What It Means If You Have Cloudy Urine

On any ordinary day, chances are you don't think too much about the color of your urine. However, it can actually be a good indicator of what's happening in your body, explains Cleveland Clinic. Your urine can tell you if you're drinking enough water, or even if you've been drinking too much. It can also tell you how what you're consuming is impacting your body, as certain foods such as beets and berries can change the color, as can certain medications (via the Mayo Clinic).

According to Proactive Men's Medical Center, the color of your urine is caused by a pigment called "urochrome." Urochrome is formed when hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen to your red blood cells, breaks down. The darker your urine, the more urochrome is present, which is usually a red flag that you're not getting enough hydration. The Urology Care Foundation notes that pale yellow or clear is the best urine color to shoot for, although dark urine can also be normal, albeit a sign that more hydration is needed. As the color of your urine changes, however, it can point to certain health issues and, in some cases, may warrant a visit to the doctor.

The color of your urine can tell you a lot

The darker your urine gets, the greater the indication is that there is something wrong, says the Cleveland Clinic. Not only is it a sign that you may not be getting enough fluids, but it may also point to something more serious. For example, brown-colored urine can be caused by bile, which could be a sign of liver disease. Urine that had a pink or reddish tinge could be a warning of blood in the urine, kidney disease, or kidney stones.

If you notice that your urine has a cloudy tinge to it, it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection (via Everyday Health). The cloudy shade is usually a result of an excess of white blood cells in the urinary tract. According to WebMD, other symptoms of a urinary tract infection, in addition to cloudy urine, are a burning sensation when you urinate, pain in the lower belly, or urine that has a strong odor.

In women who are pregnant, cloudy urine could be a sign of a condition known as preeclampsia, according to Healthline. Preeclampsia is a condition that usually develops after the 20th week of pregnancy and can affect the liver and kidneys while also causing the blood pressure to spike. The cloudiness in the urine is caused by an excess of protein in the body, a signal that preeclampsia may be developing.

Cloudy urine can point to a lot of issues, so don't wait

Cloudy urine can also be caused by other conditions, including kidney stones or sexually-transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea or chlamydia (via WebMD). Kidney stones may be present if you have pain in your back or side or have burning when you urinate. This latter symptom could also indicate a sexually-transmitted disease. These diseases can also cause itching and a discharge from the genital area. In either case, you should consult with your doctor immediately to begin treatment.

If your urine is cloudy and foamy, it is called "pneumaturia" and is a sign of air bubbles in your urine, notes Healthline. On its own, pneumaturia is not a cause for concern, but it can be indicative of a more serious condition, such as diverticulitis or Crohn's disease. If you notice foam in your urine, be sure to look for other symptoms such as a burning sensation or difficulty urinating, reach out to your doctor, and have yourself tested for these ailments.

According to Cleveland Clinic, while the color of your urine can help you form a picture of what may be happening in your body, it is by no means a definitive diagnosis. If something in your urine looks off, take it as a signal to reach out to your doctor immediately.