Concerned About Your Dark Urine? Here’s What You Should Do
When you go to the bathroom, you probably do not give much thought to the color of your urine, if you even notice it at all.
However, studies show that you definitely should. The color of your urine can actually be a fairly good indicator of your overall health and well-being.
So, with that in mind, why not take a look after you use the toilet? Sure, it can be a bit on the gross side, but this simple action can make a huge impact in how you perceive your health and how healthy you are as a person.
In addition to looking after you use the restroom, it’s imperative to know the various causes of dark urine. That way, if you experience it for yourself, you can determine why it’s happening and then fix it fully.
First Of All, What’s Normal?
Before you can be concerned about your urine, its color, or anything related to your urine, you need to, first of all, know what is normal and not normal in terms of urine production.
First of all, in terms of urine color, your urine should always be somewhere on the yellow spectrum. This might mean anywhere from a very pale yellow to a darker, more amber color.
In any case, as long as your urine is somewhere on that spectrum and you are going a normal amount - not less or more than usual - you should be fine.
When your urine transgresses into much darker colors, however, or the frequency or intensity changes, then it’s time to start diving in, preferably with a doctor’s help, and figuring out what’s going on.
Be Mindful Of Your Diet
Whatever you put into your body will also come back out of your body in the form of waste.
Most of the time, when we think of “waste,” we think of feces. As we all know, for example, if you eat a lot of blueberries, you can expect to see a funny blue tinge to your poop.
Your urine, however, is much the same way. What you eat affects its color.
Some foods, if you eat too much of them, will often turn your urine a funny dark shade, typically as an indicator that you will want to scale back on these particular foods or types of foods.
Some foods that are known for turning urine dark include:
If you, in one instance, eat too many of these foods and they tint your urine, it’s no big deal.
If you are eating large volumes of these foods too frequently, however, and your urine is regularly an off, “dark” color, take this as a good indicator that you probably want to incorporate less of them, no matter how healthy they might be, into your diet. After all, too much of a good thing is still too much.
Watch Out For Blood In Your Urine
While, as you can tell, being aware of the warning signs of your diet affecting your urine is important, you should also be on the lookout for more serious symptoms in your urine.
Sure, dark urine is a bad thing, but you should be even more careful and concerned about the presence of blood in your urine.
Whether you notice a streak here and there or, even worse, a whole pool of blood, seeing blood in your urine or even thinking that it might be present is a definite reason to see your doctor and to seek the appropriate medical attention.
You Experience Kidney Pain
Dark urine in and of itself is not that big of a deal. However, dark urine or otherwise noticeably different urine, in any way, shape, or form, that is accompanied by kidney pain, definitely is.
If you are feeling kidney pain or any kind of lower back pain and it is also accompanied by lower back pain, you will want to see a doctor right away.
This awful combination of symptoms could be due to any number of things, from a bladder or kidney infection all the way to some form of cancer.
In any event, if you are experiencing these types of symptoms, then it is definitely time for a checkup.
Pale Stools Are Also Present
Just as your urine and its color can often key you in to negative things that may be going on with your body, your stool is also another great indicator of potential issues.
If your stool, for example, happens to be noticeably paler than usual and you are also dealing with darker colored urine, book an appointment with a doctor.
This combination can sometimes mean that something is not quite right with your liver and that it’s time to see a doctor to get to the bottom of what is going on.
You Have A History Of Urinary Tract Infections
Many people, especially women, suffer from urinary tract infections. The worst thing about this issue is that it can be quite persistent and regular. And, if you have had a urinary tract infection in the past, you are more likely to have one again in the future.
Thus, if you think you may have a urinary tract infection and are experiencing dark urine or if you have had them in the past, and find yourself again dealing with this issue, see a doctor. The sooner you get the condition, if it is indeed present, diagnosed and treated, the better off you will be.
You Have Recently Had Unprotected Sex
The possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or infection is not something that most of us like to think about.
Unfortunately, however, this is a very real concern for many people. And, one of the most common ways for one of these health issues to manifest itself is in the form of discolored urine.
Thus, if you have recently noticed changes in your urine, especially if these changes are accompanied by burning or pain upon urination, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
This could be an early indicator that you have developed a sexually transmitted disease or an infection. The only way to know for sure and to get the proper help is by seeing a professional.
Certain Medication Can Affect Urine Color
Not all urine discoloration means that you have a serious illness. Sometimes, even healthy people can have discolored urine.
For example, one of the more common causes of dark urine is the use of certain medications. Dyes and other ingredients cause the urine to become a darker color. Fortunately, this is not cause for concern.
As long as you are using the medication as prescribed to you and in the correct amounts, you are just dealing with a common and harmless side effect of the medication. For many people, as their bodies adjust to the medication, the discolored urine will go away.
Medications that are commonly known to affect urine color include Azulfidine, Pyridium, and some chemotherapy medications. If you’re unsure about whether your medication has the ability to change your urine color, check with your doctor. That way, you won’t be too surprised or worried if you see a darker color in the toilet.
You Have Recently Been Through A Rough Workout
We’re all taught that exercise is good for us. And, while that is definitely true, it’s also true that you can overdo it and inure yourself.
Sometimes, when you have inadvertently injured your kidneys during exercise or have other muscle damage, your urine will be tinted dark, alerting you to a problem.
Likewise, if you’ve worked out so hard that you’ve become dehydrated, your urine will often let you know.
Thus, if dark urine comes following a tough workout or some kind of injury, speak with a doctor to assess the damage and see what needs to be done.
Other Discolored Urine
While we’ve spent a lot of time talking about dark urine, its causes, and what to do if you notice it, it’s important to mention that urine can be discolored in other ways too.
When the body is overly hydrated, for example, the urine may appear clear or very light in color.
Likewise, urine can also take on other colors, like even a blue or greenish tint. Just like with dark urine, urine that is discolored in this way has all kinds of causes, including both medications and medical conditions.
No matter what type of urine you’re dealing with, if it’s not the normal color, take heed of what your body is trying to tell you. See a doctor, and go from there.
Dark Urine - Always Listen To What Your Body Has To Say
If you listen to your body and pay attention to what comes out of it, you’ll find it much easier to avoid serious health problems in the long run.
And, when anything is in question, don’t hesitate to see your doctor.