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What diseases cause urine to turn brown?

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Quick Answer

Diseases that cause urine to turn brown include diseases of the kidney and liver, bleeding in or infections of the urinary tract, melanoma and hemolytic anemia, according to Healthline. Another cause is a rare disease called porphyria.

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Porphyrias are a family of disorders that cause unnaturally high porphyrin levels in the body, says Mayo Clinic. Porphyrin is necessary to make hemoglobin, but too much badly affects the skin, the nerves and internal organs. Porphyria is often inherited, and its treatment depends on the type of porphyria the patient has.

Hemolytic anemia is a condition in which red blood cells are prematurely destroyed and the bone marrow cannot replace them, says MedlinePlus. Hemolytic anemia is caused by genetic factors, infection or exposure to toxins.

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, not only cause brown urine, but also make the urine cloudy and foul smelling, says WebMD. UTIs occur when bacteria travels up the urethra into the bladder and cause an infection. Women are more likely to get UTIs because their urethras are closer to the anus and therefore closer to bacteria from the large intestine. If left untreated, a UTI can go on to infect the kidneys.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that originates in the upper layers of the skin, says the American Cancer Society. It is rarer than basal or squamous cell skin cancer, but much more dangerous. Unlike the other skin cancers, it is more likely to metastasize to other organs.

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