Dark urine or brown colored urine can be caused by consuming some types of medication or foods. It may also be a symptom of a disease or a sign of dehydration.
When urine becomes dark while using medication, you should see the physician who prescribed it to evaluate the possibility of this being a side effect and see if it possible to change it for another type, for example. However, brown urine can also happen when you drink little water during the day or if you eat foods like asparagus or carrots.
However, when you are not taking any medication and can not identify any other possible causes for dark urine, urine testing is recommended because it can be caused by diseases that require medical treatment. In addition, if urine also has a strong smell, this may be a sign of urinary tract infection, diabetes, or kidney function problems.
Causes for dark urine
The causes for dark urine can vary according to the symptoms you present. Therefore, some of these causes normally need medical treatment such as:
1. Dark urine with a strong smell
Dark urine with a strong smell when linked to other symptoms like pain while urinating or a fever may indicate the presence of a urinary tract infection, especially if the urine becomes reddish. However, dark urine with a strong smell can also be caused by little water intake.
What to do: Increase your daily water intake and if the urine color stays the same for more than 2 days, you should see a clinician or urologist to start the appropriate treatment.
2. Dark urine and back pain
One of the main causes for dark urine with back pain is the presence of kidney stones, especially when the pain is located in the lower back and worsens while urinating.
What to do: You should go straight away to an emergency room if the pain is very strong or if your urine stays dark for more than 24 hours associated with back pain.
3. Dark urine and light colored stools
Dark urine associated with light stools is a common symptom in people with liver problems, because the body fails to properly digest the fat causing very white stools and darkening the urine which is caused by the accumulation of bilirubin, another substance produced by the liver.
What to do: It is recommended you see a clinician or a hepatologist to assess if there is a liver problem and initiate appropriate treatment.
4. Dark urine with foam
Dark urine with foam is generally caused by the presence of proteins, and this may be a sign of kidney problems or high blood pressure. See other possible causes in: Urine with foam.
What to do: You should see an urologist if the problem maintains for more than 3 days so that the cause can be identified and the most appropriate treatment be initiated.
Dark urine during pregnancy
The main cause of dark urine in pregnancy is dehydration that can be caused by low water intake during the day, which can be aggravated during periods where you vomit more, for example. It is therefore recommended you increase water intake during the day and to see if the urine becomes clearer.
If the urine remains dark, even after an increase in water intake, it is recommended you see an obstetrician as soon as possible, as it may indicate a health problem such as an urinary tract infection, high blood pressure or liver problems.