Discoloration of Dark Urine

Pelvis | Urology | Discoloration of Dark Urine (Symptom)


Normal urine is clear and has a straw-yellow colour. The colour of the urine, however, can vary when foods of certain types are consumed or when certain medications are taken. Some substances that can change the color of the urine and potentially lead to darker urine are carotene, food colourings, beets, blackberries, laxatives, B complex vitamins, and drugs such as Pyridium.

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 colour 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. Further, cancer of the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and bladder can all cause urine to darken.

The urine may also appear darker when there is bleeding into the urine, and the numerous causes of bloody urine can all contribute to a darker appearance of the urine.

Darkened urine may accompany other symptoms affecting the urinary system including: bloody or pink-coloured urine (hematuria), cloudy urine, difficulty urinating (dysuria) and urinary retention, foul-smelling urine, frequent urination that often produces only a small amount of urine.


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