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Why is my pee brown?


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So, for the past few days my urine has been a dark yellow/brown color. I think it's very weird since my pee has always been either clear or light yellow. I always make sure I get enough water (at least a liter a day). Could it be the changes in my diet. I've been eating more protein lately and less carbs and fats. My ratio is about 50% protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fats daily. I also recently started taking creatine supplements, as well as a multivitamin and protein powder. I've been on this new deit and taking my supplements for 3 days now, and my urine has been dark for about 3 days. Anyone know the cause?

Edited Sep 18 2008 03:32 by coach_k
Reason: Moved from Weight Loss to Health and Support
22 Replies (last)
When I was younger I had kidney problems, and dark urine meant blood was present.  Meaning they weren't working right- not good.  My parents found out I was sick when they finally took me to the hospital because it looked like I was urinating cranberry juice.
 
I have no clue if it could be from your diet.  If I were you, I would go to a doctor.

Really? What happened? Are you fine now? I read that too much protein could cause kidney problems but I'm only getting 220g a day, and it wouldn't hurt my kidneys this fast. Maybe I should see a doctor.

Could be a bladder infection.

Oh boy -  are you feeling sick at all?  Any other symptoms?   This may be something simple, or it could be a problem with your kidneys.   I have chronic microscopic blood in my urine (family history of kidney disease). My urine is a normal yellow color, but my specialist told me that if I ever see red/brown urine to get in right away and get checked.  This is not something to mess with - go to a clinic and get checked out as soon as you can.  They can do a quick urinalysis and blood test to see what is going on.    Hope everything works out ok for you.

I feel fine. Better than usual, actually. I have a lot more energy and all that. I plan to see a doctor soon, but not for a few weeks.

I apologize, but that's stupid. If your urine is brown, there is a good chance your kidneys are bleeding. You should be going to emergency or at least making a high priority appointment to make sure you're fine.

What my first thought was, what are the supplements you are taking?  Did you start having this brown urine at the same time you started these supplements?  I googled Creatine supplements and Wikipedia had this to say...

Safety

Creatine supplementation, in the dosages commonly used, results in urinary concentrations that are 90 times greater than normal. The long term effects of this have not been investigated, but there is possibility for a variety of nephrotoxic, i.e., kidney damaging, events. There is potential for direct toxicity on renal tubules where urine is formed, and for acceleration of kidney stone formation.

When I take my supplements it changes the color of my urine.  It is a darker yellow.

If I were you I'd ask my doctor about the use of this Creatine supplement.  But you should for sure call you doctor ASAP, anything like that is not normal.

I would have to agree with wistfulthinking. I would go to the emergency room just to make sure you are okay.Urine that color can suggest UTI or it could be your diet.B vitamins can cause a brown color to urine.B vitamins are found in protein or any animal products. Also brown urine can indicate liver disease,hepatitis, and melonoma cancer.A dark yellow urine can indicate liver problems, jaundice or not getting enough water in your system which is not the case because you stated you drink enough water. I honestly think it is your new diet.You have increased your intake in protein but still go see a doctor right away.better safe than sorry right. Good luck with everything and hope you are okay. 

It's probably one of your supplements.  My old multivitamin turned my pee bright neon yellow - it also had like over 1000% DV of some vitamins.  If your multivitamin has super high concentrations like that, you should probably switch.  It's just not necessary.

If I were you, I'd stop taking the supplements for a day or two and see if your urine goes back to normal color.  If not, then I'd go to the doctor.

i have to assume that if ur pee turned brown right when ( or around the time) you started taking the pills that its usually most likely the pills ???  like carrie said, stop taking them and see what happens.. then go to the doc if nothing changes.. or just call ur doc and talk to the nurse..

ew.. LOL

but seriously it could be the pills... when I was a kid I used to eat vitamin C pills because they were like candy haha but they made my pee very dark orange lol.

Original Post by wistfulxthinking:

I apologize, but that's stupid. If your urine is brown, there is a good chance your kidneys are bleeding. You should be going to emergency or at least making a high priority appointment to make sure you're fine.

Well, sorry, but 1. I don't have insurance right now. Yesterday was my 90th day at work and I'm waiting for my insurance to go through so I can see a doctor. And 2. It's brown urine, not a gun-shot wound. I realize that this could be very serious, but it probably isn't. I still think it's my diet and/or supplements. Let's see the day after I start taking vitamins and supplement my pee turns brown. Hmm... I figure that if my pee just started turning brown 2 days ago, then I have at least a week or two week before any long term damage is done. I'm going to not take my supplements today and see what happens. Thanks for the advice guys.

You are eating way too much protein. your really only need about 10-15% of your calories from it. It could be taxing your kidneys.

Actually the poster is fairly large male (at least what I can tell from his bio -- was 276 and has lost 50 lbs.).  He appears to be getting roughly 1gram of protein per pound of body weight, so that isn't bad.  Having it be 50% of his total calories makes me wonder if he's getting enough calories overall, but that's whole different issue.  I try to get 20-25% of my calories from protein. 

I am not a doctor (or nurse, or any kind of health professional), but I would think that with this sudden onset of coloration to his urine, and no other symptoms, I would try cutting out the supplements and making sure to drink lots more water to see if the color returns to normal.  If it doesn't get better, or if he gets other symptoms, burning, painful urination, lower back ache, fever, etc. then he should see a doctor.  

I am a nurse.

Take it from me-this is not something you should take lightly. If you have a urinary tract infection, you should also be feeling pain with urination and should be going more frequently. Unless you are noticing these things, this is most likely not the cause. I know you feel fine, but most people don't have major symptoms of kidney disease until 75% of kidney function is gone, and this whole time, your body can be damaged. Once your kidneys start to go, it is just a road to organ failure throughout your body. And acute renal  failure can show up immediately. It doesn't have to be over a long period of time. What you are describing can be signs of kidney failure. Another sign of kidney disease is flank (back) pain. Are you having back pain that you attribute to working out? It might be a bad sign. Creatine usually causes kidney disease in those with existing problems, but again you could have problems with your kidneys for years and not know. The Creatine could have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

Are you taking any other medications? Many medications and supplements can turn the urine fluorescent yellow, orange/red, or even green. Brown is not as commonly seen as a side effect of medications. B vitamins tend to turn urine orange or dark yellow, but not usually brown. Brown can be a sign of blood in the urine or bile in the urine, which are often caused by kidney or liver disease.

Another possibility is that you are dehydrated. That is a common side effect of Creatine. When you take Creatine, you need to drink much more water than usual-- and not just when you are thirsty. If you are thirsty, you are already starting to become dehydrated. Don't take dehydration lightly either; without enough water, your kidneys WILL fail.

Here is my advice:

Start by drinking a LOT more water. If this is the cause, you should see a very quick change in the color. If there is no change, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. The urinalysis that they will perform is not very expensive. Make an appointment with your doctor. If you tell them your symptoms, they will try to get you in asap. If you have more or worsening symptoms between now and then, go to the ER.

I know you have no insurance right now, which puts you in a tough spot. Keep in mind, however that there are many hospitals that are required to give care regardless of ability to pay. It could be nothing or it could be something very serious. You just have to ask yourself if you want to take the chance.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and it is NOT appropriate to wait a week or two with these symptoms! If it is something serious, the damage can be blindness, multi-organ damage or failure, electrolyte imbalances (which can lead to heart failure instantly) and many many other things. Your entire body depends on the kidneys. Your blood is toxic without them. You owe it to yourself to make sure they are working.

I also want to mention that a 50 pound loss in 2 months is stressful on the body. And too much protein can speed up or exacerbate kidney damage.


Hahaha You are sick of me now right? Maybe this will be my last post Smile

Stop taking the supplements and if your pee isn't a different color the next day, go to the doctor or urgent care (the emergency room is an expensive alternative!)  My vitamins turn my pee bright yellow, but the day I forget to take them I know because it's the regular (non)color.   Hope everything is okay!

Original Post by downingsm:

I am a nurse.

Take it from me-this is not something you should take lightly. If you have a urinary tract infection, you should also be feeling pain with urination and should be going more frequently. Unless you are noticing these things, this is most likely not the cause. I know you feel fine, but most people don't have major symptoms of kidney disease until 75% of kidney function is gone, and this whole time, your body can be damaged. Once your kidneys start to go, it is just a road to organ failure throughout your body. And acute renal  failure can show up immediately. It doesn't have to be over a long period of time. What you are describing can be signs of kidney failure. Another sign of kidney disease is flank (back) pain. Are you having back pain that you attribute to working out? It might be a bad sign. Creatine usually causes kidney disease in those with existing problems, but again you could have problems with your kidneys for years and not know. The Creatine could have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

Are you taking any other medications? Many medications and supplements can turn the urine fluorescent yellow, orange/red, or even green. Brown is not as commonly seen as a side effect of medications. B vitamins tend to turn urine orange or dark yellow, but not usually brown. Brown can be a sign of blood in the urine or bile in the urine, which are often caused by kidney or liver disease.

Another possibility is that you are dehydrated. That is a common side effect of Creatine. When you take Creatine, you need to drink much more water than usual-- and not just when you are thirsty. If you are thirsty, you are already starting to become dehydrated. Don't take dehydration lightly either; without enough water, your kidneys WILL fail.

Here is my advice:

Start by drinking a LOT more water. If this is the cause, you should see a very quick change in the color. If there is no change, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. The urinalysis that they will perform is not very expensive. Make an appointment with your doctor. If you tell them your symptoms, they will try to get you in asap. If you have more or worsening symptoms between now and then, go to the ER.

I know you have no insurance right now, which puts you in a tough spot. Keep in mind, however that there are many hospitals that are required to give care regardless of ability to pay. It could be nothing or it could be something very serious. You just have to ask yourself if you want to take the chance.

 

 

 

 

 

Well I didn't take any supplements today and drank a LOT more water (usually I drink 1 liter bottle, today I probably drank close to 3) and my urine almost instantly changed color, first to light yellow, then *almost* completely clear. There is s very lite tint, but I can't tell if it's yellow or brown (to me, it looks yellow). I'm going to add back in the supplements one at a time over a period of several days and see if my urine changes color again. Once my insurance goes through I still plan to see the doctor for a physical, and to check my urine. Thanks for all the advice everyone.

Also, if the brown color was caused by blood in my urine, would drinking more water dilute it so it came out clear/yellow? Basically it's not blood if it went back to it's normal color after drinking water, right?

22 Replies (last)
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