Dark urine
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 s...

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Definition

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

Alternative Names

Urine looks dark.

Synopsis

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 and is filtered through the kidneys. The kidneys get rid of waste products via 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 but 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, whereas bloody (reddened) urine is an indication of many other potential problems, including direct injury to the kidneys.

Associated Diagnoses

  • Hepatitis
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Dehydration
  • Trauma
  • Biliary obstruction
  • Gallstones
  • Bladder stones
  • Bladder cancer
  • Jaundice
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Malaria
  • Thalessemia
  • Porphyrias
  • Side effects of blood-thinning medications
  • Bladder or kidney stones

Diagnosis and Treatments

A comprehensive evaluation by a physician, including a urinalysis, is 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.

Call your provider:

Any change in the color of the urine that is not known to be due to eating a certain food or medication should be reported to your doctor. Report blood in the urine to your doctor immediately.

Written by: JC Jones MA, RN
Reviewed by: Paul Auerbach, MD
Written: September 13, 2007
Last Updated: September 30, 2007
Published By: Healthline Networks Inc.
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