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Normal and healthy urine is clear, and pale yellow in color. While abnormal urine colors — such as orange, blue or green, brown, and nearly black — point to a fairly finite number of causes, and can just be the results of foods you've eaten or medications you've been prescribed, cloudy urine has a large number of possible causes, nearly all of which are medical conditions.
If you have been plagued by cloudy urine, other symptoms you may have might very well point you in the right direction, offering clues as to what could be wrong with you. Here's an overview of medical conditions and other factors that can lead to cloudy urine, also medically known as nebulous urine.
Cloudy Urine Culprit #1: Urinary Tract Infections
Besides cloudy urine and often also an unusual urine color, urinary tract infections thankfully also tend to come with a set of tell-tale symptoms that allow you to identify what's wrong with ease:
- A burning feeling while urinating
- A constant feeling of needing to pee, but not being able to expel much urine
- A nagging, continuous pain in your lower abdomen
- Fatigue, a feeling of general weakness, and fever
Because urinary tract infections can go on to cause kidney infections as the offending bacteria in your bladder move upwards, it is important to take swift action when you notice these symptoms. A course of antibiotics, most commonly Amoxicillin, will usually get rid of a urinary tract infection very quickly. You'll be prescribed antibiotics after offering a urine sample and having it test positive for bacteria that cause UTIs. As always, make sure to take your antibiotics exactly as prescribed and to finish the whole course even if you feel better.
Cloudy Urine Culprit #2: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to cloudy urine as well. Chlamydia, a very common STD, doesn't usually make its presence clear with obvious symptoms, so cloudy urine may be a blessing in disguise if it signals you to get tested. Other chlamydia symptoms to look out for are pain while urinating, unusual discharge from the penis or vagina, and if left untreated for a long period of time, nausea and persistent but vague abdominal pain. Gonorrhea has similar symptoms, though men notice an unusual discharge from the penis quite often.
In the early stages, treatment is as straightforward as a course of antibiotics, albeit slightly stronger ones than what you'd get for a urinary tract infection.