Cloudy Urine

Cloudy Urine Definition

Cloudy urine - cloudy urine is an abnormal type of urine caused by possible urinary tract bleeding resulting in little bit of blood in urine (Hematuria), and a number of other possible urinary tract and metabolic problems that cause excess, chemical substances to be excreted by the body via the urinary tract, tainting the original yellow color. It is commonly a sign of a number of urinary tract diseases like possible kidney stones, kidney infections, or other kidney problems that may lead to serious complications and even death if left untreated and allowed to continue and become a chronic symptom.

Cloudy Urine Food and Diet Causes

Cloudy urine has many potential causes with some being food related. Seeing a strange urine color can be quite distressful, but before you get scared, consider these common dietary causes of cloudy urine.

Large meals that may contain dairy foods or other foods high in phosphate can sometimes cause excess phosphate crystals build up in urine and make the urine look cloudy. A simple home test for excess phosphates involves taking a small urine sample and drop a bit of vinegar into the sample of the cloudy urine. If the urine clears up right away, then you know it is due to excess phosphates.

Cloudy Urine From Urinary Tract Problems

A number of urinary tract problems can cause bleeding or other internal problems that cause cloudy urine

  • Urinary Tract Infections - cloudy urine accompanied by pus is typically a sign of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • STDs - gonorrhea is a common STD that causes cloudy urine to appear, accompanied by pus and other STD-related symptoms
  • Kidney Infections (Pylonephritis) - common urinary tract problem causing pus and cloudy urine; accompanied by pain on the side of the body and sometimes bloody red urine
  • Bladder Infections (Cystitis) - cause infection-like accompanying symptoms such as fever, sweating and sometimes bloody or cloudy urine, commonly because of white blood cells (Leukocytes) that accumulate due to fighting of the infection
  • Kidney Stones - accompanied of symptoms of severe to mild pain and sometimes fever-like symptoms
  • Proteinuria - condition where there is excess protein in the urine, causing it to become cloudy, sometimes caused by kidney problems

Gender-Specific Causes of Cloudy Urine

Women who are pregnant can experience Proteinuria (excess protein in urine) which can sometimes lead to a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia, a serious problem most commonly encountered in the 2nd and 3rd pregnancy trimester.

Vaginal discharge either due to normal vaginal secretions, or abnormal vaginal discharges is a common cause of cloudy urine in women.

Women who are menstruating sometimes confuse red urine with normal menstruation.

For men, prostate infections (prostatitis) can be a cause of cloudy urine. When the prostate gland gets infected, it can become quite tender. Prostatitis almost always includes more general symptoms such as fever and chills, as well as the typical urinary symptoms of frequency, pain and urgency of urination.

Cloudy Urine Tests (Urinalysis)

Blood in urine (Hematuria) can often make urine appear cloudy and not specifically red, especially if the quantity of blood is small. Blood coming from the urinary tract has literally hundreds of possible causes, all of which should be seen by a doctor. A quick urine dipstick test at the doctor's office can establish the presence of white cells in the urine. Learn more about Urinary Testing (Urinalysis)

If you notice an unusual urine color or unusual urine smell, try to monitor the symptoms over the next days. If you feel unusual aches and pains, or strange urine colors or smells, take note of it. Sometimes these things have a way of just fixing themselves thanks to our immune systems and other factors, but if the symptoms continue, you may want to consult with a medical professional or be tested.

Cloudy urine may be caused by various substances like proteins to appear in urine due to kidney or other types of problems. The presence of substances in urine which cause urine to become darker is called Melanuria. One of the types of Melanuria is Phosphaturia which is excessive presence of phosphate in urine, giving the urine a white or a cloudy appearance.

Preventing Urinary Problems That May Cause Cloudy Urine

Since so many of the underlying causes of this symptoms are either due to kidney problems, or metabolic disorders, prevention of these is a great life-long approach that will help you stay healthier longer, and decrease the risk of developing such problems. In fact, metabolic problems are commonly related to kidney function because kidneys are the organ that filters chemicals and substances used up or metabolized by the body. So you can almost kill two birds with one stone by focusing on healthier lifestyle and diet in order to prevent problems with the kidneys or your metabolism from occurring.

Avoiding excess use of drugs or alcohol is one of the first and easiest things you can do. Alcohol especially, puts a strain on the kidneys and puts you at increased risk of developing a number of kidney related disorders, including kidney cancer. Mantaining a healthy weight by a right mix of exercise and healthy diet will put you at a decreased risk of developing metabolic problems such as Diabetes, which is not curable and puts a very large strain on the kidneys as well. Eating lots of plant-based foods such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits will also help you keep your arteries unclogged so that your blood system works well and your blood circulates throughout the body and brings nutrients to all the organs that need it.

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