Dark Urine: See Its Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

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Dark Urine is not a medical condition itself but one of the symptoms of the underlying condition. Dark or Dark brown urine have several causes and symptoms that one should not ignore at all.

Did you know that the color of your urine tells a lot about your health? In our day to day lives, we might not pay much attention to certain things like how much we peed or what was the color of my pee when I peed in the morning? But after reading an article, I found that your urine holds vital revelations about your health.

The color of normal urine is clear, straw- yellow. Urine color varies only when you’re taking certain medications or when you have certain infections or kidney diseases. The urine may also appear darker when there’s internal bleeding or there’s a presence of blood in the urine( Hematuria).

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So What Causes Dark Urine?

Normal urine is light-yellow or straw-yellow in color. The urine gets its typical color from a pigment called urochrome or urobilin. Dark urine is usually dark brown or dark yellow in color. One of the common causes of darker urine is dehydration. Lack of enough water in your body makes you produce concentrated urine, which is darker in color. However, some of the possible causes of dark urine includes:

  • Consumption of certain foods like food colorings, aloe vera, fava beans, rhubarb and so on.
  • Medical conditions such as urinary tract infection or jaundice
  • Cancers such as bladder cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer
  • Kidney stones
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Kidney disorders
  • Hepatitis or cirrhosis
  • melanoma
  • Severe Dehydration
  • use of medications such as furazolidone, metronidazole, and nitrofurantoin
  • Intake of iron supplements
  • Laxatives

You might also want to read Brown Vaginal Discharge: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

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Dark Urine in Pregnancy: Is It Dangerous?

During pregnancy, dark urine can also be a result of a lack of hydration, especially because pregnant women require more fluids than non-pregnant women. Lack of hydration can also result from morning sickness, which is a common sign of pregnancy.

If your urine still appears dark even after plenty of water intake, it could be a sign of a liver problem.

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Symptoms of Dark Urine

The major symptom of dark urine is the change in the color of your normal urine. If you’re dehydrated then you can have some additional symptoms such as:

  • Constant thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Constipation

Also Read: Intestinal Obstruction: Is It Life Threatening?

Nevertheless, if the condition is due to other factors such as kidney problem or cancer then there are different symptoms associated with the underlying cause. If your problem does not go away, even after you drink plenty of water, then you should seek immediate medical attention.

If you have dark urine accompanied by intense pain, especially in your back, you may have kidney stones or a urinary tract infection. If your urine is yellow and foggy, then you might have a bacterial infection or a certain kind of cancer.

Diagnosis of Dark Urine

Aside dehydration, if you’re still urinating darker colored urine for days, then you should talk to your doctor right away. You’ll need to do the diagnosis as soon as possible and go for a urinalysis.

A urinalysis is done to detect the presence of either bacteria or bilirubin or crystals or glucose, protein, RBCs, and WBCs. The best urine sample to get the diagnosis is the early morning urine. If your urinalysis shows unusual results, then your doctor will start the medications accordingly or recommend certain specific tests such as urine culture or blood tests. The treatment will further depend upon your urinalysis.

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Treatment of Dark Urine

As mentioned earlier, treatment of dark urine depends upon the cause of dark urine. If it’s because of something you ate or because of certain medication or due to dehydration then you can avoid such foods/medicines and drink plenty of water to prevent and treat the condition.

However, if none of the above things show any result, then you need to see your doctor. Physical examination is carried out along with urinalysis to find out the cause of dark urine. The treatment is further done according to the underlying condition analyzed such as antibiotics intake in the cause of UTIs or treating liver disease or bladder stones with certain medications.

Preventing dark urine initially consists of staying well hydrated. Aside from that, it’s important to live a healthy lifestyle and prevent other conditions that can contribute to dark urine. This involves reducing your risk of infection, along with keeping the liver healthy by eating well, exercising regularly, and reducing your alcohol intake.

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