Overview of cloudy urine
For a normal and healthy person, urine excreted usually looks clear and yellowish. But if you notice that your urine turns cloudy, it could be a warning sign that something might be wrong with your health.
We of course excrete liquid from our body as part of our natural cleansing process. In that sense, milky or cloudy urine could mean that we are flushing out toxins and waste from our system and it could be assumed that it is ‘business as usual’. On the other hand, it could be read as a vital indicator to you that a serious illness is looming. Bear in mind that milky urine itself is not an illness, but a mere symptom. We will examine some conditions that cause cloudy urine. It is not our intention to cover exhaustively all the possible factors, but by focusing on some of the more common ones, it is our hope that the reader can get a better understanding of this particular symptom.Possible cloudy urine causes
- There could be a coloring agent in the food that you consumed. As our digestive system passes these chemicals, it may inadvertently lead to a milky appearance of urine. This is not usually alarming.
- Blood could have got into your urinary tract, making urine look cloudy. In this case, the color of the urine tends to be tinged red or brown.
- In addition to blood, micro-organisms could have seeped into your urinary tract. These microscopic organisms usually cause infection. On top of cloudy urine, a burning sensation or pain could be felt as the patient attempts to pee.
- It could also be due to Cystitis, which is an infection in the bladder that turns urine cloudy. Cystitis is a condition that leads to inflammation of the bladder; additional symptoms manifested are frequent urination, difficulty in urination, and the accompanying pain sensation.
- While kidney stones have been known to cause cloudy urine, the chances are that you would be more troubled by the pain it inflicted. Patients are more likely to seek out a doctor to relieve the pain before the urine turns milky. If you are affected by kidney stones, it is important that you seek immediate treatment. Many patients have described the terrible pain felt as kidney stones are passed.
- Gonorrhea could be another suspect in causing milky urine. However, among the suspected cases, more are likely to be caused by a vaginal discharge rather than the disease itself. Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that can be cured.
- Another condition that causes cloudy urine is when there is a presence of ejaculate in urine. It is highly unlikely that semen could seep into the urine; the chances are that the semen is left in the urinary tract and then subsequently pushed out through urination. This is not a common phenomenon and regular cloudy urine is most probably not caused by this factor.
What to do when you spot cloudy pee
While cloudy urine could be a sign to tell us that something is wrong, it is precisely because of this reason we should not get overly alarmed. Keep a level head and remain positive and objective. Track the frequency and monitor the patterns and put all those observations down in a notebook, for example:
- When did it first happen?
- Was there any sensation felt?
- Have you been on any prescription drugs?
- What have you been eating lately?
- What is your sexual history?
The above list will be helpful in filtering out non-threatening conditions from major illnesses. Our lifestyle could be responsible for cloudy urine, but it is likely to be a one-time event and it will be gone in a day or two. If you notice intensified frequency and prolonged duration, you might have a medical condition. While we mentioned before that you should keep cool when you first detect cloudy urine, you should not ignore it if it keeps repeating. At this stage, it is advisable that you see your doctor at the first available opportunity. There may also be a real cause for concern even if it was the first time you spotted it, especially if urination is accompanied by extreme pain, a burning sensation or even blood.
As illustrated above, there could be many causes of cloudy urine. If you are sure that this is due to the food that you’ve consumed, or semen left inside the urinary tract, then maybe there is no reason to act on it. Otherwise, you should seek a consultation with your local GP, instead of attempting a self-diagnosis. As a final reminder, cloudy urine is a warning sign that can point to serious illnesses, especially when it is accompanied by blood or pain.