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Cloudy Urine – Should You Be Worried? How to make the correct diagnosis and take action health news

Cloudy urine refers to urine that looks cloudy or cloudy instead of clear. “Cloudiness can be a result of various factors, a symptom of an underlying health condition, or just due to certain malignant problems,” shares Dr. Prakash Shankapal, Consultant, Urologist, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi. But as the doctor points out “it is essential to have awareness about this health problem because the more knowledge you have, the better equipped you will be to manage this health condition if you are diagnosed with it”. The doctor answers some questions that will help you understand the illness better.

Q. What causes cloudy urine, and how can we get the correct diagnosis?

Dr. Shankapal: Cloudy urine can be caused by a variety of factors, including dehydration, urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney stones, proteinuria, phosphaturia, vaginal discharge, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). To determine the exact cause and make the correct diagnosis:
• Consult a healthcare professional: Consult a doctor for a thorough evaluation.
• Medical History and Physical Examination: Discuss symptoms and medical history and perform a physical examination.
• Urinalysis: Provide a urine sample for analysis to check for signs of infection, blood, crystals, or other substances.
• Imaging and blood tests: Additional tests such as imaging or blood tests may be ordered to evaluate kidney function and identify underlying problems.
• STI testing: If relevant symptoms are present, testing for sexually transmitted infections may be required.

Q. Do special foods or habits make the urine cloudy and what changes can be suggested for improvement?

Dr. Shankapal: Certain foods, medications, and habits can change the appearance of urine, including cloudiness. Here are some factors that can cause cloudy urine:
• Dehydration: Inadequate fluid intake can cause concentrated urine to appear cloudy. Drink enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated (at least 3 liters/day).
• Food: Foods rich in phosphates, such as dairy products, meat, nuts and seeds, whole grains, processed foods and carbonated beverages, can contribute to cloudy urine.
• Vitamins and supplements: Extra vitamins, especially those containing B-complex vitamins, can cause cloudiness.
• High-protein diet: Consuming a high-protein diet can increase the amount of substances such as phosphate in the urine, potentially making it cloudy.

Dr. Shankapal shares that you can consider the following changes to improve the appearance of urine and improve overall health:
• Stay hydrated and maintain a balanced diet
• Limit protein intake
• Be aware of side effects caused by medication.
• Go for regular health checkups

Q. Can medications or health conditions lead to cloudy urine and how can we recognize and deal with them?

Dr. Shankapal: Yes, medications such as certain antibiotics, excess vitamin B-complex, drugs containing phosphorus, and certain health conditions can cause cloudy urine. If you notice persistent changes, consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation. They can identify the cause, adjust medications if necessary, and provide appropriate treatment for underlying health conditions.

Q. Are there any other signs or symptoms associated with cloudy urine that may indicate a more urological problem?

Dr. Shankapal: Cloudy urine can be benign and temporary due to dehydration, diet, or certain medications. However, persistent cloudy urine or additional symptoms may suggest an underlying urological problem. Some signs and symptoms that may indicate a more serious problem include frequent urination, pain or burning, foul odor, change in urine color, blood in the urine (hematuria), fever and chills, and lower abdominal pain/pelvic pain/back pain..

“Suppose you experience cloudy urine with any of these symptoms. In that case, it is imperative to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation, as ignoring persistent/associated symptoms can delay diagnosis and treatment of potential urological problems,” adds Dr. Shankapal.

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