What does Cloudy Urine mean ?

Whitish or cloudy urine can be a symptoms of an underlying disease or infection. The normal color of urine can vary within a wide range of colors. It can clear like water or be dark amber in color. It may be noted that the color of urine is generally dependent on the levels of ammonia and hydration in the body. It is also important to remember that unclear or cloudy urine is not an illness by itself, but merely a sign of some pre-existing condition.

Changes in the clarity or color of urine can also result in discomfort, particularly if it is experienced along with other urinary symptoms such as burning sensations or pain at the time of passing urine, and/or increased urge to urinate frequently. Cloudy urine is generally observed in the mornings due to the reduction in the levels of body fluids during the night, thereby causing the urine to become excessively concentrated.

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Causes of cloudy urine

Some of the causes of cloudy urine are listed below:

  • Phosphate crystals: The occurrence of elevated levels of phosphate crystals in the urine is one of the most widespread causes of smelly and cloudy urine. It is a completely harmless situation which can be caused due to intake of a big meal that consists of asparagus or beet. It also result from consumption of milk with high phosphate content. The precipitation of phosphate crystals is what causes the urine to appear milky or cloudy.
  • Dehydration: It is a common side effect of most disorders, which in turn can give rise to cloudy urine. The water levels in the body can get depleted due to loss of liquids from the body, particularly due to physical excursions, elevated perspiration, and low intake of fluids, eventually resulting in dehydration.
  • Vaginal discharge: Women are most likely to experience cases of cloudy urine due to discharge from the vagina. Such discharge can have abnormal or normal causes, but secretion from the vagina by itself can be caused due to numerous reasons.
  • Infections of the Urinary Tract: UTI or urinary tract infections such as pyelonephritis can result in the presence of puss in urine as well as cloudy urine. It is more common in men. Patients suffering from pyelonephritis are most likely to experience frequent urination, burning sensation when passing urine, pain in the flanks, and fever.
  • Intake of vitamin supplements: The appearance and look of urine can also change due to intake of increased quantities of vitamin supplements. Vitamin C, vitamin B, and other water soluble vitamins rarely get stored in the body, and when they do only miniscule amounts are stored. That is the reason why excess consumption of vitamin supplements cause cloudy urine.
  • Infections of the bladder: Urine color and appearance can also change due to presence of bladder infections such as cystitis. Cloudiness of the urine is usually caused due to occurrence of white blood cells in the urine. Some of the symptoms of cystitis include burning sensations or sharp pain at the time of urination, frequent urge to pass urine, chills, and fever.
  • Proteinuria: It is condition caused due high concentration of protein content in urine. It can also cause cloudy urine. Women in their 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy may be affected by proteinuria and elicit cloudy urine. If expectant women experience high blood pressure along with proteinuria, then they must immediately seek medical care.
  • Gonorrhea: It is a sexually transmitted disease which increases the level of bacteria in urine. Gonorrhea is one of the major causes of cloudy urine and change in urine color, in both women and men.
  • Other causes: The presence of certain conditions such as prostatitis, kidney stones, bilharzia, and others are known to cause cloudy urine. On occasions, the presence of mucus in urine can also give urine a cloudy look.

Treatment of cloudy urine

Most instances of cloudy urine tend to resolve on its own. However, persistent cases of cloudy urine have to be checked by a doctor. The treatment of cloudy urine is aimed at finding out the cause of the condition and then managing and controlling the underlying disorder. Doctor will diagnose the cause of cloudy urine and then proceed to the relevant treatment procedure.

Discomfort, pain, and infection associated with cloudy urine can be treated with diuretics and antibiotics. Affected individuals are also suggested to intake plenty of water and take proper care of personal hygiene.

Patients may also follow the below listed home remedies to resolve cases of cloudy urine:

  • UTIs can be treated with apple cider vinegar. It may however be noted that this home remedy is not an alternative to correct medical treatment.
  • Intake of lots of cranberry juice can also help alleviate instances of cloudy urine.
  • Another home remedy for cloudy urine include use of coriander seeds. Put the seeds in water and boil it. Strain the water, let it cool down, and then drink a glass two times a day.


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