What is darkened urine?

Darkened urine is urine that is dark yellow, brown, dark red, or red, and it may range from slightly dark to considerably dark. A change in urine color may be temporary, or it may be persistent. The duration and course of darkened urine can vary widely, depending on the cause.

There are several possible causes of darkened urine. Urinary tract infection is the most common cause, though other types of infections, or kidney dysfunction or disease, are other potential causes. Darkened urine may be related to acute or chronic underlying diseases that affect other regions of the body. For example, urine that is darker than normal may be a result of hepatic (liver) disease that may include the gallbladder. Further, cancer of the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and bladder can all cause urine to darken.

Your urine may turn dark if you have had any damage or injury to any of the structures of the urinary tract, including the kidney, bladder, urethras, or ureter. It may also darken as a result of eating certain foods, such as beets, red cabbage, red berries or candy, or ingesting anything that contains red dyes. Certain medications are known to change urine color, which will return to normal after the drug leaves the body.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, such as high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice), or severe abdominal pain. Seek prompt medical care if you experience abdominal swelling and nausea with or without vomiting or if you are being treated for darkened urine but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.


What other symptoms might occur with darkened urine?

Darkened urine may accompany other symptoms, which will vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the urinary tract may also involve other body systems.

Urinary symptoms that may occur along with darkened urine

Darkened urine may accompany other symptoms affecting the urinary system including:


What causes darkened urine?

In some cases, darkened urine is a result of medications or consuming specific foods. Darkened urine may also be the result of bleeding, infections, cancers or other serious conditions.

Urinary system causes of darkened urine

Darkened urine may be caused by conditions affecting the urinary system including:

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Kidneys and the Urinary System

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