Dark or cloudy urine – possible causes and treatment


How often do we pay attention to the color or clarity of our urine? Although it may sound strange, our urine can be an indicator of our health. It’s no coincidence that urine analysis is included in preventive check-ups that are applied annually to each of us.

Dark urine can be an indicator of something almost harmless, such as temporary dehydration, consumption of certain foods or medications, but it can also indicate the presence of diabetes or kidney problems. Cloudy urine can also “indicate” health issues such as infection or the presence of kidney stones. Therefore, if we notice that our urine is dark or cloudy, it’s important to pay attention to our health. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean a serious or incurable condition. Remember that diagnoses and final conclusions can only be made by specialists. We simply need to listen to our bodies and pay attention.

It is known that Ayurveda is based on the balance of energies in the body, called “doshas”. They are responsible for our physical health and emotional well-being. Therefore, all treatments and therapies in Ayurveda aim to harmonize the mind, body, and spirit, not neglecting the importance of individualized treatment and the causes leading to imbalance. In the Indian healing system, urine also plays an important role as a diagnostic tool that can tell us a lot about our current health status. According to Ayurveda, the different colors of urine can signal an excessively dominant dosha in the body. For example, bright yellow urine may indicate excessive activity of the Pitta dosha, while dark yellow urine is considered an indicator of a predominant Vata dosha.

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Cloudy urine, on the other hand, is a sign of toxin buildup or issues with the urogenital system. Meanwhile, clear urine is considered a sign of good hydration and a healthy balance of doshas in the body. What other reasons could there be for dark or cloudy urine? Should we be concerned, and when should we turn to a specialist? We will answer all these questions in the following lines.

Causes of dark or cloudy urine

The reasons for dark or cloudy urine can be diverse and may involve various factors that affect its composition and characteristics. Some of the main causes of dark or cloudy urine include:


Urine is a fluid produced by the kidneys as a product of blood filtration and is expelled from the body through the urethra. Besides water, urine contains various waste substances, including urea, creatinine, uric acid, and electrolytes. Dehydration, or insufficient water intake, is one of the main reasons for the appearance of dark urine. When we do not consume enough fluids, the body tries to retain as much water as possible to maintain the necessary balance of electrolytes and water in the body. This leads to more concentrated urine (with less water), which is darker than usual. Dehydration can be caused by various factors, including inadequate fluid intake, excessive sweating, diarrhea, rapid breathing, or the consumption of diuretics.

According to Ayurveda, dehydration is associated with an imbalance of Vata. Vata controls the movement and functioning of fluids in the body, including urine. When Vata is disrupted due to dehydration, it can lead to an imbalance in the body and change the color and clarity of urine.

Consumption of Certain Foods and Beverages:

Some foods and beverages can make our urine darker or even “colored” due to their influence on the balance of waste substances in the body. For example, foods rich in beta-carotene, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash, can lead to more orange urine. Also, the consumption of red or purple foods, such as red berries, beets, or red meat, can darken the color of our urine due to their content of natural pigments. Similarly, foods and beverages containing high levels of pigments or colorants, such as red wine or dark chocolate, can have the same effect.

According to Ayurveda, the food we eat should be tailored to our dosha. Otherwise, inappropriate food leads to imbalance and causes problems in our bodies. Inappropriate eating and imbalance of Pitta, in particular, can lead to dark or cloudy urine. In Ayurveda, Pitta controls various bodily functions. Improper eating that causes a Pitta imbalance most often involves the consumption of heavy, fatty, or hard-to-digest foods that hinder the process of digestion and metabolism. Such imbalance leads to the accumulation of toxins in the body and can change the color and clarity of urine. Additionally, consuming too many spicy or heavy dishes can irritate the kidneys or urinary tract, which in turn affects the color of the urine.

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Medications and Supplements

Some medications and dietary supplements can also change the color of urine and make it darker. For example, the intake of strong medications such as pain relievers (e.g., analgesics), antibiotics, or heart medications may cause dark urine as a side effect. The use of dietary supplements such as magnesium, iron, or B vitamins can also lead to a change in the color of urine. Medications for kidney stone removal can also darken the color of urine due to changes in the body’s chemical balance. Therefore, if you notice a change in the color of your urine after taking specific medications or supplements, it is important to consult with your doctor or healthcare professional to determine the cause and take necessary measures.

According to Ayurveda, different foods and supplements are believed to change the body’s energy environment depending on their taste. That is, the different strongly expressed tastes of food can induce various symptoms, including changes in urine. Therefore, when using medicines and supplements considered bitter or affecting the Pitta dosha, it is important to carefully observe our bodies, including the color of urine, to take necessary measures to restore balance in the body.

Medical Conditions

Dark urine can also be a result of various medical conditions, such as jaundice. Jaundice occurs due to the accumulation of bilirubin in the body, which most often affects the color of urine, making it darker. This is because bilirubin, which is excreted from the body through bile and urine, is not metabolized properly.

According to Ayurveda, imbalances in the functions of the liver, which is the main organ for processing bilirubin and other toxins, can lead to the appearance of various medical conditions, including jaundice. Therefore, detoxification of the body is extremely important.

Other symptoms that may be associated with dark urine:

The color of urine itself is a symptom that indicates an imbalance in our body. This can mean either that we have consumed highly pigmented foods such as blueberries or red beets, or that there is an infection or disease developing in our body. If the problem is not related to diet or dehydration, darker or cloudy urine is most often accompanied by other symptoms in our body. What can they be?

  • Dark brown urine: Even darker or so-called dark brown urine can be a symptom of melanin metabolism problems, severe dehydration, or the presence of blood in the urine.
  • Dark urine and liver issues: Dark urine can be related to problems in the liver, such as obstruction, accumulation of toxins in the liver, or other issues that may cause blood to accumulate in the urine.
  • Dark urine and abdominal pain: Abdominal pain may be related to conditions such as kidney stones or gallstones, which can cause obstructions or inflammation, manifesting as dark urine. Urinary tract infections, such as cystitis or urethritis, can also cause dark urine and abdominal pain. These infections are usually accompanied by frequent urination and a burning sensation during urination.
  • Dark urine and lower back pain: Lower back pain may also be associated with conditions such as kidney stones or kidney infections. When stones move through the urinary tract, they can cause sharp or throbbing pain in the lower back. These pains are often accompanied by dark urine due to the presence of blood or stones in the urine.
  • Dark urine in the morning: Dark urine in the morning can often cause concern, especially when we are not sure why this is happening. Usually, the cause is related to the concentration of urine overnight when our body excretes less fluid. But sometimes, this can be the result of other reasons. For example, if we do not drink enough water during the day, we may wake up with dark urine in the morning. Other possible causes include conditions such as diabetes or problems with the kidneys or gallbladder. Some medications may also change the color of urine in the morning. It is important to note that dark urine in the morning is not always a sign of a serious problem, but if it recurs or is accompanied by other unusual symptoms, it is advisable to consult a specialist.

These symptoms are not always indicative of a specific condition, and additional medical examination may be necessary to determine the cause of dark urine. Do not self-diagnose, but rather seek the opinion of a doctor or Ayurvedic specialist who can prescribe appropriate treatment if needed.

Diagnosis and treatment for dark or cloudy urine

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According to modern medicine, diagnosing the causes of dark urine typically begins with collecting a medical history and examining the patient’s symptoms. The doctor may use various diagnostic methods, including laboratory urine tests to check for infections, blood, or other unusual substances in it, blood tests to assess kidney and liver function, as well as general examinations such as ultrasound scans or computerized topographies to evaluate internal organs.

Treatment for dark urine depends on the underlying cause. For example, if dark urine is caused by dehydration, the patient may be encouraged to consume more fluids. For treating infections or other medical conditions that may cause dark urine, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics or other medications.

In Ayurveda, treatment for dark urine usually involves a holistic approach aimed at restoring the balance of doshas in the body. This may involve changes in diet and lifestyle, such as consuming lighter and more carefully selected foods and drinks that help cleanse the body of toxins and maintain the healthy condition of the kidneys and liver. Ayurvedic herbs and therapies are also used to help regulate body functions and restore the balance between the body and mind.

Maintaining a healthy diet and hydration regimen tailored to the patient’s constitution is essential. Food should be light, easily digestible, and rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains. Avoiding overly heavy or difficult-to-digest foods helps improve kidney function and urine clearance. Various herbal ingredients and minerals are used in Ayurveda to treat various health conditions, including kidney problems and darker urine.

Additionally, various Ayurvedic therapies and practices support treatment. This includes yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic massages, and detoxification (such as Panchakarma therapy), which help balance energy centers and cleanse the body of toxins. Before starting treatment using this method, it is essential to consult with a licensed practicing Ayurvedic physician, such as those at Ayurveda Clinic Bansko, who can determine the most suitable methods and remedies for your individual condition.


In conclusion, dark or cloudy urine can be an indicator of various health issues, including dehydration, infections, kidney problems, or issues with the liver. It’s important to pay attention to the color and clarity of urine as they can provide valuable information about the body’s health.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, dark urine can result from an imbalance of the doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) or the agni (digestive fire). Treatment involves balancing these energies through appropriate diets, therapies, and exercises. It’s advisable to maintain a healthy lifestyle by ensuring proper hydration, nutrition, and physical activity. In case of urinary problems, consulting with an experienced Ayurvedic specialist will help in establishing the correct diagnosis and determining an individualized treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a connection between the accumulation of toxins in the body and the color of urine?

Yes, the accumulation of toxins in the body can lead to changes in the color of urine. This is because the kidneys play an important role in eliminating toxins from the body through urine. If there is an accumulation of toxins, they can affect the process of elimination, resulting in darker or cloudier urine.

Can stress affect my urine and make it dark or cloudy?

Yes, stress can affect urine and make it dark or cloudy. Prolonged stress activates certain physiological mechanisms in the body that can alter the chemical composition of urine. This may include increased secretion of adrenaline and other hormones, which can lead to darker urine.

What therapies are used in Ayurveda for the treatment of dark urine?

In Ayurveda, various approaches are used for the treatment of dark urine, including the intake of Ayurvedic herbs such as “guduchi” and “punarnava,” which support kidney function. Additionally, detoxification procedures such as Panchakarma are performed to cleanse the body of toxins and harmful substances.

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