The outflow of cloudy or turbid urine may be a symptom the underlying presence of different kinds of diseases and conditions. Turbid urine color may also tends to vary; it can be clear and transparent like water or it can be reddish and dark. In most cases, the levels of water and other fluids in the body as well as the presence of ammonia may play a part in determining the color of urine. Whitish or turbid urine is usually not an illness by itself, but it is often a symptom of some other condition that is affecting the patient.
Along with color and clarity changes, turbid urine may occur in conjunction with additional symptoms such as discomfort, pain, and other abnormalities. Such symptoms are more common if turbid urine outflow causes increase desire to pass urine frequently and urgently, burning sensation at the time of passing urine, and genital pain.
Turbid urine is often a common feature in the morning, just after one wakes up. This occurs due to lowering of the overall levels of water in the body during the night, thereby resulting in excessive concentration of urine.
Causes of turbid urine
This type of discoloration in urine may occur due to many different causes. Some of the most prevalent causes of turbid urine are listed below:
- Urinary tract infection or UTI: It is one of the most common causes of turbid urine. The urinary system is made up of the ureters, kidneys, bladder, and the urethra. Infection of any of the components of the urinary system by bacteria or other pathogens can be termed as a urinary tract infection. Bacteria may gain entry into the urinary tract via the urethra when passing urine or through the bloodstream, thereby infecting the urinary tract. Pyelonephritis is a type of UTI that causes the elimination of pus along with urine, thereby making it cloudy or turbid. Women are more prone to suffering from UTIs than men. In addition to turbid urine, UTIs may also be identified with symptoms such as burning sensations when urinating, frequent urination, fever, and pain of the flanks.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge: Vaginal discharge may mix with urine when it is being eliminated, thereby making it turbid or cloudy. Vaginal discharge causes may be minor or serious.
- Proteinuria: The presence of high levels of protein in urine is known as proteinuria. It is also one of the common causes of turbid urine. Pregnant women may suffer from proteinuria associated turbid urine in the 2nd and 3rd It is important for pregnant women to seek medical attention if proteinuria occurs along with high blood pressure.
- Increased concentration of phosphate crystals: Higher than normal levels of phosphate crystals in urine can also cause changes in urine color and texture, thereby making it turbid. Cloudiness of urine occurs due to dissolution of the crystals. Such urine may also be smelly. Elevated phosphate levels in urine is a mild condition which usually occurs due to intake of excessive amounts of asparagus or beet. Drinking milk with high phosphate content can also result in turbid urine.
- Cystitis and other forms of bladder infections: Cystitis is an infection of the bladder which causes WBCs in urine, thereby changing the color of urine and making it turbid or cloudy. Affected people may also experience burning sensations or acute pain when urinating, chills, fever, and urgent and frequent urination. Other kinds of bladder infections are also marked by turbid urine and similar symptoms.
- Dehydration: It is marked by decreased water content in the body, which then causes the urine to become increasingly concentrated and turbid. Dehydration may be a symptom of varied underlying conditions. It can also occur due to normal causes such as increased perspiration, forceful workouts, drinking less water, and loss of excessive fluids from body due to diarrhea, etc.
- Gonorrhea and other STDs: Most types of sexually transmitted diseases result in turbid urine. In the case of gonorrhea, the cloudiness of urine occurs due to elevated levels of bacteria in urine. Women as well as men may suffer from STDs and subsequent changes in urine color and texture.
- Intake of vitamin supplements: Varied vitamin supplements like vitamin C and vitamin B do not remain in the body after dissolving. Instead, a major chunk of these supplements are eliminated from the body along with urine. Hence, intake of excess amounts of vitamin supplements causes more of it to be released into the urine, thereby causing the urine to become cloudy or turbid.
- Pregnancy: Turbid urine in pregnant women often occurs due to minor causes such as diet changes, hormonal changes, and as side effects of certain medicines.
- Intake of large meals before sleeping can cause excess production of phosphate crystals. As discussed above, high concentration of phosphate crystals in urine can result in turbid urine.
- The balancing act between estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones during pregnancy can cause changes in the color of urine and make it turbid or cloudy.
- Intake of food such as dairy products, milk, orange juice, beet, asparagus, and berries, etc. can result in buildup of certain chemicals as well as atypical reactions in women during pregnancy. These chemicals are then eliminated from the body along with urine, thereby causing turbid urine.
- Other factors: Different conditions like prostatitis, mucus in urine, bilharzia, and kidney stones, etc. are also known to impart a turbid texture to urine.
Turbid urine is usually a mild condition which resolves on its own without any medical treatment. Chronic and severe instances of turbid urine need to be checked by a doctor.
A few treatment options and home remedies for turbid urine are given below:
- Pain, distress, discomfort, and infections can be can be corrected with diuretics, pain killers, antibiotics, and other mediations.
- Apple cider vinegar can remedy UTIs. Patients may however consult a doctor before using this home remedy.
- Drink lots of water, juices, and other beverages to prevent dehydration.
- Cranberry juice and a solution of coriander seeds can also help alleviate the symptoms of turbid urine.