Frothy urine can be a temporary issue caused due to harmless reasons. However, long-term cases of frothy urine can be a symptom of some serious underlying condition.
Some of the most common causes of frothy urine are listed below:
- Protein occurs in healthy urine in normal amounts. It is however possible for excess protein to occur in urine. This condition of excess protein in urine is abnormal and is called proteinuria and may be marked by frothy urine and swollen limbs, arms, and face.
- Causes: Proteinuria can occur due to varied causes such as:
- Consumption of a diet that is full of meats, fish, chicken, and other foods rich in protein. Increased intake of protein supplements can also lead to proteinuria. It may be noted that excess protein in the body cannot be completely absorbed and hence gets eliminated as protein in urine. This protein reacts with atmospheric air, resulting in frothy urine.
- Inflammation, damage, or infection of the glomeruli, the part of kidneys that filter protein from urine, can also cause leakage of protein into urine.
- Reduction in the intake of protein supplements, diet changes, and other lifestyle changes can help treat proteinuria. Kidney problems-associated proteinuria needs immediate medical attention.
2. Kidney Diseases
- It is known that the kidneys perform the important function of filtering waste from the body. Thus, any kind of inflammation, infection, damage, or other diseases of the kidneys can adversely affect its function. Kidney ailments may not just lead to proteinuria, but can also lead to elimination of other waste matter along with urine, thereby causing frothy urine. For example, kidney stones can cause smelly and frothy urine.
- Affected people may suffer from additional symptoms like pain when passing urine, pain in the sides, appetite loss, fatigue, exhaustion, increased urination, and hypertension, etc.
- It is important to consult a doctor for treatment of frothy urine caused by underlying kidney diseases. In case of kidney stones, if medications do not work, then surgery may be required.
3. Urinary Tract Infection/UTI
- The urinary system is made up of varied components like the urethra, bladder, ureters, and the kidneys. The system can experience infection by bacteria and other pathogens. These germs can enter the urinary system via the bloodstream or the urethra and cause UTIs. The action of the germs on urine is what causes it to become frothy.
- In addition to frothy urine, patients may exhibit painful urination, burning sensations when passing urine, smelly urine, and increased desire to pass urine frequently.
- UTIs are normally treated with antibiotics. Doctors may also suggest genital care guidelines and lifestyle changes.
- Urine tends to become more concentrated when water and fluids are not consumed sufficiently. Such concentrated urine is released as frothy urine. Dehydrated people may also suffer from fatigue, headache, dry mouth, and low urine output, etc.
- Minor dehydration can be easily overcome by drink lots of water and other liquids.
- Pregnancy causes a lot of changes in the body, including hormonal changes, enlargement of kidneys, etc. The latter can affect glomeruli function and aid the passage of protein into urine. In some cases, frothy urine marked by excess protein in urine can also be indicative of a far more serious condition called preeclampsia which is characterized by swollen hands and feet and high blood pressure. Women need to drink more water when pregnant. Insufficient intake of water and other fluids can lead to dehydration and frothy urine during pregnancy.
- It is important for pregnant women to seek immediate medical attention whenever they experience frothy urine, hypertension, or any other unusual urinary symptoms so as to prevent complications for themselves and the unborn child.
- The excess blood sugar in diabetics is removed from the body via urine. This causes them to pass urine more frequently, thereby causing dehydration and frothy urine.
- Diabetics who see a rise in their blood glucose levels along with increased thirst need to go to a doctor for treatment.
7. Vesicocolic Fistula
- Vesicocolic fistula refers to an abnormal joining of the colon and the urinary bladder. This causes the bottom part of the bladder to swell up and cause fluid accumulation below the surface of the skin. This fluid is then passed out along with urine, thereby resulting in frothy urine. More men are affected by this condition than women.
- Vesicocolic fistula is a minor condition, but it can also be indicative of severe ailments like tumors, Crohn’s disease, etc. Hence, patients need to seek immediate medical attention.
8. Other causes
- We tend to forcefully pass out urine that is withheld for a long time. The force of the urine stream that hits the water can make the toilet bowl look foamy, thereby suggesting a case of frothy urine.
- Removal of excess semen in a case of retrograde ejaculation can also cause frothy urine.