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Crystals in Urine

Crystals in urine means the occurrence of very minute, solid particles in urine. The kidneys are one of the vital organs of the body, which filterand purify the blood.They help to remove the wastes and impurities from blood in the form of soluble fluids which is referred to as urine. The toxic waste and unwanted substances are the contents of urine which is required to be thrown out from the body. Various kinds of compounds and other matter, such as uric acid, calcium, phosphate, ammonium, nitrogen, carbon etc. which are soluble in water, are the composition of urine waste. The above waste chemicals take the form of a crystal due to insufficiency of fluids in body.

Symptoms of crystals in urine

Following are some of the signs of crystals in urine:

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  • The common indicator of the presence of crystals in urine is its color and appearance.The urine in healthy individuals is generally light yellowish in color. When the color changes to whitish, then it may indicate that crystals are present in urine. However, the changes in urine color can also occur due to the intake of medicines and alternative diets. As such, if any one noticesa change in the color of urine, they should consult the doctor to confirm the presence of crystals in urine.
  • Normally, bladder stones refer to the micro, solid crystalswhich get discharged through the urinary tract. Occurrence of crystals in urine for a long period of time causes urolithiasis,which is a condition characterized by the formation of stones in the urinary bladder, and which usually does not show its symptomatic features for a long period of time. When the bladder stones become larger in size, they get trapped in the urinary tract during the course of discharge and create intolerable abdominal pain.
  • In rare cases, formation of crystals in urine may develop into kidney stones, which may remain unnoticed till it become severely painful. The symptoms which indicate the presence of kidney stones are fever, vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain.

Causes of crystals in urine

The kidneys, the ureters, bladder, and the urethra, are the various parts of the urinary system. Any defects in the system often trigger the formation of crystals in urine. The urinary system may also malfunction due to the excessive concentration in urine, changesin diet, and other similar causes which changes the fluid concentration in the body.

Some of the causes for crystals in urine are as follows:

  • Alterations in the pH levels of urine: The test of pH levels in urine can expose the presence of crystals in urine. The pH level in urine can explain whether the urine is acidic or alkaline. Also,thelower or higher deviation of pH levelsin urine from the normal composition can indicate the development of crystal formation in urine. When the pH level of urine is closer to 7 or lower than 7, the urine is taken as acidic; and if the pH level is higher than7, then itwill be an indicator of the alkaline nature of urine. Calcium phosphate crystals develop if the urine is alkaline, and if the urine solution is acidic, the formation of calcium oxalate crystals takes place.
  • Urinary tract infections (UTI):Most cases of crystals in urine occur due to infections caused by bacteria. The entry of bacteria into the urinary system takes place by contact either at the time of passing urine, or is passed on from the blood stream. After gaining an entry into the urethra, bacteria can travel to other parts of the urinary system.The presence of bacteria in urine turns the solution into more acidic, which aids the development of crystals in urine.
  • Dehydration:Whenever an individual suffers from bouts of dehydration, the fluid levels of the body drop from the normal level. Lower are the water levels in body, more likely are the possibilities of obstruction in the dilution of urine components like uric acid. This in turn hardens the uric acid, eventually leading to formation of crystals in urine. Thus, excessive dehydration can also be a cause for crystals in urine.
  • Dieting system:  Rich diets with high levels of protein content can raise the calcium and acidic levels in urine, which cause changes in the components of urine; ultimately aiding the formation of crystals of calcium and oxalate in urine.
  • Sometimes persons suffering from inflammation of small joints, kidney diseases, and disorders of small intestine;patients who have undergone chemotherapy treatments; as well as those with a family history of the condition may also suffer from crystals in urine.

Treatment for crystals in urine

  • Antibiotic medicines can give relief from bacterial infectionsof the urinary tract
  • Surgical operations can cure serious cases like kidney stones.
  • Proper treatments for crystals in urine are given as per the cause responsible for the formation of crystals in urine. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed the disorder is accordingly corrected.
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