Why is my urine cloudy

Since human urine is generally clear and mostly transparent, a cloudy or murky texture in ones urine might raise a cause for concern. While there are some serious illnesses that give rise to this symptom, it could also be nothing to worry about. What is important is to see if it continues for a significant amount of time and if the unnatural texture is accompanied by additional symptoms. Below you will find a list of reasons that are known to be behind the appearance of cloudy urine in human beings; if one is experiencing such instances, it is advised to check with these reasons in order to see if something matches your condition.

Possible reasons

1. Food and drinks -– Although food and drink does not usually turn the texture of your urine cloudy, it can happen after a particularly large meal or after drinking a significant amount of milk. This is the most harmless reason of them all because the cloudy urine in this case is a direct result of the phosphate crystals present in milk and some other food items. The unabsorbed or excess phosphate is thrown out of the body via urination, thus giving the urine a cloudy texture. You can even verify whether or not this is the case, through a simple test. Collect a sample of your urine and add a small amount of vinegar to it and see if the cloudiness disappears. If it does then it means that the phosphates were cleared by the acetic acid; if it does not, then it is time to look for other explanations as to the origin of the cloudy texture.

2. Dehydration –- Insufficient consumption of water during the course of the day can lead to the occurrence of cloudy urine, accompanied by strong and pungent odor and sometimes a burning sensation. This is a result of dehydration, a condition in which the body loses the minimum amount of moisture that it must maintain in order to work properly. Lack of water lessens the normal proportion of water present in urine and thus it also affects its appearance. One should keep it in mind that dehydration has a simple solution, which is drinking more water every day; however, if you do not pay attention to it for far too long, then conditions that are much more serious may start to stem from it.

3. Medication -– Certain medicines are known for their effects on urine, therefore, if you are on some sort of medication, it could be quite natural for you to produce cloudy urine. Vitamin courses are often responsible for such occurrences; vitamin B and C in particular are well known for turning urine murky. This is a rather harmless reason (if you are taking prescribed drugs) and the cloudiness will disappear soon after the course is over.

cloudy urine

4. Pregnancy –- When a woman is pregnant, she may experience a lot of symptoms that she has not faced before in her life and cloudy urine is often one of them. It is not uncommon for a pregnant woman’s body to emit certain unabsorbed minerals and compounds from the body via urination and that often turns her urine cloudy. Even when someone is not pregnant, it is actually common for women to experience cloudy urine during the menstruation periods. The cloudy color is brought on due to vaginal discharges. If it is persistent (especially in pregnant women) and the reason is found to be proteinuria (excess protein in urine), then it is indeed a cause for concern. Proteinuria is a sign of pre-eclampsia, which is a dysfunctional symptom that can harm the mother’s internal organs and blood vessels, more so, if it is accompanied by hyper tension. It is best to inform your doctor about the condition as soon as possible to avoid any long lasting damage.

5. Diabetes -– Diabetic patients may begin to experience occurrences of cloudy urine at times and if it happens, it is advised that you consult a doctor immediately. One should take into account that although cloudy or foamy urine is often considered to be a symptom of diabetes, it is actually a sign of the fact that the kidney is affected by the diabetes and the cloudy color is a result of the previously mentioned serious condition, proteinuria. However, just because someone is diabetic, it does not mean that cloudy urine is a direct result of that only. There are a number of reasons that could possibly lead to this condition and diabetes may not always be the one responsible even if someone is diabetic.

6. Kidney stones –- If one has kidney stones, then the stones might release minerals from them which may be responsible for the person’s urine turning murky in color. Generally though, kidney stones are also accompanied by tremendous pain until they pass through the urinary system and therefore it is easily distinguishable from some of the other reasons that are responsible for this. Along with the pain, the color of ones urine will also clear up once the stone/stones pass.

7. Bladder and kidney infections –- A very prominent reason for the appearance of cloudy urine is cystitis, a common bladder infection that increases the white blood cell count in the patient’s urine. The leukocyte count increases because it is our body’s default reaction to bladder infections and that in turn makes urine cloudy. The unnatural color is treated as a prominent symptom of the infection, but accompanying symptoms like fever, unrest, repeated urination, painful urination (burning sensation) and consistent abdominal pain, might also be present and should be mentioned in order to help a medical practitioner make the proper diagnosis. Not unlike most other urinary infections, pyelonephritis is a kidney infection that can cause cloudy urine. In fact, it also has additional symptoms that are almost the same as that of the other infections. One might experience sharp pain in his/her abdominal flanks as an effect of the infection though. The dipstick test is the easiest way to determine the presence of leucocytes in ones urine and can be easily done at any medical facility.

8. Prostatitis -– With signs quite similar to that of cystitis, men may see cloudy urine while suffering from prostatitis. Since both are infections, the dipstick test can also help determine whether there are leucocytes present in your urine, which would indicate the presence of the infection. During the course of prostatitis, tenderness of the prostate gland is another noticeable sign.

9. Sexually transmitted diseases –- STDs like gonorrhea and chlamydia are well known for their murky effect on the afflicted person’s urine. The cloudy color is contributed to the urine from the inflamed glands that release pus into it. Also, as a result of the body’s reaction to the disease, a dipstick test will reveal WBCs in the urine; which of course, only makes the patient’s urine murkier. Additional symptoms like conjunctivitis, abdominal pain, feverishness, lack of energy, frequent and painful urination, itching, etc. might also be present.

10. Presence of blood –- This is a unlikely reason as the presence of blood in ones urine would mostly make it dark, red or pink, instead of cloudy. Nonetheless, it is not impossible because small amounts of blood won’t make the urine seem dark, red or pink, but rather cloudy. Until and unless the blood is a result of menstruation in women, its appearance in urine is never a good sign. Starting from cancers to severe infections, urinary blood can pertain to a whole series of reasons, but none of them are to be taken lightly.

What should be done?

The important thing is to keep calm and check with the reasons listed above to make sure that you actually have a reason to be concerned. However, if you find additional symptoms and cloudy urine continues to appear even after drinking a lot of water, then it is best to consult a physician as soon as possible. Treatment, if required, must be done to treat the core disease as cloudy urine is just a symptom of the underlying ailment.