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What Are Causes For Dark Urine?

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Overview of Causes for Dark Urine

Urine doesn’t get much attention these days, but when abnormally dark urine appears in the toilet bowl, it should get a second glance. Urine that is darker than normal or significantly discolored is a telling sign about your health. There are several different causes for dark urine ranging from benign to life-threatening.

Possible Causes for Dark Urine

There are many different causes of dark urine. Some causes are serious and threatening to one’s health, so it is important to take note of changes in your urine. Causes of dark urine include the following:

  • Hepatitis. Different strains of hepatitis are causes for dark urine:
    • Hepatitis A
    • Hepatitis B
    • Hepatitis C
  • Cirrhosis, scarring of the liver. This is a possible complication of hepatitis B and other liver diseases.
  • Dehydration, drinking too little fluids.
  • Food. Eating large amounts of certain foods, such as fava beans or rhubarb
  • Medications. Many medications such as antibiotics or laxatives are causes for dark urine.

Diagnosing Causes for Dark Urine

STD testing can help identify causes for dark urine. The hepatitis virus, including hepatitis B, can be transmitted during sexual intercourse. STD testing and hepatitis B testing is available at local labs across the country, and results will be available in just a few short days.

Even if you are not sexually active and still experiencing possible hepatitis B symptoms, you should still be tested for hepatitis B and other liver diseases since they are typically transmitted through blood. If cirrhosis is causing symptoms, a doctor can perform addition tests to determine the underlying cause and to establish the amount of liver damage.

Also, when diagnosing causes for dark urine, pay attention to any strange foods you have been eating, what medication or supplements you are taking and how much watcher you are drinking.

Treating Causes for Dark Urine

Treating causes for dark urine depends on the specific diagnosis. With hepatitis B, treatment is based on whether the infection is acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis B infections usually don’t require treatment and will heal on its own. Chronic hepatitis infections require antiviral medication and ongoing monitoring. In cases where chronic hepatitis B has caused cirrhosis, a liver transplant may be required.

When foods or medications are the causes for dark urine, it may be harmless. Ask your doctor for more information. When dark urine is a symptom, be sure to drink enough water daily.

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