White Stuff in Urine - Here's What You Should Know
Urine and the Urinary System
Are you finding white stuff in urine? Urine is the body's way of dispelling fluid waste in the body. The fluid primarily comes from the kidneys which filters the water, stores it in the bladder and removes the entire excess amount. This not only keeps the body devoid of toxins but also helps keep the balance between water and chemicals.
Despite being 'garbage' however, urine plays a vital role in assessing a person's health. The frequency, amount, color, and even what you experience during urination can tell a lot about how your body is functioning from the inside. For example, frequent urination can be a sign of diabetes while pain while urinating could indicate an infection.
This is why it's usually a good idea to check your urine to see any abnormalities in the fluid. This way, you'll be able to seek help as soon as possible, preventing the development or worsening of other health issues.
What is Normal Urine?
Normal urine is devoid of white particles and has a color of pale yellow, gold, or any other shade in between those two. If your urine is transparently white, that means you've been drinking too much water – likely more than the recommended 8-glasses a day. If this isn't the case however and your urine is still white, chances are you're currently taking a diuretic, a medication which flushes out water in your system.
Once your urine adapts a honey color or a muddy brown, this is a sign of dehydration. Introduce fluids to your system as soon as possible to prevent complications. It could also be a sign of kidney and liver problems in which case, seeking medical help is critical.
Proteinuria or White stuff in Urine
Finding white stuff in urine is definitely an abnormal occurrence and should be handled swiftly. It's usually a good idea to take a good look at the urine and discern the exact nature of the white stuff. Are they grain-like in structure or are they long and stringy? Is it a solid mass? Also take note of what you felt during urination. Was there pain or did you in way feel the white stuff as it expelled from your body? Pay attention to the frequency of this white stuff in your urine.
A medical term for the phenomenon is proteinuria, which is a condition wherein protein leaks into the urine, causing notable white stuff in the waste liquid. Proteinuria is a symptom in itself, which means that if you want to solve the problem, you'll have to narrow down the possible causes of the condition.
Possible Causes of White stuff in Urine
There are several possible causes of white stuff found in the urine, and they're not always as bad as you think! Considered as a symptom of another underlying condition, the main problem can usually be solved quickly and through convenient methods. Here are some of the possible causes of finding white stuff in your urine:
- Kidney stones
- Urinary tract infection
- Bacterial Vaginosis
- Retrograde ejaculation
Phosphate debris can be expelled through the urine and if this is the case, there's really no need to worry. Phosphate may appear crystal-like in the fluid and usually results from eating too much food that contains phosphorus. Phosphorus is actually important in the body as it aids with the development of bones and teeth. Too much however becomes non-essential; hence the body disposes of it through your urine.
Kidney stones are also a possible cause of white stuff in urine. The white stuff is also in the form of sediments – like pieces of sand expelled from your body. The good news is that kidney stones don't always require surgery for treatment. In many cases, all you have to do is increase your water intake so you can flush out these kidney stones. Eating asparagus should also make it easier to you to spot these stones during urination as the urine takes on a greenish coloring. However, if the stones are already too much or too big, surgery might become necessary.
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary Tract Infection or UTI stems from the presence of bacteria on the opening of the urethra. As the urine passes through the opening, it catches some of the bacteria, causing it to have white particles floating on the surface. More often than not, UTI also presents as cloudy urine so if these two symptoms show up together – make sure to check with your physician ASAP. UTI is fortunately, a common condition that can be easily treated but left alone, it can cause irreparable damage. The bacteria in particular can spread to other parts of the body including the kidneys.
Causes of UTI
Bacteria that manage to make its way into the urethra and set up shop there will cause all types of problems - including whitish growth that can be dislodged through the urine, cause UTI. When not addressed quickly, UTI can go all the way to the kidneys, leading to further complications.
Symptoms of UTI
The white stuff in urine often presents as an early symptom, which means that after seeing this - it's usually a good idea to see your doctor as soon as possible. Of course, you should note the presence of other symptoms of UTI which include but are not limited to the following:
- A burning feeling when your dispel urine
- Pain or pressure in the lower abdomen or your back
- Lethargy or a shaky feeling
- Chills or fever which could indicate that the infection has now reached the kidneys
- Intense urge to urinate but very few actually comes out when you're in the comfort room
- Strange smelling urine with a cloudy or dark coloring
Treatment of UTI
If you notice any of the symptoms above together with the white particles, your physician is likely to recommend a urine analysis. Once UTI has been confirmed, he'll provide a course of antibiotics to kill off the bacteria. Note that you have to finish the full course of the medication. Take the full amount of drugs prescribed even if you're already feeling better since there are some instances when a small amount of bacteria still lingers in the urethra. If you don't take all your medications, some of these bacteria might survive and multiply after a few weeks, triggering another bout of UTI.
Home Remedies for UTI
The use of medication is incredibly helpful but compounding the results with natural methods will ensure faster results. Here are some of the best-known home remedies for UTI:
- Drink lots of water to help flush out the bacteria from your body. The eight glasses a day rule doesn't apply here anymore. Instead, you should drink based on your body weight, which you can calculate using many water apps today. Typically, you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces
- Get rid of bladder irritants from your diet. This includes coffee, spicy food items, tea, caffeine loaded drinks, and any other food containing artificial sweeteners. All of these can irritate your bladder and make it harder for your body to recover
- Use heat pads to help soothe any pain or muscle cramps along your abdomen or pelvic area. This should make it easier for you to stick to your daily routine when the UTI is at its worst
- Take Vitamin C since this is known for helping improve the urinary tract. It's better if you get your Vitamin C through fruits since this contains additional minerals to boost the immune system. If that's not possible though, go ahead and take those capsules!
Several kinds of parasites can appear as white stuff in urine. This includes:
- Filariasis - unless you've been vacationing in the tropics, it's unlikely that you'll suffer from this parasite. Filariasis is mainly caused by roundworms that feed on the blood. The most common symptom of the problem is elephantiasis or the thickening of the tissue as the worms lodge in the lymphatic system
- Schistosomiasis - another tropical condition, Schistosomiasis is characterized by diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloody stool, and blood in the urine. It's also known as snail fever primarily caused by flatworms
The first two are worm-like parasites that look like white threads. Trichomoniasis on the other hand is an infection that causes mucus threads expelled through the urine.
This is a condition that occurs only in women, characterized by an overproduction of an already existing bacterial in the vagina. This is actually a very curable condition so asking for medical help as soon as possible should clear up the problem in a matter of days. Following are some of the symptoms to watch out for that indicates BV.
- A foul or fish smell of the vagina
- Itching around the vagina
- An increase in the amount of vaginal discharge which can be either white or gray in color
If these symptoms are present together with white particles found in the urine, there's a good chance that you're suffering from BV, which can then be addressed through proper medication. Oftentimes, the test for BV also includes a vaginal swab to test the discharge.
Risks of BV
BV can occur with any female. However, the risks of having the condition often increase for women who fall under the following categories:
- Women who are sexually active
- Those who recently changed their partner
- Those who have past history of STI
- Women who smoke
- Those who use an IUCD
- Those who have sex without condoms
Note however that BV is NOT a sexually transmitted disease. Hence, any female can have the problem, whether they're sexually active or note.
Treatment of BV
For some women, BV goes away without any need for treatment. However, it's usually better to address the problem as soon as possible to avoid future complications.
Pregnant women showing signs of BV must visit their physician as soon as possible since the condition can lead to miscarriage if not treated properly.
Fortunately, the problem can be addressed through regular intake of antibiotics. Bear in mind that the full course of antibiotics must be finished. Pregnant women may also be prescribed this treatment option since some medications have no bad effect with babies. Once the symptoms disappear, women don't have to go back in order to get the test again. However, pregnant women are encouraged to come back once a month to ensure that the bacterial is completely gone.
Dealing with the Discharge
The discharge is something else entirely and while you're taking antibiotics, it's unlikely that it will stop immediately. Fortunately, there are ways to lessen the impact of the discharge in your body, especially if you happen to be in a relationship. Here are some ways to handle the discharge:
- Avoid douching as this actually flushes out good bacteria inside the vagina. Although you may feel clean afterwards, especially right after sex, douching can only worsen the condition.
- Keep your down strais area dry and use clean cotton as your underwear. Skip the silk and satin since they're not exactly ideal for keeping the sensitive area clean. Change underwear as often as possible, especially if you feel like there's some discharge there
- When that time of the month comes, don't use tampons. Use a pad since this is less irritating.
- Wash only with water - skip the soap or any of those cleaning solutions. Warm water is fine for your bath but hot water should be avoided
- Wear well-fitting clothes. Try to avoid yoga pants or skinny jeans for now because these produce too much heat around the genital area, which could worsen the condition. This is the time to really exhaust your skirt collection
- Keep your blood sugar low and eat lots of healthy yogurt to bring in good bacteria in your body
Candidiasis and Monilia are two types of yeast infection that can cause this particular symptom. Monilia Yeast growth is triggered when the pH levels in the vagina undergoes a rapid change. This can be due to several factors, most likely dietary issues. Following are some of the symptoms that could indicate Monilia Yeast Infection:
- Increased discharge in the vagina
- Burning and itching sensation
- Redness of the vaginal lips
- Discharge is white and clumpy, a lot like cottage cheese
Since Monilia is something that normally exists in the vagina, it’s not a good idea to eliminate it completely. Instead, the goal is to limit the amount down to tolerable levels. Fortunately, there are some medications available today that makes this possible. With a visit to the doctor combined with a change in dietary lifestyle, individuals can easily stop this infection from spreading.
Candidiasis on the other hand is much more common than Monilia but comes with basically the same symptoms. It’s a fungal infection and although it can appear in the genitalia, you’ll find that it can also grow on the skin, under the nails, and even inside the mouth. The condition isn’t a sexually transmitted disease but those who have candid are discouraged from having intercourse until the problem is fixed. This opportunistic fungal infection doesn’t usually occur in healthy adults. Most of the time, you’ll find them in children or those who have a weak immune system.
Proteinuria or white stuff in urine is also indicative of a kidney problem. The kidneys act as the body's filter and protein found in the urine means that the kidney isn't functioning as well as one would want. Now, there are several reasons why the kidney undergoes through the problem and it's a matter of figuring out exactly what is causing the stress to the kidneys. Although it's perfectly possible to nurse the kidney back to health, there are instances when the problem is irreversible and the body must be supplemented with additional filtering measures to get rid of toxins.
Risk Factors of Kidney Disease
Those who fall under the following categories are more likely to suffer from kidney problems:
- Lack of blood flow to the kidney which can result from trauma or blood loss
- Direct damage to the organs which can be a result of blunt force trauma like in a car crash
- Blocked flow to the urine
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Certain medications
- Drug use
Diagnosis and Treatment
Collection of the urine is just one part of the diagnosis process. A physical exam, blood sample, and even a kidney biopsy may become necessary, depending on the findings of the doctor. Treatment also varies based on the problem that could be causing the proteinuria. For example, direct trauma to the kidneys may necessitate surgery and the use of medication that will promote healing. Blocked flow to the urine could lead to surgery to remove the blockage. Marathon runners are also highly susceptible to proteinuria and the most common solution is for rest and hydration.
Natural Ways to Handle Kidney Problems
Note that although there are natural methods to help with kidney problems, they aren't a cure in themselves. These natural methods are simply used to help bolster the treatment process and make it easier for your body to handle the signs and symptoms of kidney disease. Here are some natural techniques on how to help foster kidney health:
- Eat lots of berries, most especially blueberries, cranberries, and even strawberries since they're full of antioxidants
- Drink lots of water - this will make it easier for your body to get rid of toxins
- Fish - especially the deep-sea kind like salmon and tuna. They contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids which should help with toxin removal
- Apples which are high in fiber and capable of reducing the risk of various diseases, they should be able to aid you in the removal of various waste in the body, not just the urine but also solid waste
Don't experiment too much when it comes to kidney disease treatment. Keep in mind that anything that isn't helping your kidneys is actually making it worse due to the unique nature of this organ. It filters all the bad stuff, which means that wrong treatment choices can actually cause further scarring of the kidneys.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is not the direct result of white stuff in urine or proteinuria. Rather, a possible condition leads to kidney failure that eventually causes white stuff in your urine to appear. High blood pressure is an asymptomatic disease, which basically means that there are no obvious symptoms that can indicate hypertension. Individuals most at risk however are the obese, those who smoke, and those who drink. Age is also a factor, which is why it's important to constantly check your blood pressure upon reaching a certain age or if you drink, smoke, and take any sort of medication.
High blood pressure damages the kidneys through the persistent pressure of the blood crashing into them. Over time, the pressure damages the organs and even worse, makes it difficult for the organs to repair themselves. It's a given that hypertension doesn't just hurt the kidneys, but also every other organ in the body such as the heart, the liver, and more. High blood pressure is dealt with through medications and dietary changes.
Diabetes is another condition that's been known to trigger a wide number of health issues including kidney problems that eventually lead to white stuff in urine. It's a common and highly popular condition especially since a large number of people today are overweight or obese. Diabetes interrupts blood flow and causes abnormality in glucose levels, which causes damage to all organs in the body, including the kidney. Diabetes is best handled by a combination of medication, healthy eating, and exercise.
When to See Your Doctor
For the sake of safety and if you can't think of any other reason why there are white stuff in your urine, it's best to visit the doctor as soon as possible. Do not wait for other symptoms to appear before visiting your physician. Since you won't be in the position to fully scrutinize the white particles as well as their size, shape, and consistency - a laboratory test would be indispensable.
White Stuff Combined with Other Symptoms
White stuff in urine
Pelvic pain, discharge, genital irritation
Possible infection such as BV or Candida
Fever, chills, pain during urination
Dark colored urine with a strong pungent smell
Dehydration, kidney problems
Apparent movement of the 'white stuff'
Blood sugar spike