What Does It Mean When Urine Is Dark Yellow – Carissa Stephens, R.N., CCRN, CPN – Medically Reviewed by Ginger Wojcik – Updated December 27, 2019
The good news is that you don’t have to get your hands dirty by peeing in a cup. You can judge the color by looking at the toilet bowl after urinating. (Don’t worry if the color of the toilet water is a little washed out. It’s still a very useful meter).
What Does It Mean When Urine Is Dark Yellow
You can see a color change every day, often hourly. So, what is healthy and what should be paid attention to? We’ve put together this handy urine color chart so you won’t be surprised.
Here’s Exactly What The Color Of Your Pee Says About Your Health
It is important to drink enough water every day, but it is possible to overdo it. If your urine is completely clear and not yellow in color, you are drinking more than the recommended amount of water.
Also, if peeing is your full-time job, that’s another sign that you’re drinking too much. It is considered normal for a middle-aged person to urinate 4-10 times in 24 hours.
Excess water dilutes your body’s electrolyte balance as you want to avoid overhydration. Although rare, it can cause water poisoning.
But most of us don’t have to worry about overhydrating. In general, when you drink too much, limit yourself to small amounts of water until your urine turns yellow again.
Urine Colour Chart
Urine that goes from lemonade to a light color like lager means you’re well hydrated. We like to think of these areas of the pee spectrum as our #peegoals. (That’s right, go ahead and be proud of it!)
The most obvious way to stay hydrated is by drinking water. But did you know that eating fruits and vegetables is also a good source of water?
When your urine looks amber or dark blond, it may be time to drink water. Although this part of the spectrum does not indicate a dangerous degree of dehydration, you can go in that direction.
When your body loses more water than it takes in, it relies on the water it has. With a little water to dilute it, the natural minerals and chemicals in your urine become thicker and deeper in color.
Urine Color: What It Says About Your Health
If your urine is brown or dark orange in color, it’s time to pay attention because you’re probably severely dehydrated.
Vomiting, diarrhea and fever cause rapid loss of body water and are common causes of dehydration. Fortunately, most healthy adults can easily rehydrate by regularly drinking plenty of water and electrolyte-rich fluids.
Note that both bottled and tap water contain small amounts of electrolytes, so you may need something with a higher concentration, such as Gatorade or a homemade tonic, to adequately balance your body’s electrolytes.
For children who are dehydrated from vomiting and diarrhea, the Mayo Clinic recommends treatment with an over-the-counter oral rehydration solution such as Pedialyte.
The Pee Color Spectrum: What It Means
It’s also possible that something you ate recently is causing the brown urine. Some foods known to cause brown urine include:
We expect our urine to be yellow in color. So when you look at the toilet and see a different color, it can be a momentary panic.
Before you jump to wild conclusions about why your toilet looks like a fruit bowl, think about that new food you’ve eaten or medicine you’ve taken.
Amitriptyline, indomethacin (Indocin), cimetidine (Tagamet), and promethazine (Phenergan); Also methylene blue and propofol (although these are rarely used outside the hospital)
Signs Of Urine Trouble: Know The Colors Of Urine
Suspicion, uncertainty, and unusual colored discharge unrelated to recent food or medication are good reasons to see a doctor.
However, experts emphasize that if urine is very dark or orange in color, make an appointment sooner rather than later, as liver dysfunction may be the cause.
Current daily recommendations are about 9 cups for women and 13 cups for men. But remember that these are just general guidelines.
Whether you’re young, pregnant or breastfeeding, how hot the weather is and your level of physical activity affect how healthy water is for you.
Urine Infections, Urine Color: What Urine Says About Health
If you wait to drink until you’re thirsty, you may miss the mark. Having a refillable water bottle on hand is a great way to make sure you’re getting enough water. You can remind yourself to drink between tasks or during other breaks, such as commercial breaks or new episodes of shows. Be sure to squeeze more if you’re in a very hot or dry place, or if you’re breastfeeding or doing a lot of physical activity.
Answers reflect the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informative and should not be construed as medical advice.
There are strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes and medical associations. We do not use third party references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial policies. Dark urine can be a sign of dehydration, jaundice, infection, and other health conditions. Certain medications and foods, such as rhubarb or beets, can also change the color of urine.
Urine contains excess water and waste products filtered by the kidneys from the blood. Depending on the proportion of water waste products, it can vary from light yellow to dark yellow.
Why Is My Urine Orange? Causes And Treatments For Orange Urine
Many things can affect the color of urine. Most are harmless, but discoloration can sometimes indicate a health problem.
Dark urine is usually a sign of dehydration. Dehydration occurs when the body does not have enough water.
In most cases, people can treat dehydration by drinking clear fluids, such as water and herbal teas.
Beets and blackberries can turn urine red, and eating rhubarb can cause a dark brown or teal color.
Urine Color, Classifications, Result Interpretations
Red blood cells develop in the bone marrow. The body normally destroys old or damaged red blood cells in the spleen through a process called hemolysis.
Genetic blood disorders such as sickle cell disease or thalassemia can also cause hemolytic anemia. This is a possible side effect of certain medications and can sometimes occur after blood transfusions.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria enter the bladder, usually through the urethra. Women suffer from urinary tract infections more often than men and many know them as bladder infections or cystitis.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) can cause liver infection. It has few symptoms in its early stages, so many people don’t know it until the liver is damaged. Because HCV affects how the liver processes waste, HCV can cause dark urine.
What Color Urine Should Be If You’re Healthy And Hydrated
People who received blood transfusions or organ transplants before July 1992, or blood products for clotting problems produced before 1987 are at risk for HCV.
Other risk factors include sharing needles, having unprotected sex with someone infected with HCV, and tattooing using sterile equipment.
Symptoms, if present, usually appear 2 weeks to 6 months after exposure to the virus. These are usually mild and may include:
People with severe dehydration may need rehydration therapy. This process usually involves receiving saline or oral rehydration fluids and electrolytes in the hospital.
Rabbit Urine Color Guide: Vet Approved Causes & Recommendations
Dark urine from food, drink or medication is usually not a cause for concern. Once the person stops consuming whatever caused the change, the urine will return to its normal color.
Many cases of mild hemolytic anemia do not require treatment. For others, lifestyle changes can help manage symptoms.
Severe cases of hemolytic anemia may require blood transfusions, blood and bone marrow transplants, or surgery to remove the spleen.
Doctors usually prescribe a short course of antibiotics to treat a UTI. People with severe infections may need a longer course of antibiotics. Some people may experience pain relief.
Sometimes My Urine Is Very Dark Yellow. What Does This Mean?
HCV treatment over the years has various potential side effects. However, new treatments can help treat different types of the virus without serious side effects.
People who show symptoms of severe dehydration should seek medical attention immediately, as this condition can lead to serious complications.
Anyone who thinks they have a UTI should see a doctor for testing and possible antibiotic treatment. Without treatment, the infection can spread to the kidneys.
Anyone who suspects exposure to HCV should talk to a healthcare provider about getting tested. The virus can cause severe liver damage if left untreated.
Different Colours Of Urine And Their Meaning
Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and uses only peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes, medical journals and associations. We do not use third party references. We link to primary sources—including studies, scientific references, and statistics—within each article and list them in the sources section below our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial policies. There are several indicators of how healthy you are, and urine is one of them. Although it may seem a little strange, a glance can give you a clue about when to come in for a check-up. It can also tell you when your urinary system is working properly.
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