Dark Urine
Dark urine is urine that is a deeper (usually brown, deep yellow or maroon) color rather than the usual straw to yellow color.

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Definition

Dark urine is urine that is a deeper color rather than the usual straw to yellow color. Darker urine is usually brown, deep yellow, or maroon.

Alternative Names

Urine looks dark.

Overview

Urine is produced in the kidneys, which are important organs for the health of our body. When we take fluid in, it passes from our digestive system into our circulatory system, where it  is filtered through the kidneys. The kidneys get rid of waste products through the urine. The ureters are tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder. The bladder empties the urine via the urethra, the tube through which we urinate.

Dark urine is most commonly due to dehydration and concentrated urine. However, it may be an indicator that excess, unusual, or potentially dangerous waste products are circulating in the body. For example, dark brown urine may indicate liver disease due to the presence of bile products. Bloody (reddened) urine is an indication of many other potential problems, including direct injury to the kidneys.

Associated Diagnoses

Associated conditions and diagnoses include:

  • hepatitis
  • rhabdomyolysis
  • cirrhosis
  • glomerulonephritis
  • dehydration
  • trauma
  • biliary obstruction
  • gallstones
  • bladder stones
  • bladder cancer
  • jaundice
  • liver disease
  • kidney cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • malaria
  • thalassemia
  • porphyrias
  • side effects of blood-thinning medications
  • bladder or kidney stones

Diagnosis and Treatments

A comprehensive evaluation by your doctor, including a detailed history, physical examination, and urinalysis will be necessary when dark urine is present. Treatment will depend on your medical history, symptoms, and the results of any laboratory studies and other diagnostic tests.

When to Call Your Doctor

Any change in the color of the urine not due to eating certain foods or taking certain medications should be reported to your doctor. Report blood in the urine to your doctor immediately.

Written by: JC Jones MA, RN
Edited by:
Medically Reviewed by: Brenda B. Spriggs, MD, MPH, FACP
Published: Dec 17, 2014
Published By: Healthline Networks, Inc.
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