What is cloudy urine?

Healthy urine is clear and light yellow in color. Urine may appear cloudy for a variety of reasons, some of which are not harmful, such as foaming of the urine that occurs temporarily when urinating rapidly. However, when urine is persistently cloudy, hazy or milky, it is generally an abnormal condition and a symptom of an underlying disease, disorder or condition.

Cloudy urine can be caused by a variety of conditions, including vaginal discharge, sexually transmitted diseases, dehydration, certain autoimmune disorders, as well as infection, inflammation, or other conditions of the urinary tract (kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra). Cloudy urine can also be caused by diseases that affect other body systems in addition to the urinary tract. These include diabetes, preeclampsia and heart disease.

Cloudy urine can occur in all age groups and populations, and it may or may not occur with additional symptoms, such as a foul urine odor and burning with urination.

In some cases, cloudy urine can be due to a serious or life-threatening underlying disease, such as pyelonephritis and urosepsis. Seek prompt medical care if you have persistently cloudy urine. Timely diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause reduces the risk of serious or life-threatening complications, such as kidney failure and shock.

If you have cloudy urine with symptoms such as high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), abdominal or flank pain, bloody urine, or a change in consciousness or alertness, seek immediate medical care (call 911).

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with cloudy urine?

Cloudy urine may be accompanied by other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms can originate in the urinary tract (kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra), the reproductive system, the endocrine system, the cardiovascular system, and other organs and systems of the body.

Possible coexisting urinary tract symptoms

Urinar... Read more about cloudy urinesymptoms

CAUSES

What causes cloudy urine?

Cloudy urine is often caused by infection, inflammation or other conditions of the urinary tract (kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra) or the reproductive organs. A small amount of blood in the urine that is not visible to the naked eye can also cause cloudy urine.

Cloudy urine can also be caused by diseases of other body systems and diseases that cause the excretion of protein ... Read more about cloudy urinecauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 1, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Kidneys and the Urinary System


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