Cloudy urine is a symptom that is synonymous with many different urinary infections, and is often accompanied by pain of some sort as well. Other than urinary infections there are also many other diseases that often exhibit cloudy urine as a symptom, some of which can be severe and even fatal. Because of this diagnosing the source of both the pain and the cloudy urine is very important for getting the correct treatment quickly.
Cloudy urine is usually a sign of infection when encountered with other symptoms, in which case the clouded color is usually caused by dead bacteria and antibodies that have built up over the course of a night. This is also why cloudy urine is most visible first thing in the morning, making this the best time to collect samples for your doctor if they are requested.
Often along with cloudy urine, some form of pain is an accompanying symptom with many disorders. This can either be a burning pain whilst urinating, or more of a dull ache in the lower back area. If the pain is more of an ache, and is constant, then the kidneys are probably the source. If the pain is more of a burning sensation when urinating, then the problem is more likely to be to do with the bladder or urinary tract.
There are a number of sexually transmitted diseases that exhibit cloudy urine as well as pain when urinating as symptoms. Gonorrhea is one of the more well known diseases that display these symptoms, however there are many others. These can be varied in severity, and are often hard to diagnose without a proper test from a sexual health clinic. Left untreated many of these diseases can cause infertility and some are even fatal.
The most common cause of both pain while urinating and cloudy urine are urinary tract infections (UTIs). These are usually caused by bacteria entering the bladder or kidneys through the urinary tract and multiplying. Most of them are easily treated with a course of antibiotics, and can also be helped greatly by increasing fluid intake. The most common urinary tract infection is Cystitis which affects people of all ages, although is a lot more common in women.
Women tend to be more prone to nearly all urinary tract infections, and as such are also more likely to encounter cloudy urine. The reason for this is because women have a shorter urinary tract, making it much easier for bacteria to enter the bladder and eventually kidneys. Also the close proximity between the urinary tract and the anus can mean bacteria is more likely to travel from one to the other.
Another very common condition that usually causes cloudy urine is kidney or bladder stones, which are also usually accompanied by intense pain. These are basically hardened mineral deposits in the urine, usually made primarily from calcium oxalate. The most at risk areas of the world tend to be those in which people might become regularly dehydrated such as the Middle East. However even in the United States the occurrence rate is around 15% of adults at some point in their lives.
stones can have a variety of treatments, depending on the size of them and how many there are. Often they will simply pass out of the body naturally in the urine stream, although this is often painful. Larger stones sometimes require either oral medication or Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy, both designed to erode the stone into smaller fragments which can be passed naturally in the urine.
Obstructive uropathy is often caused by kidney or bladder stones, and in itself can cause cloudy urine and pain symptoms. Obstructive uropathy is basically where the passage of urine out of the body has been blocked somehow, causing infection and for bacteria to build up. Normally bacteria in the urinary system is flushed out of the body by urination, however when this is blocked bacteria will build up and cause infections. When urination can occur thereafter, the urine is cloudy and often painful to pass.
Most instances of cloudy urine are due to foods and will usually pass after a day or so, however pain symptoms associated with cloudy urine usually point to an infection. The easiest way to at least alleviate symptoms of a urinary infection are to increase your fluid intake. This will make you urinate more frequently and will help to flush out some of the bacteria building up in your urinary tract. Cranberry juice is said to be particularly effective in relieving pain and infection due to the fact that it inhibits the growth of certain bacteria.