Normal, healthy urine is color of straw and transparent. But sometimes urine appears cloudy, with a hazy or milky appearance, or it might be foamy. In many cases, this is no cause for alarm. Cloudy urine can be a result of temporary dehydration and disappear once the body is rehydrated. It may also be a sign of a urinary tract infection or UTI, which is easily treatable with medication. However, in rare instances, cloudy urine indicates a serious health issue that needs medical attention.
Cloudy urine could be the sign of a more serious urinary function problem if other more severe symptoms appear. Some common accompanying symptoms include itching or burning around the genitals, buttocks or thighs, back, side, groin. Symptoms may also include abdominal pain, painful sexual intercourse or ejaculation, frequent urination, involuntary urine loss, a weak urine stream or difficulty starting urination, blurred vision, nausea, unintentional weight loss, extreme hunger or thirst, and genital odors. In women, any of these symptoms can be made worse by a menstrual cycle or stress. A combination of some of these symptoms can indicate diabetes, kidney disease, genital herpes, incontinence, urinary tract infection (UTI) or an overactive bladder, among other conditions.
Typically, a change in that appearance of clear urine can indicate a problem in the urinary tract, reproductive, endocrine or cardiovascular systems, or other organs. Because nearly eight million visits to doctors result in a UTI diagnosis, it is one of the initial suspects of urine cloudiness. However, if a patient has experienced high blood pressure, stiff joints, fever, unusual vaginal or penile discharge, nausea or swollen lymph nodes, it is a sign that the physician needs to do some deeper investigating. Someone exhibiting these symptoms could be expressing signs of bladder cancer, prostate gland inflammation, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, sickle cell anemia, lymphoma or leukemia. Any of these diseases will require an advanced treatment plan.
When there is a presence of a strong odor in the urine, it is a clear sign to begin investigating the cause of cloudiness. Some people experience some odor normally when they urinate, based on the strong smells of foods or drinks that they ingest, especially garlic, coffee, and asparagus. However, a smell that resembles rotten eggs, ammonia should be addressed immediately. A sweet, acetone odor is present when people have trouble controlling an existing diabetes condition, or they are on a low-carb diet or fasting. A strong ammonia smell is usually a sign that a person needs to drink more water or get more fluids into their system.
Many women notice cloudy urine with an odor during their pregnancies. In some cases and early in the pregnancy, it is merely an indication that hormones have changed. Expectant mothers who may be eating to satisfy cravings and drastically changing their diets may also notice an odor that is unusual. The fact that pregnant women urinate much more frequently is something that should be taken into account when evaluating cloudy urine. Sometimes, the vaginal discharge that is common during pregnancy can mix with urine and make the urine cloudy. However, when there are high protein concentrations in the urine, this could be an early sign of preeclampsia. It is a condition known as proteinuria,
Both over-the-counter and prescription medications can determine the color of urine. The color of urine can be orange, red, green, bluish or tea-colored. Depending on what kind of medication you are currently taking. In most cases, this is an expectation that comes with ingesting these medications and presents no immediate cause for alarm.
Kidney stones are diagnosed when hardened crystalline minerals are found in the urinary tract or the kidneys. There has usually been a decrease in urine volume to make the stones form. If kidney stones cause cloudy urine, a doctor may give pain medication for comfort and break the stones with an ultrasound treatment or shockwave to help them pass from the body. One in every 20 people experience kidney stones.
The way that urine becomes cloudy is different for men and women. In men, sperm can stay in the urethra after sex and create froth from bubbles on the surface of urine in a toilet bowl. Ideally, sperm clears from the urethra of healthy men in minutes. Frothy urine in men could indicate an enlarged prostate indicating an infection or cancer, epididymitis (swollen scrotum), or a sexually transmitted disease (STD). In women who are not pregnant, the cause of cloudy urine is usually a yeast infection, endometriosis (or uterine tissue in the bladder), or an STD.
Blood in the urine, called hematuria. Many factors can cause it. Kidneys and the urinary tract may be the first place a doctor begins to investigate. It can be an indication of infection, inflammation, injury, disease or cancer of the kidney, bladder, prostate or urethra. It is important to remember that the amount can be enough for you to see when you urinate or it can be small and only detectable through urine tests or lab analysis.
Most occurrences of cloudy urine are treated with antibiotics to clear any presence of infection. Proteinuria in pregnant women requires careful treatment because often blood pressure is elevated. This requires a consistent regimen to lower it and reduce risk to the pregnancy and the mother. Many doctors prescribe bed rest along with hypertension medications, with doses tailored for each case.
Water seems to be a health aid for many conditions. Cloudy urine is no different. Using hydrotherapy by drinking plenty of water will flush the kidneys and start making urine look clear again. This is especially true for people who do not drink water regularly. Especially those who choose soft drinks, tea, coffee and other drinks instead. A teaspoon of baking soda, which calms inflammation and UTI symptoms, can be dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of water to help neutralize the acid content in urine. Other foods and herbs can be used to clear cloudy urine. The list includes pineapples, blueberry or cranberry juice, parsley, and celery.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.