Has anyone had an experience in their sons having red or brown urine? I spoke with Healthlinks today and they suggested that maybe he had a urine infection. But because he is on steroids, he may not feel the side effects of it because of the steroids and having a stronger pain threshold. The one day Joshua had red urine and the next it was a brown color. It didn't last all day with each color, but only once each day. He didn't have anything in his diet that had changed to cause the coloring either. We are having him pee into a jar and if it is discolored, we were told to put it into the fridge so we can take it to the doctor. They weren't, and I'm not either, sure if it has anything to do with the steroids or the increase in pain threshold as I mentioned earlier. Thanks for any suggestions.


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Hi Liisa,

We have seen this as well in our son Ben, 5.  It happened twice before diagnosis at age 4 (so he was not yet on steroids) and twice after diagnosis (on steroids).  After we were aware of dmd we were told to immediately begin aggressive hydration if it occurred and that we needed to seek medical attention if the urine did not clear up within 3 urinations.    Fortunately, every time it cleared up by the time he had to go to the bathroom again.  Very scary.  And, yes Andrea is correct to not beat yourself up....I know I have struggled with it.  Ben is just starting to learn when to take a break though I often am the one reminding him to do so.  It is sometimes difficult to find that fine line of letting him be a 5 yr old while protecting him from muscle damage.  I do not know if it has anything to do with progression, but do please post if you find out any more information. 


No Lisa, we never did any blood work for the myoglobin, but since those "liver enzymes" are also in muscle (that's why our boys have high levels in the first place), it just goes along with the muscle damage from the over-use and/or too little hydration. Like CK levels, you can't really take  the "liver enzymes" too seriously or expect to use them to "track DMD progress". The levels can fluctuate crazily. They really are not that useful for us.

I don't know if Connor is on a plateau of his capabilities at age 6, but I think it's safe to say that steroids definitely stall progression for a few years compared to not using them and letting  nature run it's course without any medical intervention.

Brown pee can be scary, but I try to look at it from the view that the kids feel good and strong enough to be doing stuff that they otherwise might not be able to do.

A therapist pointed out to me that perhaps when we were telling Simon "don't you think you better take it easy", ( because he is as stubborn and feisty as me), that he took it as a "challenge" to show himself and everyone else what he could do and certainly was NOT going to take it easy. She suggested that until he got the idea of personal responsibility for his own body, that we simply order him to take a breather and a drink of water, letting him know that it was not an option. It didn't take many times of this before he was saying things like " I'm having fun now, and I am not tired, but I will save some energy for later when we _____ (fill in the blank with some other fun thing of life).

Good luck.


Hi all,this is good conversation!! Although i was tested and not a carrier ,any time i get my urine checked i show a lot of blood.Further tests confirm no infection.It had been all checked out before the Duchenne diagnosis came about,and was told i was one of those people who was a natural bleeder.LOL.Any way Lewis did have the cola colured urine once and this was before diagnosis ,after a birthday party and doing to much.I took him straight to emergency doctor and he said urinary tract infection and gave him an antibiotic!! It scares me to think about it now..Since Lewis has gone on steroids he also has been showing 4+ of blood in his urine every week although it is clear and not cola colured,but in hindsight i should have asked for it to be checked before hand,as a base line.Thinking back any time they used the dip stick he had blood in his urine.I explained this phenomenon about the myoglobin to the nurse and got the blood work done to confirm that this was what was happening.So my question is do all our boys show as having blood in their urine with the dip stick at all times ,and not just at time when the urine is dark?
A trace amount of blood in urine is quite normal - in all people not just those with dmd. Visible blood can be caused by inflammation of the kidneys which, in turn, can be caused by the body trying to cleanse itself of the enzymes produced by muscle breakdown. Again, this can happen to anybody, but is obviously going to occur more easily/frequently in those with muscle disease.
There are other, less common, causes for blood in urine so it's always worth getting it checked out though.

As expected, Connor's urine analysis culture was negative for infections but positive for blood.  His liver enzymes were high of course. With everything else being in good order, the neuro doc is certain this is the muscle breakdown.  She basically reiterated what Lisa Burke indicated in her last post here.  I am so happy to have you all to help me with your experience an knowledge. 



Dear parents, I need some advice about mioglobinuria. My son is 3,5 year old. Around already 3 weeks he is having a dark urine. Our doctor neurologist suggest us to giving him much water and to slow down daily activites, but and after that his urine is always dark in the morning. How to solve this problem, I think it takes too long.

Thanks in advance,


Marija - My guess is that your 3.5 yo son is very active, and that this dark urine is most likely due to myoglobinuria.  Encouraging him to drink water and to slow down his activities is the best advice.  if this continues, please let your medical provider know - they may need to check his kidney function just to be sure that everything is ok.  other causes of dark urine, or blood in the urine, can be kidney/bladder infections or kidney stones.  The risk for stones is greater in older patients, and not very likely for a 3.5 yo.  Infection might be possible and is diagnosed through tests.

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