Your Usual Urine Color

What Causes Light Or Dark Urine?

Light or dark urine can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'very serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose light or dark urine, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "light or dark urine" as a symptom.  Here are seven possibilities:
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Hemolytic Anemia
  • Hepatitis
  • Porphyria
  • Ochronosis / Alkaptonuria
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia
  • Dehydration

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
morning sickness
black/brown fingernails
numb/burning/tingling extremities
high alcohol consumption
liver/gallbladder cleanses help
Caucasian ethnicity
tender muscles
moderate epigastric pain
high systolic blood pressure
joint pain/swelling/stiffness
unexplained high fevers
recent onset nausea
... and more than 120 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of light or dark urine:
Cause Probability Status
Hemolytic Anemia 92% Confirm
Porphyria 27% Unlikely
Gallbladder Disease 20% Unlikely
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia 4% Ruled out
Hepatitis 4% Ruled out
Ochronosis / Alkaptonuria 4% Ruled out
Dehydration 2% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Urinary Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about your usual urine color:
What is the usual color of your urine, ignoring supplement (B-vitamin) yellowing, medications you are taking or other obvious factors?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ Colorless
→ Light Yellow
→ Dark Yellow
→ Very dark or black
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate clear urine color, light urine color or dark urine color, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Ochronosis / Alkaptonuria

Although a very rare disease, the main outward symptom of ochronosis is black urine.

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