My Urine Is Brown: Do I Have a Urinary Tract Infection?

My Urine Is Brown: Do I Have a Urinary Tract Infection?

After your body absorbs all the beneficial nutrients, everything you eat and drink eventually gets filtered through your kidneys and turned into urine. When you pee, you get rid of waste, salt, electrolytes, chemicals, toxins, digestive byproducts, and even hormones. 

But your urine also passes out things like medications and foods. Urine contains more than 300 unique chemical compounds, including signs of illness, which is why it’s one of the best diagnostic tools.

If your urine is anything but pale yellow or light gold, Dr. Venkata Vallury and Dr. Visalakshi Vallury at Redwood Family Health Center in McKinney and Farmers Ranch, Texas, can analyze it to find out if you have an underlying condition. 

Here, we take a closer look at the different conditions that may cause brown urine.

You’re dehydrated

Dehydration is the main cause of discolored urine. Whether you sweat excessively or don’t drink enough water or both, you deprive your body of the essential fluids it needs to function properly. 

Usually, the fix is as simple as upping your water intake. Shoot for drinking about 15.5 cups a day if you’re a man, and about 11.5 cups a day if you’re a woman. 

In severe cases of dehydration, it might become necessary to replace lost fluids via IV drip.

You have a urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infections (UTI), which occur when bacteria enter the urethra, are fairly common. The infection can stay localized in your urethra or migrate upward to your bladder, ureter, or even your kidneys. 

One of the telltale signs of a UTI is discolored urine. You may notice it has become cloudy, pink, red, or brown. You may also have other symptoms, such as a strong urge to urinate, a burning sensation when you pee, and pelvic pain. 

We can treat your UTI easily with antibiotics, so make sure you come see us before it progresses and causes complications, such as kidney dysfunction, kidney scarring, or blood poisoning. 

You’ve ingested certain foods or medications

Since everything you consume eventually makes its way to your kidneys, certain foods and medications have the ability to alter the color of your urine. For example, dark-colored foods like beets and blackberries can darken your urine, as can certain types of beans and foods that are high in vitamin A or B. 

Brown urine may also stem from antibiotics, laxatives, muscle relaxants, and antimalarial drugs.

You have liver disease

Certain viral infections can inflame your liver, a condition called hepatitis, which can cause your urine to become brown.

Other liver problems can also lead to brown urine, including cirrhosis, a progressive condition where scar tissue develops and replaces healthy liver cells. 

You have a severe muscle injury

If you’ve suffered from severe trauma to your muscles, the fibers may die off and enter your bloodstream. This condition, called rhabdomyolysis, can alter the color of your urine, and it can also cause severe kidney damage if you ignore it. 

What to do about brown urine

If you notice any changes in the color of your urine, we strongly urge you to make an appointment at the Redwood Family Health Center. Our expert team is skilled, experienced, and compassionate, so you can rest assured that you will receive the best patient-centered care Texas has to offer. 

To schedule an appointment, call either of our offices in McKinney or Farmers Ranch, or book your visit online. 

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