Foamy urine could be due to minor or major reasons. The chemicals in the toilet could form the foam while passing urine which could unnecessarily raise the alarm bells for a minor reason. The major one could be due to the final stage of renal failure. To keep the kidneys safe keep reading.
What is Foamy Urine?
Foam is formed by air bubbles on a solid or liquid surface. Foamy urine is formed in the major situation of renal failure. This causes the protein albumin which is to be sent back by the kidneys to the bloodstream is unfiltered. Thus it comes in the urine and since the protein is insoluble in water comes into contact with air and forms foamy bubbles. If this foam persists for a sustainable period of time, it is the sign to see the doctor immediately.
When you eat foods like fish, meat and chicken which contains mucoproteins and when they are undigested are sent out by way of urine. This also could cause foam and it is only temporary and nothing to worry about it.
For other minor reasons, the foam disappears once the toilet is well cleaned of chemicals which could form the foam along with the urine. Cleanliness starts with one’s toilet. Also the fast delivery of urine due to full bladder on the floor of the toilet forms foam which could make a weak heart race fast of fear of kidney failure.
Between the minor and major reason, there are also various issues which could form foamy urine. The reasons could be many but urine diagnosis and consult a doctor immediately for any change in the normal urine is very important.
Signs of urine change :
Urine is a byproduct that contains fluids and other filtrates that are excreted from the body as waste. Urine is an indicator of the condition of the body. Some doctors advice to peek at your pee for your health check.
The normal urine is colorless, sometimes pale yellow and transparent just like water. But if any change is there in urine it could be of an underlying disease in the body. Following are the changes in the urine and their cause.
Dark yellow color :
This means your body is dehydrated. When the body is dehydrated it tries to conserve the fluid and the urine becomes concentrated. In some cases of prolonged dehydration can lead to bladder conditions. The chemicals in the urine may contact the lining of the bladder and cause irritation and urinary tract infection. Keeping the body hydrated is the only way to prevent this.
Red Urine :
Red is the color of the blood and hence red urine is the sign of blood in the urine. This is called Hematuria and this could be the cause of UTI, kidney diseases and even cancer.
Foul smelling urine :
This is not because of any serious ailments but the food or drinks. Foods like asparagus and drinks like coffee can make urine smell. This could be also because of dehydration. When foul smell continues for a long period with irritation, burning sensation, fever or cloudy urine it is better to consult a doctor.
Frequent or emergent urine secretion:
There is saying that even anger can be controlled but not urine. This is quite true with people who have BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is because the prostate gland grows bigger and it presses the urethra and causes a lot of changes in urination. Consulting the doctor and taking proper medications and doing Kegel exercises could solve this problem.
Gas or Air in urine:
If there is an infection in the bladder, the bacteria present there produce gas that is released with the pee. This UTI could be treated by a physician. This could be also because of an abnormal opening between the bladder and colon or within the bladder. This could be the risk of developing fistula which can only be cured by a surgery.
Foamy Urine :
This is because of the ailing kidney unable to filter the protein. The protein is normally filtered and sent back to the bloodstream for circulation in the body. But kidney which is not functioning properly could not do this function and excrete the protein albumin into the urine. This when comes in contact with the air forms foamy bubbles.
This kidney failure indicator should be taken seriously if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of this disease called proteinuria.
Causes of foamy urine :
Proteins are good for the health but when secreted through urine to form foamy urine could be a serious condition like kidney failure. Kidneys are an important part of our body taking care of the excretory system. If they are not properly maintained it could cause a lot of pain, suffering, and death.
Urines are the output of the kidneys which carries the fluids like water and other wastes out of the body. Thus urine secretion gains importance and the type of urine changes could be an indicator of the body condition. Foamy urines are due to the following causes.
Kidney disease :
Foamy urine could be because of kidney stones which could be easily diagnosed by a simple urine test and cured. This could also be because of diabetes which can be controlled by proper medication.
Urinary tract infection or UTI could be due to the formation of bacteria in a urinary system which includes the bladder, ureter, urethra, and the kidney. Earlier diagnoses and treatment with antibiotics could solve this ailment.
Preeclampsia is an ailment associated with pregnancy due to the rise in blood pressure or other ailments like proteinuria and liver damages. The signs of preeclampsia are similar to that of normal pregnant women.
Hence periodical checkup with the doctor to keep tab of the blood pressure and other checkups could save the mother and the child from preeclampsia which could harm them both to the extent of death.
If the body is dehydrated the urine becomes concentrated due to the conservation of fluids by the kidneys. Keeping the body hydrated by fluids could solve this issue.
Rapid Urination :
The air in the urine while urinating fast when in a fully filled bladder or forcing urine causes the foam which could disappear within seconds.
Vesicocolic Fistula :
This is similar to that of UTI but this occurs due to the development of fistula within the bladder or between the bladder and the colon. This causes the bacteria and air to enter the urinary system and cause infection. This also could be treated early with the consultation of the physician with antibiotics.
Chemicals in Toilet:
Toilets with chemicals due to the cleaning liquids, soaps, shampoos, detergents may cause foam when urine is passed. This is a minor issue and keeping the toilet clean at all times is the simple solution.
Retrograde ejaculation :
Dry orgasm or retrograde ejaculation by men could lead to foamy urine. This is because the semen which is normally ejected by the urethra is redirected the urinary bladder. This is because of the malfunction of the sphincter and leads to infertility in men. The diagnoses include a simple urinalysis soon after the excretion of semen to find an excess of semen in the urine.
This is caused by spinal cord injury, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. The treatment is possible only in mild conditions with early diagnoses of urine for semen content.
Semen urine :
This is also one of the causes because of the malfunction of the bladder sphincter. The small amount of semen after sex is directed back to the bladder which causes foamy urine. This is diagnosed by testing the content of semen in urine.
This is the main and crucial cause of the foamy urine. The protein not sent back to the bloodstream by the affected kidneys when released with urine comes into contact with the air and forms foam.
Common causes of proteinuria:
- High Blood Pressure
- Immune system disorders
- Above 60 years of age
- Retrograde ejaculation
And many more. Proteinuria at the initial level will be with less protein outcome in urine which is the stage to be diagnosed and treatment is given.
Common symptoms of proteinuria :
The following are the symptoms or the red signals along with foamy urine to consult a doctor to save the kidneys.
- Unexplained fatigue and pain
- Frequent urination
- Itching skin
- Breathing difficulties
And many more. If not diagnosed even after foamy urine with the associated symptoms could lead to last stages of renal failure. This could be solved only by replacing the kidneys through surgery which is a tedious and a costly one.
Diagnoses of foamy urine:
In older days when there was no equipment or methods to test urine, the doctors have to undergo the tedious and hazardous task of diagnosing the patients by tasting their urine.
Luckily the modern scientific development has saved today’s doctors of such diagnosis. But the fact that our pioneers were clever enough to find diabetes of the patient from the sweetness of the urine could ascertain the fact that urine is the indicator of several diseases.
The body condition could be found by the waste it secretes. The urine is the main output of the excretory system which could be the base of diagnosis of a human body.
Foamy urine could be because of various reasons and could be diagnosed in the following ways.
Periodic check or urine :
Urine observation is a simple way to diagnose the disease. A simple tab of foamy urine output could save a major ailment. The following chart encompasses the severity of the disease.
- Never checked the urine
- Rarely foamy
- Frequently foamy
- Rarely but severely foamy
- Always foamy
This chart could help the doctor in ascertaining the cause of the disease and for further diagnoses.
Clinical symptoms checklist :
A list of nearly 100 symptoms could accompany foamy urine. The major ones could be listed out and checked if it is part and parcel of foamy urine. A simple list is given for reference.
- Frequent swollen cervical nodes
- Headaches mainly in temples
- Morning stiffness
- Sugar levels unchecked by a diabetic for more than one year
- History of tinnitus
- Lack of necessary sleep
- Edema of the feet
- Major joint pains with swelling and stiffness
- Short-term memory loss
- Severe tight muscles
According to the inputs given by the patient, the doctor categorizes the foamy urine causes into four types.
Clinical categorizing of foamy urine :
Fibromyalgia syndrome :
This is a syndrome of fatigue and pain all over the body for a prolonged time. This is more common among women than men and affects nearly 2 – 4 percent of elderly people.
Nephrotic syndrome :
This is the damage of the kidney which could be the main reason of foamy urine. When not diagnosed in time and treated the kidney failure is the end result of nephrotic syndrome.
Gallbladder diseases :
This is due to the infection of the gallbladder due to various reasons. The urinary tract infection or the UTI is diagnosed by the urine passed as soon as one wakes up. This could be dark due to concentration and is highly foamy.
This disease is to the reason of the inflammation of the tiny filters in the kidney known as Glomeruli. These filters are responsible for the filtering of liquids in the kidney. This is caused by the failure of an immune system of the body. This is also called as IgA Nephropathy or the Berger’s disease. This is due to the lodging of immunoglobin A (IgA) in the kidneys.
Thus excess protein in the urine which is unfiltered by the kidneys is the prime concern for major ailments and the formation of foamy urine. The best way to find the level of excess protein is UCAR method.
Urine albumin to creatinine ratio or UCAR is tested by urine samples taken over a 24 hour period. The protein utilization for muscle building and the excess of it can be calculated by the creatinine which is the substance produced during the muscle break down.
The UCAR level should be below 30 milligrams per gram in the urine. Above this confirms the failing kidney which needs treatment at the earliest.
Treatment of foamy urine :
Treatment of foamy urine depends on the underlying ailment. As per the disease treatments should be given.
The treatment for the major causes of foamy urine:
The abnormal sugar level of a diabetic should be controlled and periodic checks should be conducted. The increase in sugar level could increase the damage to the kidneys and result in death.
The common medication to control blood sugar is insulin. Other lifestyle changes could control diabetes.
High Blood Pressure or Hypertension :
The optimal blood pressure should be maintained at all times. Stress, anger, anxiety and other emotions which lead to an increase in blood pressure should be avoided. Sodium level in the food should be only to the allowed level. The increase in sodium could deteriorate the kidneys. Calcium channel blockers and diuretics are the medications for hypertension.
Apart from these common causes of foamy urine or proteinuria, there are other ailments which can be controlled by proper diagnose and treatment.
Home remedies for proteinuria :
Proteinuria can be controlled by changing lifestyles and food habits.
Lifestyle changes :
- Exercising daily
- Maintaining body weight
- Reducing stress, anger, and anxiety
- Have a sound sleep
Food habits :
- To drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits with more of vitamin C
- Minimize alcohol consumption.
- Quit smoking
- Reduce salt intake in food
- Reduce meat intake and increase fish foods
- Add more onions, garlic, and ginger in a daily food
Medications for proteinuria:
The medications for proteinuria depends on two stages. They are the primary and secondary stages. These drugs control the protein levels in the kidneys.
Treatment for primary level proteinuria :
ACE treatment :
ACE inhibitors or the angiotensin enzyme converting enzymes are the first lines of treatment of proteinuria.
If protein levels are not controlled by ACE inhibitors an addition of spironolactone or the aldosterone antagonist or angiotensin reception blocker ARB is given to control proteinuria.
For the above two treatments caution should be taken as they may lead to the risk of the increased level of potassium or hyperkalemia.
Treatment for the secondary level of proteinuria:
When the levels of protein are very high and not curable by the ACE and ARB treatments it is time for steroids and steroid-sparing agent along with the ACE and ARB treatments to cure proteinuria.
The final solution for the treatment of saving a life is a transplant of a kidney by way of surgery.
The above facts could startle anyone and increase the fear of losing kidneys. But the simple and easiest way to keep your kidneys safe is stress-free living, a happy and good lifestyle, good eating habits and awareness on what all we do.
Hence live safely to have a long and happy life free from diseases which are modern day’s bane to the society.
Thank you for the refresher I formation on urinalysis a d kidney problems and treatments.