A number of different kinds of diseases and infections can have cloudy urine as a symptom. There can be a large difference in the color of urine and it can range from being as clear as water to a dark reddish color. The level of fluids and water in the body and the ammonia content will determine the color of the urine. Cloudy urine is not a disease in itself but an indication that there may be another problem.
Cloudy urine may also be accompanied by other symptoms that suggest urinary irregularities. These can include the need to urinate more frequently and pain or a burning sensation when urinating. People who suffer from all of these symptoms may feel anxious about what is causing these symptoms.
It is common for urine to be cloudy first thing in the morning. This is because urine becomes more concentrated overnight because of a decrease in the water levels in the body.
What Can Cause Cloudy Urine?
Dehydration: Dehydration can cause a number of health ailments including cloudy urine. Dehydration occurs when fluids are lost from the body; commonly through exercise and sweating. A reduced fluid intake can also cause dehydration.
Urinary Tract Infection: Pyelonephritis is one example of a urinary tract infection that can cause cloudy urine. This is more common in men and can have other symptoms such as frequent urination, fever, burning sensation when urinating and flank pain.
Vaginal Discharge: The most prominent cause of cloudy urine in women is vaginal discharge. There are a number of reasons why women experience vaginal discharge and the discharge can be normal or abnormal.
Vitamin Supplements: The appearance of the urine can also be changed by excessive intake of vitamin supplements. Vitamins that are water soluble do not always get stored by the body or if they do they are only stored in small amounts. Vitamins B and C are examples of these types of vitamins. Urine can be made cloudy as these vitamins are passed out of the body.
Bladder Infections: The appearance of urine can be changed by a bladder infection such as cystitis. This infection leads to white blood cells being present in the urine which can cause cloudiness. Other symptoms of cystitis include chills, a sharp pain or burning sensation when urinating, frequent urination and fever.
Gonorrhea: Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that causes bacterial concentration in the urine. This can cause cloudy urine in both men and women.
Proteinurea: Excessive concentration of protein in the urine is known as proteinurea. This condition can make the urine cloudy. Proteinurea most commonly occurs in women during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. When this condition is found alongside high blood pressure in pregnant women it can be a serious condition and requires medical attention.
Phosphate Crystals: The presence of excess phosphate crystals can make the urine cloudy and smelly. This condition is caused mainly by diet and is harmless. Beet and asparagus are foods that are high in phosphate. High levels of phosphate can also be found in some milks. Phosphate crystals that are passed in urine can make the urine cloudy or milky.
Other Factors: Bilharzia (an infection caused by a parasite of the genus schistosoma), prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland), or kidney stones can also cause urine to become cloudy. Mucus in the urine can also give it a cloudy appearance.