Dark Urine

Proteinuria urine sample

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

How urine is produced

Urine is composed of wastes and excess fluid from the body. The urinary tract acts as the drainage system for the body by getting rid of urine. The parts of the urinary tract are kidneys, ureters, and the bladder. These different parts must work perfectly and in the same order for removing the urine from the body.

RHABDOMYOLYSIS dark urineThe two kidneys are located on each side of the spine. A person cannot control how it works. In each kidney, a thin tube of muscle runs from it to the bladder. These thin tubes are called ureters. They carry the urine from the kidney to the bladder.

The bladder is a hollow, balloon-shaped organ that is situated in the pelvis between the pelvic bones. A bladder is a temporary place for storing the urine that expands as it fills with the urine coming from the kidneys through the ureters.

The bladder stores urine until the person finds an appropriate time and place to urinate. How often the person needs to urinate depends on the speed with which the kidneys produce urine. The muscles of the bladder remain relaxed until it fills with urine.

Once the bladder is full, signals are sent to the brain, which will then cause a sensation to urinate in the person. The person then finds a toilet and empties the urine from the bladder through the urethra. Substances that help in the production of urine are referred to as diuretics. There are natural diuretics available as well.

Urine color and causes

Urine is a pale yellow color most of the time. This is because of the presence of urochrome, which is produced in the body after the breakdown of hemoglobin present in the blood. Men will notice a change in the color of urine as they urinate. In the case of women, they will observe a change in the color of urine after wiping.

There is a need to take this seriously if a burning sensation or a pain in the urethra accompanies this change in color. If you have any of these symptoms, chances are that the change in the color of the urine is an indication of a serious medical condition. You must discuss this with a doctor or clinician. There is a wide range of possible colors for the urine, each color indicative of a possible problem. They are as follows:

Dark Yellow

In addition to water, urine also carries waste products that your kidneys have filtered out of your blood. If the urine is dark yellow, it means that the proportion of waste is more in the urine than water. You may be suffering from dehydration and need to drink more water.

Red or Pink

acute renal failure

The urine can also vary in color from dark yellow to red. This is probably because blood is present in the urine. This condition is referred to as hematuria. A simple test can be conducted to determine if this is the case. It could also be due to the presence of myoglobin. Myoglobin is an oxygen-binding protein that is found in muscles cells. It is very similar to hemoglobin in the sense that hemoglobin is an oxygen-binding protein present in the blood. Strenuous physical exercise, injury, or other chemical means can cause myoglobin to be released into the urine. Blood may be present in the urine for several reasons.

Some of them are kidney stones, bladder cancer, and enlargement of the prostate gland. The red color can also happen due to beeturia. Beeturia is a condition in which the stomach does not have enough acid to break down the pigment called betanin in beets responsible for their red color.

Orange

Several medications can give the urine an orange tinge. Examples are anti-inflammatory drugs like sulfasalazine, phenazopyridine, some laxatives, and certain chemotherapy drugs. If you have light-colored stools, the orange color could indicate a problem with the liver or the bile duct. It could also be a problem of severe dehydration as that can change your urine from dark yellow to even a shade of orange. Eating certain vegetables like carrots can also give an orange color to the urine.

Blue or green urine

Blue or green urine is caused by the addition of certain food dyes. Dyes used in kidney and bladder function tests can also turn the urine blue. Some medications can also change the color of urine to green or blue. Two of them are indomethacin and propofol. Medical conditions such as benign familial hypercalcemia can also cause the urine to change color to blue in babies. This is called a blue diaper syndrome. Green urine can occur in the case of urinary tract infections caused by pseudomonas bacteria.

Dark brown urine

Caused by foods

Dark brown urine is caused by certain foods. Some of them that can cause your urine to go brown is:

  • Fava beans
  • Aloe
  • Rhubarb
  • Food colorings

Caused by medical conditions

Proteinuria urine sampleMedical conditions and disorders that can turn urine brown include:

  • Bleeding in your urinary tract
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Kidney disorders
  • Melanoma
  • Porphyrias, a group of rare, inherited conditions that affect hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in blood
  • Severe dehydration
  • Hemolytic anemia, a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed
  • Liver disorders, such as hepatitis or cirrhosis

Caused by medications

Many medications can make your urine darker. They include:

As mentioned earlier myoglobin, depending on its percentage in the blood, can lead to pink or brown color.

How is abnormal urine color diagnosed?

You must visit your doctor if you notice any abnormalities in the color of the urine. Make sure you note the following details to help your doctor with the diagnosis. Because there are too many details to take care of, make sure you write them down. Before the appointment, you must consider answering the following:

  • What has your diet consisted of recently?
  • When did you first notice the change in color?
  • Do you engage in strenuous physical activity?
  • What are the supplements or medications that you have taken?
  • Do you have normal bowel movements?
  • Do you have normal sleep patterns?
  • Is there a rashanywhere on your body?
  • Are you experiencing problems with vision lately?
  • Are you having any headaches lately?
  • Has there been an unexplainable weight loss recently?
  • Have your urinary habits changed?
  • Do you smoke?

The doctor will discuss your medical history and then perform a physical exam. After this, he/she may suggest a blood or urine test to understand what the problem is. A urinalysis checks your red blood cell count, assesses the levels of protein in your urine, and determines the materials excreted. The urine will also be checked for bacteria. If infection-causing bacteria are present and there are signs of infection, the doctor will order a urine culture.

A blood test helps to test kidney function and the enzymes in the liver. This may give the doctor a clue as to why the urine has changed in color.

How do you prevent brown urine?

In order that you do not have a case of brown urine, you must first ensure that you are sufficiently hydrated. You must make sure that you are keeping track of foods that give your urine a brown color. Try to avoid medications that cause your urine to turn brown. Do not over stress yourself and do not over exercise. Exercising too much can lead to brown urine due to muscle breakdown as mentioned earlier. Also, make sure you drink in moderation so that your liver is in good shape. Drinking too much alcohol can also cause cirrhosis and brown urine is a symptom of this.

What do you do if the urine is brown?

If in case your urine is brown, think of the foods you may have just eaten. That could be a probable cause. After you rule them out, think about the medications that you have taken. They may have caused your urine to change color. If your recent food intake and your medical history do not point in any specific direction, rule out medical conditions. Dehydration is the easiest of the medical conditions to rule out if your urine is brown. Drink enough of water and then check the color of the urine. If the urine is still dark brown, you may have other medical conditions.

For instance, if your skin and eyes are also yellow, you may be having a liver problem. Contact the doctor immediately if this is the case.

It could also be due to a urinary tract infection. In such a case, your doctor may run kidney function tests and also look for urinary tract infections. Once determined as the cause, treatment can begin.

Once you visit the doctor and obtain a clear understanding of why there was a color change, suitable measures must be taken. You could stop eating the food that might be causing it or stop using the medications responsible if they are the reasons for it. The doctor will also treat the medical condition that is causing it.

Brown urine in children

Urine could be brown in children because of hematuria. It could be the result of a physical injury or infection in the urinary tract. It could also be due to blood clotting defects, hereditary problems, exposure to toxic materials, or immune system abnormalities. Sometimes even though there is blood in the urine, you may not be able to see it. In such cases, the pediatrician will conduct a urine test to determine if there is blood in the urine. In certain cases, it need not be a case of hematuria. Sometimes if your child has had beets, blackberries, or certain medications, the urine may turn brown. If there is an unexplainable change in color of your child’s urine, make sure you consult a doctor.

Brown urine in pregnant women

During pregnancy, you could be dehydrated even though you may be drinking enough water. In addition, severe morning sickness (Hyperemesis gravidarum) that causes excessive vomiting is known to affect 1 in 200 pregnant women. Since vomiting also leads to dehydration, one of the results could be urine turning darker or murkier.

If you drink more water, and your urine is still dark, the dark urine could be the symptom of a more serious medical condition such as urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infection can spread to the kidneys, and a kidney infection during pregnancy could cause serious complications.

Final Words

The color and composition is a measure of your immediate health. The changes in the color, though subtle, happen for different reasons. It could be due to your diet, medications, or even other medical conditions. It is useful to know what causes the color changes in your urine. This way you are better prepared when you visit the doctor and ready for treatment, if that is the course the doctor suggests.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Drink enough water to compensate for its loss if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Be aware of the foods you take as they can alter the color of the urine.
  • Cut back on drinking alcohol at least till the symptoms resolve.
Don'ts
  • Take iron supplements unless you really need them.
  • Follow home remedies if the urine color is still dark after enough of hydration.

 

 

 

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9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but this was refuted…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your survival. However, these…
carbamazepine
Carbamazepine / Tegretol test The carbamazepine is a drug that is used to treat epilepsy and the carbamazepine test is performed to…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
Chondroitin spine health
9 amazing ways chondroitin can help you bounce back to health Chondroitin is naturally found in meat, especially in the connective tissues of animals. Chondroitin works by reducing the…
Sharpen your brain with these top brain-friendly foods! Did you know your diet could decide how razor sharp your memory is? Or that what you eat…
smelling-salts-benefits
The actual science behind smelling salts and how it helps in injury recovery Most smelling salts are a mixture of ammonium carbonate and some perfumes which are sniffed by an individual…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
blood elements analysis
Vitamin Profile Your doctor will recommend you undergo the vitamin profile test if you are showing signs of either vitamin…
glucose-tolerance
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test – GTT Glucose tolerance test (or Oral GTT) is used to detect the onset of diabetes or prediabetes conditions. It…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight loss, regulate blood…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
ASTtest-liver
AST- Aspartate Aminotransferase Test AST test is a blood test that is used to measure the level of a particular liver enzyme…
lipoprotein A
Lipoprotein (A) Test Lipoprotein (A) test is used to measure and monitor the levels of LDL(Low-Density Lipoprotein) in the bloodstream in…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
PREGNANCY
Pregnancy During pregnancy, the body undergoes a number of biological and physical changes to accommodate and provide for the…
Vitamin b12
Vitamin B12 Test Vitamin b12 is an essential nutrient required for healthy functioning of the nervous system and also development of…
Gua sha: Scraping away layers of pain with this ancient healing tool Gua sha is an ancient oriental healing method which focuses on scraping the body with specific tools to…
Helicobacter pylori IGA
Helicobacter Pylori – IgA Test The H.pylori IgA test is a blood test used to identify the level of IgA antigen in the…
Top reasons why you need to pay attention to your vitamin B6 intake Vitamin B6- An essential water-soluble vitamin. Its deficiency leads to physical changes such as sores & glossy tongue…
Threatened abortion
A few facts about threatened abortion A threatened miscarriage indicates an early pregnancy loss. Look out for symptoms like bleeding, vaginal discharge, and pain.
blood ketone test
Blood Ketone (D3HB) Test The Blood Ketone Test measures and monitors the levels of ketone in the blood which is usually performed…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the most powerful antioxidant…
Hepatitis A virus infected liver
Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Total Blood test to look for IgM antibodies to know if you are infected with Hepatitis A virus (HAV),…
amylase test
Amylase Test Amylase test is done by checking the level of this protein in the blood sample and also in…
tonometry
Tonometry Tonometry uses a device called tonometer to measure the pressure inside the eye. This pressure is depends upon…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
6 arguments in favour of glucosamine and where can you find it Studies have shown that glucosamine works by preventing the breakdown of cartilage of the joints. This is usually…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
piles
Best treatment for piles in Bangalore All you need to know about piles and piles treatment in Bangalore - the types of treatment available,…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another person or you…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
creatinine
Creatinine Test The level of creatinine in the blood is a significant indicator of the health of your kidneys. This…
Carb Cycling: Weighing the pros vs the cons of this diet routine Completely discarding carbs from your life will do you more harm than good. Read more about carb cycling,…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main theme of general…
immunoglobulin M
Immunoglobulin M Test Immunoglobulin M is the largest and the first produced antibody which helps in the prevention or fighting of…
C-Reactive Protein Test A CRP or c-reactive protein blood test is an important diagnostic tool used to determine the risk of…
Exercises or diet? Find out the healthiest way to gain weight Tired of being called skinny all the time? Looking for healthy ways to beef up? Why not try…
labiaplasty
Labiaplasty Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to modify the labia minora and the labia majora. Learn about who can…
kidney stones
Kidney stones Kidney stones are solid substances made up of crystals. They can be of various sizes. Treatment depend on…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But did you know…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
lp-pla2
LP-PLA2 Test The LP-PLA2 test is a test which is carried out to assess the levels of Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an organ that once…
thyroid_scan
Thyroid Scan Thyroid scan is a diagnostic procedure that aims to view the thyroid gland and detect any growths or…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…
colposcopy
Colposcopy Colposcopy is a simple, quick and non- invasive diagnostic tool to look closely inside the vulva, vagina, and…
free testosterone test
Free testosterone Free Testosterone Test measures and monitors the level of the free testosterone in the blood. Less than 4%…
toxo gondii igm test
Toxo Gondii-IgM Test The toxo gondii IgM test is a blood test that tells the presence or absence of toxoplasmosis IgM…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as this power-packed fruit…
Crossfit with rope
CrossFit: Now get the perfectly sculpted body with this explosive gym routine CrossFit is a fitness regimen that makes use of high-intensity exercises in a shorter period to achieve muscle…
Is it possible to achieve full body detox with Master Cleanse? Master cleanse is a diet consisting of a lemonade based beverage, a salt water drink and a herbal…
Bloodtestalbumin
Albumin Test Albumin test or blood serum test is a liver function test that measures the amount of the protein…
Hymenoplasty
Hymenoplasty Read on to find out all about hymenoplasty, the procedure, post-surgery care, the risks, and the benefits.
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
Goji berry: A traditional Chinese berry that packs the best of antioxidants Goji berry is an ancient berry that is considered to be power-packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Which means…

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