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Article: Urine Colours

Urine Colours - Novamed (Europe) ltd

Urine Colours

The urine may be dark yellow in the early stages, but it will become lighter as jaundice progresses. Brown urine may also occur as a result of liver disease.

It is essential to know that other conditions can also cause light yellow or brown urine, such as dehydration, gallstones, kidney stones and urinary tract infection, which need to be ruled out with your doctor. For those with acute disease processes such as hepatitis or cholera leading to jaundice in adults and children, respectively, urine becomes bright orange-yellow when contrasted against the paleness of skin under their nails when they scratch their fingernails down its length. Chronic jaundice in adults is more likely to be due to Wilson's disease (hereditary copper storage disease) or some other disorder of copper metabolism. If your urine is not clear, jaundiced (bright yellow), or bright orange, it could be due to the diseases mentioned above. These diseases need to be ruled out with your doctor.

There are a variety of possible causes for light yellow or brown urine:

1.) Drugs: Certain drugs prescribed for you by your doctor may cause a change in urine colour over time. For instance, some diuretics (such as hydrochlorothiazide) may cause a yellow or brown colour in the urine.

2.) Liver disease: Light yellow urine can be caused by liver problems including jaundice, gallstones, cirrhosis, hepatitis and Wilson's disease. Your doctor will need to determine if you have any of these conditions that can cause light yellow or brown urine. If your doctor thinks you might have jaundice (bright yellow urine) but cannot find a cause for it (e.g., there is no characteristic discolouration), then a liver function test will be recommended to check for liver damage.

3.) Dehydration: The colour of your urine will usually change as your body loses fluids. If you are dehydrated, your urine will take on a "dark" colour. Conversely, dark yellow (or brown) coloured urine does not necessarily mean that you are thirsty. If the cause of this change is not readily apparent, contact your doctor.

4.) Gallstones: It is usual for one to have stones in the gallbladder now and then - but if there are too many or they occur frequently, you may experience a dark yellow or brown urine (jaundice) as a result.

5.) Kidney stones: Kidney stones are hard little rocks that form in the kidneys. They are painful and can cause severe pain in the back and abdomen while also interfering with urination. Adding bright yellow urine colour to the symptoms of kidney stones is called "mottled" or "mottled jaundice," referring to the patches of darker yellow colour found in urine as well as blood.

6.) Hepatitis: The main symptom of hepatitis is jaundice (or a dark yellow/brown urine colour), which your doctor will need to confirm with a blood test. Some other illnesses that could also produce jaundice are cirrhosis, Wilson's disease, and hepatitis B or C infection.

7.) Liver tumours: If one of your liver tumours has caused jaundice, it will usually be on the right-hand side of your abdomen, where your rib cage hides it. Therefore, if you have a liver tumour on the right side of your stomach (called a hepatic adenoma), dark yellow or brown urine might be a symptom. Other liver tumours can cause similar symptoms, but your doctor must confirm this diagnosis.

8.) Pregnancy: It is not uncommon for pregnant women to experience jaundice (softer "whiter" yellow urine). This is because of increased levels of the hormones human chorionic gonadotropin and progesterone, which are produced during pregnancy.

9.) Medications: Some medications can also cause a dark yellow urine colour. These include chloroquine (a medicine used to treat malaria), the antibiotic sulfonamides, or bromosulfophthalein (a possible treatment for jaundice). If you are taking any medications, consult a doctor before discontinuing use.

As already mentioned, dark yellow urine can be caused by too much bilirubin in the bloodstream.

Why Your Urine Is Dark Yellow

When bilirubin gets in the urine, it turns the urine dark yellow. This is because bilirubin is a yellow pigment, and when it is oxidized, it turns dark yellow. The amount of bilirubin that turns your urine yellow depends on where you are in your pregnancy.

Here's how to understand:

1.) If you have a single embryo, then all of the body's bilirubin will be produced by this individual. So, in other words, if you have a single embryo, there is no bilirubin issue.

2.) If you have two embryos, then you had a singleton pregnancy at some point in the past, but one of the embryos was lost and now has to share the blood supply with the other embryo. Since it is trying to give blood to both, it will produce more bilirubin.

3. ) If you have more than two embryos, then it's multiple pregnancies, and the body is producing bilirubin for all of them. In this case, your liver will not be able to keep up with the extra load of bilirubin that is being made, and you will develop jaundice (dark yellow urine.)

The baby can also get jaundice (dark yellow urine) if she has an infection in her liver or gallbladder. Jaundice can worsen in the first 24-48 hours after birth because of the newborn's immature metabolic pathways and the fact that she doesn't yet have a working gallbladder to excrete bilirubin.

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