigment called urochrome.

B2 riboflavin in vitamins can cause a bright yellow color in urine because the body flushes excess B2 through the urine. Urine color also varies depending on what the individual eats and drinks. Beets can turn urine pink or red, and carrots can lend an orange hue. Rhubarb can turn urine into a dark brown color, according to Harvard Health Publications. Dark yellow-colored urine is usually a sign of dehydration, and pale yellow-colored urine means that the individual may be drinking a large amount of water. Asparagus can give urine a green color and a bad odor. Rifampin is a tuberculosis medication that can cause red or orange urine, and Diprivan is a drug that can turn urine green or blue, notes Mayo Clinic.

Urine color can also change if an underlying medical condition is present. Porphyria causes urine to become purple, and an infection or cancer can cause blood to be expelled in urine, making the urine red or pink-colored. Chronic exposure to lead or mercury poisoning can turn urine red, states Mayo Clinic. Urinary tract infections that are caused by bacteria can cause green-colored urine.

Bright yellow or orange urine may indicate an underlying medical condition, such as a problem with the liver or bile duct, especially if light-colored stools are also present, warns Mayo Clinic. Brown urine may also indicate hepatitis, cirrhosis and bladder or kidney stones, reports Healthline.

A change in the odor of urine may also indicate an underlying medical condition, reports WebMD. A pungent ammonia-like odor may be a sign of infection or urinary stones. A sweet smell may indicate diabetes. Any change in urine color or odor not caused by diet or medication requires medical attention. An exam, including blood tests and urinalysis, can help diagnose the problem and help determine the best treatment.