Cloudy Urine Causes
Urinary Tract Infection
What Is Cloudy Urine?
Normal urine has a clear or straw-yellow color. However, when the urine does not reflect these characteristics, it is often termed turbid, foamy, or cloudy urine. There are various causes that range from mild to severe. The color of urine has always been an important diagnostic tool since the beginning of medicine, as it provides various details about a person’s health. Urine elimination is very important for smooth bodily functioning, as it helps regulate the balance of water in the body and flushes out substances produced during the metabolic process that are now no longer required by the body. The urine color, odor, and smell can help identify if something is not right.
Cloudy urine can be one of the many symptoms that occur in a urinary tract infection. It can also be a cause for concern for other medical conditions. UTIs are one of the most common bacterial infections, which mostly affect women. Before one can make a self-diagnosis about the color of their urine, they should first be aware of the various causes that can lead to cloudy urine and the best ways to treat it.
Causes of Cloudy Urine
Urine is nothing but a waste liquid product that is filtered from the body by the kidneys, then stored in the bladder and expelled from the body during the urination process. Since urination is a compilation of the waste present in the body, it acts as a good indicator of an individual’s current health. There are certain possible causes which lead to cloudy urine:
- Dehydration: One of the most common causes of cloudy urine is linked with dehydration. In this case, it occurs without any warning, but also goes away rapidly. In such instances, rather than panicking, one should ensure to drink plenty of fluids, including water and fresh fruit or vegetable juices.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, some women may experience urinary tract infections, which could ultimately lead to cloudy urine. During pregnancy, UTIs are frequent medical complication. Hence, it is important that, during pregnancy, if any woman experiences cloudy urine, it should brought up to the doctor. Even if there are any other symptoms pertaining to a UTI, the doctor should be informed, or else it can pose certain risks such as low birth weight of the baby and premature delivery, among others.
- Infections: There can be excess protein or crystalline substances found in the urine due to certain medical conditions in the individual. This would ultimately lead to cloudy urine. In some cases, due to an infection in the urinary tract, an individual may come across pus or blood in the urine. A certain kind of bladder infection called cystitis can also lead to cloudy urine, in addition to pain during urination.
- Kidney stones: About five percent of the population is affected by kidney stones. This would also result in cloudy or foamy urine. Kidney stones are known to cause pus in the urine, which eventually gives it a cloudy or milky appearance. The symptoms of kidney stones are extremely painful and very similar to bladder infections. In some cases, a kidney stone has jagged edges which can tear against the ureter as the body tries to pass it. This tearing is known to cause an infection, which ultimately causes pus and thus cloudy urine.
- Gonorrhea: Cloudy urine is also a common symptom of gonorrhea. This is a sexually transmitted disease that can affect both men and women. The infection is known to occur in the rectum or genital area, leading to a rise in discharge from the penis or vagina. When this discharge gets mixed with urine, it appears cloudy. Apart from gonorrhea, another serious sexually transmitted disease called chlamydia is also known to cause cloudy urine, and it often goes unnoticed.
One needs to be careful and pay attention to the symptoms that exist in combination with cloudy urine. This can really aid the diagnosis. Also, one should note that cloudy urine is not always something to worry about, and it need not be related to any medical condition. But, when one notices cloudy urine for several days, even after increasing fluid intake, it is time to contact the doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Other possible causes of cloudy urine are:
- Inflammation of the prostate glands
- Bladder cancer
- Sickle cell anemia
- Autoimmune disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Exposure to heat
Strong Odor and Cloudy Urine
Individuals on a low-carb diet tend to have high ketone bodies in the urine, which would cause it to have a strong odor. Cloudy urine along with odor is also a sign of dehydration; in such cases, it smells like ammonia. When an individual is suffering from a urinary tract infection or is pregnant, the urine would be cloudy and have a foul smell. In some cases, urine that looks normal can also have a foul smell; this can be contributed to the food consumed by the individual.
Cloudy Urine in Men and Women
In some instances, urine becoming cloudy in either men or women could be due to other natural differences. After intercourse, a few sperm remain in the urethra, which cause bubbles and form a froth on the surface of the urine while one is urinating. In a healthy male, the sperm finds its way into the urethra, hence, it usually clears within a few minutes.
In men, a prostate infection, enlarged prostate, cancer of the prostate, and STDs are some of the reasons for cloudy urine. In women, instances of cloudy urine appear during pregnancy, STDs, endometriosis, and yeast infections.
Treatment for Cloudy Urine
When cloudy urine is caused by an infection, it can be treated with antibiotics. However, this continuous use of antibiotics can also cause the development of antibiotic resistance and would become another serious health issue. Below are certain home remedies to boost one’s immunity as well as flush out any unwanted bacteria from the body:
- Probiotics: Probiotics help repopulate the flora of the GI tract to enhance the immune system and increase the good bacteria in the body.
- L-arginine: L-arginine is a type of amino acid which helps fight against inflammation and detoxifies the body. It also has antibacterial properties.
- Parsley: Parsley is used as natural detox solution due to its anti-inflammatory properties. One of the main components of parsley is apigenin, which possesses diuretic properties that are very important for dealing with UTI issues.
- Drink a lot of water: If your urine is turning more cloudy than usual, it is important to increase your water intake, as it is considered one of the best ways to treat cloudy urine. Very often, cloudy urine could be a sign of dehydration, for which water is the best remedy.
- Cranberry juice: Cranberry juice is considered one of the most effective remedies when it comes to treating a urinary tract infection, which could well be the reason for the cloudy urine. Cranberry juice prevents bacteria like E. coli from attacking the body and hence can help prevent and treat conditions like cloudy urine.
- Ginger: One of the most useful spices easily found in the kitchen, ginger has several properties that can help reduce inflammation or infections in the body. If an infection or inflammation of the urinary tract is the probable cause for cloudy urine, ginger can be extremely helpful in the treatment.