Why Is Your Urine Brown?

Reviewed on 9/16/2020

What Causes Brown Urine?

Dehydration or pigments from certain foods, supplements or medication are the most common causes of off-color urine.
Dehydration or pigments from certain foods, supplements or medication are the most common causes of off-color urine.

Normal urine has a light yellow to amber color, but the color of urine can change depending on how much you drink, what you eat, and if you take any medications. 

There are numerous causes for brown urine, such as:

What Symptoms May Accompany Brown Urine?

Other symptoms that may accompany brown urine include:

  • Dehydration 
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
    • Urinary urgency or frequency
    • Pain or a burning sensation on urination
    • Smelly or cloudy urine
    • Pain in the lower abdomen
    • Tiredness
    • Feeling unwell (malaise)
  • Kidney stones
    • Sharp pains in the back, side, lower abdomen, or groin
    • Urinary frequency
    • Pain while urinating
    • Difficulty urinating 
    • Cloudy or bad-smelling urine
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Fever
    • Chills
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia
    • Abnormal vaginal or penile discharge 
    • Burning sensation when urinating
    • Pain and swelling in one or both testicles in men
    • Rectal pain, discharge, bleeding
  • Internal trauma 
    • Pain in the abdomen
  • Cancer
    • Urinary frequency and urgency
    • Pain or burning during urination
    • Difficulty urinating or having a weak urine stream
    • Waking to urinate multiple times during the night
  • Bladder stones
  • Liver problems such as hepatitis
    • Muscle and joint pain
    • Fever
    • Feeling unwell (malaise)
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite
    • Stomach pain
    • Pale, grey-colored stool
    • Itchy skin
    • Yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
  • Cirrhosis or alcoholic liver disease
    • Weakness
    • Tiredness
    • Loss of appetite
    • Weight loss
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Pain or discomfort in the upper right abdomen
    • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Liver cancer
    • Weight loss without trying
    • Loss of appetite
    • Feeling full after a small meal
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • An enlarged liver, felt as fullness under the ribs on the right side
    • An enlarged spleen, felt as fullness under the ribs on the left side
    • Pain in the abdomen or near the right shoulder blade
    • Swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen
    • Itching
    • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

QUESTION

The only purpose of the kidneys is to filter blood. See Answer

What Is the Treatment for Brown Urine?

Treatment for brown urine depends on the cause. 

  • Dehydration 
    • Drink more fluids
    • In severe cases, intravenous (IV) fluids may be administered by a doctor
  • Certain foods and vitamins
    • Urine discoloration caused by foods or vitamin supplements is harmless and does not need to be treated
  • Some medications
    • Discolored urine due to medications is usually harmless
    • When you finish taking the medication the discoloration should go away
    • Do not stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your doctor
  • Blood in urine
    • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
      • Antibiotics
      • Over-the-counter pain relievers 
    • Kidney stones
      • Over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription pain medications 
      • Antibiotics if due to infection
      • Surgical removal 
    • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia
      • Antibiotics 
    • Internal trauma 
      • Treatment depends on severity 
      • Rest and medical observation
      • Surgery
    • Cancer
  • Bladder stones
    • May pass on their own, and patients are advised to drink lots of water
    • Removal of stones with a cystoscope
    • Surgical removal of stones
  • Liver problems such as hepatitis
    • Treatment depends on the cause
    • Medications can treat hepatitis C
  • Cirrhosis or alcoholic liver disease
  • Liver cancer 
    • Surgery 
    • Ablation 
    • Embolization therapy 
    • Radiation therapy 
    • Targeted drug therapy 
    • Immunotherapy 
    • Chemotherapy 

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Reviewed on 9/16/2020
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