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Learn about your dark brown urine, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your dark brown urine from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Dark Brown Urine Checker

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Your Dark Brown Urine May Also be Known as:
Brown pee
Dark brown pee
Dark pee
Dark urine

Dark Brown Urine Symptoms

The body eliminates excess water and waste through urine. Urine is typically yellow in color and depending on the amount of water in the urine, this yellow color can range from pale (diluted), to deep gold or amber (concentrated).

Even with this broad range of normal colors, many different processes can change the color of urine from yellow to dark brown or even pink or maroon. Most of these processes are benign, but processes that produce dark brown urine are usually a sign of an underlying problem and should always be followed up with your doctor.

If you notice dark brown urine, take note of other symptoms you may be experiencing, such as:

Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you notice any of these dark brown urine symptoms to get appropriate care.

Dark Brown Urine Causes Overview

The process of urination requires multiple parts of the body – the kidneys filter the urine, the ureters carry urine from the kidney to the bladder where urine is stored, and finally the urethra takes urine from the bladder and expels it from the body. All of these are parts of the urinary tract.

Anything that your kidney filters and excretes via the urinary tract can affect the color of the urine. Urine can change color depending on the amount of water your body excretes, pigments present in food, and systemic processes that cause bodily breakdown.

Medical conditions

  • Infection: Many types of outside bacteria can easily enter the body via the urinary tract, including sexually transmitted bacteria such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. Urinary tract infections often cause dark brown urine symptoms in addition to pain.

  • Blood disorders: Conditions that cause breakdown and destruction of blood cells can turn urine dark brown. Any blood disorder that involves breakdown of hemoglobin – a component of red blood cells – will be excreted by the kidneys turning the urine dark brown.

  • Systemic disease: Diseases that affect the kidney and liver can seriously affect the processes that filter and excrete urine. Such conditions can include cancer, hepatitis and cirrhosis.

Medication

  • Antibiotics: Certain antibiotics such as metronidazole often turn the urine dark brown. The change in color is usually benign and due to pigment in the medications that are filtered out into the urine.
  • Antimalarial: Drugs such as chloroquine and primaquine can also turn urine dark brown.

Environmental causes

  • Diet: Eating large amounts of fava beans, rhubarb and or aloe can cause dark brown urine. The mechanisms are not clearly known. Furthermore, severe dehydration and insufficient water intake can also turn urine dark brown.
  • Exercise: Overly strenuous exercise can cause serious breakdown and damage of muscle cells. This breakdown of muscle releases toxic products (myoglobin) into the bloodstream that are filtered and excreted by the kidneys. These breakdown products turn the urine dark brown and injure the kidneys. This is a serious illness needing immediate medical attention.

Top 9 Dark Brown Urine Causes

  1. 1.Chronic Hepatitis c

    Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) that is carried in human blood. It spreads through contact with infected blood, such as through infected needles, toothbrushes, or razors, through unprotected sex with an infected person, and from mother to baby during childbirth.

    You should schedule a visit with a doctor to discuss your symptoms and possible treatments.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite, joint pain
    Symptoms that never occur with chronic hepatitis c:
    pain in the lower right abdomen, pain in the lower left abdomen, pain in the upper left abdomen, pain around the belly button
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Gall Bladder Infection (Cholecystitis)

    Cholecystitis is the inflammation of the gallbladder. The gallbladder holds bile (a digestive juice). Gallstones can form when the bile gets thick, and these stones can block up the gallbladder and cause inflammation.

    You should seek immediate medical care at an ER, where an ultrasound of your abdomen and blood tests would confirm a diagnosis. Not seeking care may lead to the gallbladder bursting and causing a deadly infection in the abdomen.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation
    Symptoms that always occur with gall bladder infection (cholecystitis):
    abdominal pain (stomach ache)
    Symptoms that never occur with gall bladder infection (cholecystitis):
    pain in the upper left abdomen, pain in the lower left abdomen
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  3. 3.Acute Postinfectious Glomerulonephritis

    The kidneys are a pair of important organs that lie near the spine whose function is to filter blood. There are about 1 million glomeruli in each kidney, which are tiny balls of thin blood vessels where there filtration takes place. After an infection anywhere in the body, especially a streptococcal infection (strep throat), these glomeruli may become inflamed.

    You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours. Prescription medications are needed to take care of the inflammation as well as any infection if it is still present. The kidney is an important organ and needs to be taken care of as soon as possible!

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  4. 4.Malignant Hyperthermia

    Malignant hyperthermia is a rare life-threatening condition usually triggered by drugs like general anesthesia. In certain individuals, these drugs can cause a drastic increase in carbon dioxide, decrease in body temperature, muscle rigidity and ultimately death if not immediately treated.

    Call 911 for an ambulance now. This is a life-threatening condition that needs to be treated at the hospital.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    being severely ill, shortness of breath, severe fever, dark brown urine, muscle stiffness/rigidity
    Symptoms that always occur with malignant hyperthermia:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service

    Dark Brown Urine Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having dark brown urine.

    Take a quiz
  5. 5.Dehydration

    Dehydration occurs when the body does not have fluid to function properly, because of decreased intake or increased losses like vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms of dehydration include extreme thirst, dark urine, fatigue, and dizziness.

    You should go to the emergency room to receive treatment. It is likely IV rehydration will be required.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea, racing heart beat, being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  6. 6.Acute Kidney Injury

    Acute kidney injury is a sudden episode of damage or failure to the kidney. It is common in older adults as well as patients in hospital.

    Acute kidney injury requires immediate medical attention to prevent further damage to the kidney and usually results in a hospital stay.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain (stomach ache), shortness of breath, urinary changes, fatigue
    Symptoms that always occur with acute kidney injury:
    urinary changes
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  7. 7.Hepatitis b

    Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) that is carried in human blood. It spreads through contact with infected blood, such as through infected needles, toothbrushes, or razors, through unprotected sex with an infected person, and from mother to baby during childbirth.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Hepatitis B infection, if confirmed by a blood test, is treated with prescription antiviral medication.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, headache
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.G6pd Deficiency

    G6PD deficiency is an inherited condition in which the body doesn't have enough of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) which helps red blood cells function normally.

    You should visit your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options for managing symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), fatigue, yellow skin (jaundice), dark brown urine, pale skin all over
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Iga Nephropathy

    Nephropathy is damage, disease, or other problems with the kidney. IgA nephropathy, also known as Berger's disease, is a kidney disorder in which antibodies called IgA build up in kidney tissue. This results in local inflammation that may over time hinder the kidney's ability to filter out waste, excess water, and electrolytes (salts) from the blood.

    You should visit your primary care physician. IgA nephropathy is treated with blood pressure medications, omega-3 fatty acids, immunosuppressants, and cholesterol-lowering medications (statins). In rare, progressed cases, dialysis or kidney transplant may be necessary.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    side pain, bilateral leg swelling, pink/blood-tinged urine, dark brown urine, groin pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Dark Brown Urine Treatments and Relief

Many causes of dark brown urine can be stopped or prevented with simple lifestyle changes.

  • Take note of your medications: If your dark brown urine is the result of medications you are taking, talk to your doctor about your options. Your doctor may discontinue your medication or suggest a similar alternative.
  • Notice your diet and the foods you consume: Very specific foods such as fava beans, rhubarb and aloe cause dark brown urine. Cutting back on intake of these foods should resolve your changes in urine color.
  • Insufficient fluid intake can cause dark brown urine in severe cases: Drinking more water daily is a simple way to combat this symptom. Buy a large bottle of water to drink throughout the day or try to drink extra cups of water at mealtimes.

If these home remedies and lifestyle changes do not help to improve your dark brown urine symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor.

Your doctor will perform the following diagnostic tests in order to make the proper diagnosis. ### Dark brown urine treatment will be diagnosis dependent and your doctor will discuss all of the appropriate options. ###

  • Urinalysis: Your doctor will take a urine sample in order to look for red blood cells, levels of protein, and excreted minerals and pigments in the urine that may indicate underlying kidney or urinary tract problems. Your doctor may also check for bacteria.
  • Blood tests: Certain blood tests can measure the level of waste products that build up in your bloodstream when your kidneys are damaged and not filtering properly. Your doctor may also check for elevated levels of liver enzymes that indicate liver damage.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Dark Brown Urine

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Do you feel pain when you urinate?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our dark brown urine symptom checker.

Take a quiz

Dark Brown Urine Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced dark brown urine have also experienced:

    • 5% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
    • 4% Bad Smelling Urine
    • 4% Vaginal Discharge
  • People who have experienced dark brown urine were most often matched with:

    • 18% Chronic Hepatitis c
    • 6% Gall Bladder Infection (Cholecystitis)
    • 4% Acute Postinfectious Glomerulonephritis

Dark Brown Urine Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having dark brown urine.

Take a quiz