Many health conditions can be discovered by simply observing your stool and urine. That is why it’s always a good idea to take a quick look, even if it may seem a bit disgusting. There can be many variations to the topic, and the variables include consistency, color, and smell.
Different changes can point to different conditions, so it’s useful to be able to narrow it down. However, you can never be completely sure what’s going on until you’ve checked with your doctor. Still, a combination of symptoms should point you and the doctor in the right direction. So, what does it mean if your urine is cloudy? Here are the most common causes.
1. Not Drinking Enough Water
If your urine is cloudy, the most probable cause is inadequate hydration. The good news is that this is easily treatable.
Make sure that you drink enough water. The necessary amount varies based on your lifestyle. For example, if you do a lot of exercise, you’ll need to drink more water. The same goes if you do physical labor, or live in a country with a hot climate.
Some illnesses will also require you to increase your intake of fluid. If you suffer from anything that causes fever or vomiting, you need to drink more water.
Other symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth and eyes, and confusion. If you notice any of these aside from cloudy urine, chances are that you are dehydrated and need more water in your system. Here’s a pro tip: always carry a bottle of water with you, and you’ll find it much easier to stay hydrated.
Some foods will cause cloudy urine as well. Vitamin D and phosphorus can muddy the waters, and so can protein-rich foods.
You can get vitamin D from fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks, and cheese. Phosphorus is generally found in protein-rich foods, such as poultry, meat, fish, beans, nuts, and so on. If your diet includes a lot of these foods, that might be what’s causing cloudy urine.
3. Urinary Tract Infection
Another common cause of cloudy urine is urinary tract infection. If you notice a particularly bad smell and a kind of milky appearance, this is the most probable issue.
The cloudy quality of the urine is because there is pus or blood in it. Accumulation of white blood cells that are trying to combat the infection is a likely cause as well.
Other symptoms of urinary tract infection are pelvis pain, pain while urinating, difficulties with urinating, and a constant need to go. If you notice cloudy urine in combination with other symptoms, visit your doctor as soon as possible.
4. Sexually Transmitted Infection
Gonorrhea and chlamydia, as well as other common sexually transmitted infections, can cause cloudy urine. The immune system fights the infection and produces more white blood cells. The cells end up in urine, giving it its cloudy look.
Other symptoms to look for are itching and pain in the genitals, pain during urination, ejaculation, and sex, unusual discharge, and rashes or blisters on the genitals. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your doctor in case you notice any such symptoms.
5. Kidney Infection or Kidney Stones
Kidney infections are often urinary tract infections that have progressed because they weren’t treated in time. Both types of infection cause similar symptoms. However, with a kidney infection, you can also expect fever, nausea, cramps, fatigue, and very dark or bloody urine.
Another problem with the kidneys that could be causing your urine to turn cloudy is kidney stones. Kidney stones form from the minerals in our body, and the smaller ones don’t even cause discomfort in most cases. However, the bigger ones can get stuck in the urinary tract. This causes infection, the infection produces pus, and the pus goes into your urine and makes it cloudy.
If you feel severe pain below the ribs or in the groin, as well as pain while urinating, fever, and/or chills, and notice that your urine is cloudy with pink, brown, or red streaks, you likely have a kidney stone.
Both conditions require urgent medical attention, so make sure you see a doctor the first chance you get.
If you have diabetes, your body will try to remove excess sugars. One of the ways to do it is to send them out through the urine. This is another thing that may be giving the urine its cloudy appearance.
If you feel thirsty even after drinking, this is a likely sign that you have diabetes. Other signals include frequent infections, weight loss, slow recovery from simple wounds, fatigue, and the necessity to urinate frequently.
Untreated, diabetes can lead to very serious consequences, such as kidney failure. If you suspect that you might have diabetes, see your doctor immediately to confirm your suspicions, and decide on a course of treatment.
7. Problems with Reproductive Organs
Inflammation in reproductive organs is another possible cause of your urine’s changed appearance.
Inflammation in the vulva and vagina is called vulvovaginitis. In most cases, you can blame it on bacterial infections, but sometimes it is a result of the presence of viruses or fungi. Sometimes it can even happen as a reaction to soaps, detergents, and so on.
You can recognize vulvovaginitis by itchiness around the vulva, painful urination, and vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese and smells foul.
Inflammation of the prostate – or prostatitis – usually happens because of an infection in the prostate. If you notice a frequent need to urinate and pain while doing so, as well as the presence of blood in the urine, accompanied by pain the genitals or lower pelvis, you should have your prostate checked out.
No matter your gender, you’ll want to deal with these, before things get even more complicated, so don’t delay your visit to the doctor.
The Last Drop
So, what does it mean if your urine is cloudy? Even though cloudy urine may be a result of something easily fixable like dehydration, it can also be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as diabetes. Pay close attention to your other symptoms, and don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you suspect anything serious.