This symptom is sometimes one of the first ones to be noticed in hepatitis. It is usually found in the acute phase of the disease or after hepatitis B has caused significant liver damage. This coloration of the urine comes from bilirubin, which builds up in the blood instead of draining to the digestive tube through the bile. The alternative way to eliminate bilirubin is through the kidneys, which filter the excess into the urine. Thus, the urine adopts the color of bilirubin, which is brownish-yellow.