The average person urinates anywhere from 6 to 7 times a day— multiply that by 365, and you’re looking at roughly 2,555 trips to the bathroom per year. With this frequency, it can be alarming when you notice a change. Some causes of cloudy urine can be fixed with a big glass of water, while others may require medical attention.
Reasons For Cloudy Urine
The color of your urine can change depending on certain foods, medications, and water intake. Normal urine color ranges from a light yellow to a deep amber. Here at Alliance Urology, we have years of experience treating issues pertaining to the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys. Continue reading to learn six possible reasons for cloudy urine.
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria from the skin or rectum enters the urethra. Symptoms of a UTI include pain or burning while urinating, frequent urination, bloody urine, cloudy urine, or pressure and cramping in the lower abdomen. Luckily, UTIs are generally easy to treat with a prescription of antibiotics. Through the course of medication, cloudy urine will normally resolve.
Cloudy urine can be a sign of diabetes, as sugar builds up in your urine and creates an opaque appearance. Specifically Type II diabetes, as it can trigger problems in blood sugar levels. Diabetes can also cause the urine to smell sweet or fruity. Other warning signs of Type II Diabetes include excessive hunger or thirst, fatigue, weight gain or loss, blurred vision, or in some cases, no symptoms at all.
- Kidney Stones
According to the National Kidney Foundation, kidney stones are hard composites made from chemicals in the urine. There are four types: calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, and cystine. Other symptoms than cloudy urine include fever and chills, severe pain on either side of the lower back, a stomach ache that doesn’t go away, or nausea and vomiting. Kidney stones may pass on their own with increased water consumption. If the kidney stones are too large to pass, they may be removed with surgery.
Dehydration is among one of the most common and easily treatable causes of cloudy urine. Dehydration occurs when there is an insufficient amount of water in the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men should aim to drink 125 ounces per day, while women should drink 91 ounces per day. However, it is important to keep in mind these are general recommendations, and an individual’s needs may vary depending on their age, weight, and physical activity levels.
- Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
Preliminary data from 2021 shows 2.5 million reported cases of STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. These infections are transmitted through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral. Common symptoms include cloudy urine, unusual discharge from the penis, vagina, or anus, itchy genitals, lumps or skin growths, or unusual vaginal bleeding. To protect against contracting an STI, always practice safe sex.
Vaginitis refers to various disorders which cause the vagina to become infected or inflamed. Symptoms include cloudy urine, unusual discharge, itching, irritation, or painful intercourse. To prevent vaginitis, avoid hot tubs, baths, and other irritants such as scented tampons, douches, and scented soaps. If you do develop vaginitis, treatment often includes a course of cream or vaginal suppositories.
If you are experiencing cloudy urine and are unaware of the underlying cause, schedule an appointment with one of our providers. We offer patients convenient access to an elite team of experienced urologists, along with state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options. For questions and inquiries, please call our office in Greensboro at (336) 274-1114.