How Dark is Your Urine?
Sometimes your urine can be a few shades darker than the usual light yellow urine. In fact, your urine can be very dark and even a different dark urine color such as red urine, brown urine, orange urine or rust urine color. The appearance of dark urine may be unsettling and cause you to question your health. Most of the time dark urine is a symptom of something else happening in your body, and can serve as a prompt to seek out treatment.
What Causes Dark Urine and is it Dangerous?
It can be. But just because you have dark urine doesn’t necessarily mean that it is always dangerous. Dark urine can be caused by many factors, such as the food you eat, how hydrated you are, and of course certain illnesses.
Obviously, one of the biggest concerns with dark urine is dehydration. Are you drinking enough water. The less water you drink, the higher urine concentration you will have, which means your urine will be darker than normal. Now, dehydration is, of course, only one possible explanation for dark urine.
When you notice dark urine, ask yourself the following 4 questions:
- What have I eaten recently?
- What medications am I taking?
- Have I been drinking enough water?
- How do I feel?
Does Food Cause Dark Urine?
If you don’t notice any other health symptoms with dark urine, such as painful urination, fever, fatigue, then you’ll want to look at some of the foods you’ve been eating recently. Some foods may cause a dark urine color:
- Asparagus makes dark yellow or even green urine. It is usually accompanied by a stronger urine odor.
- Beets can give you red urine. The urine will be a reddish tint. If your urine has more than a reddish tint, see a doctor immediately. You want to make sure you do not have blood in your urine.
- Blackberries can make red urine or smokey brown urine as well
- Food coloring in candy and other foods can also cause dark urine.
Do Medications Cause Dark Urine?
Your urine can turn darker when you are taking certain medications as well. If you have dark urine, make a list of the medications you are currently taking. You’ll need this list, and so will your doctor, to help rule out drugs that could be causing your dark urine.
Does Illness Cause Dark Urine?
There are, of course, other more serious causes of dark urine, such as a urinary tract infection, bladder infection, kidney infection, and others. These can cause blood to enter your urine as well as infected materials. Sometimes with these you’ll notice a cloudy dark urine as well. Check to see if you notice any other health symptoms such as painful urination and fever or fatigue. If you think you can rule out foods you’ve eaten, then see a doctor immediately. At the very least, you doctor can prescribe medicine to treat a urinary tract infection, or you may find you have a more serious issue to treat. If you urine is a clear dark brown urine, see a doctor immediately. This can be a sign of a liver disease such as cirrhosis of the liver or hepatitis.
When in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to dark urine. Your health is too important to delay seeing a doctor. If you act quickly, more serious health issues may be preventable.