Foamy urine – it’s the presence of a white froth or bubbly lather in the toilet bowl after urinating. The experts say that foamy urine is a common sign of proteinuria (protein in the urine). It can frequently occur for less innocuous reasons and may be transient with no other episode occurring again for weeks or months.
Guys, you’ll be surprised when we tell you that the presence of semen remaining in the urethra could cause foamy urine although under usual circumstances, the quantity of remaining semen is too little. However, retrograde ejaculation where semen enters the bladder is a possible cause of foamy urine. In women, foamy urine due to the presence of vaginal discharge is less likely.
But, you should also be very careful, because the quantity of protein in the urine is also a consideration. There may be certain conditions that cause a slight increase in the quantity of protein in the urine, which is temporary. And, this includes:
- Strenuous exercise
- Fever – the cause of the fever should be investigated and treated.
- Severe cold or heat exposure (environmental).
- Emotional stress.
- Certain drugs.
Don’t get us wrong, there may be other harmless causes of foamy urine, but we really think that this should be discussed with a doctor to exclude more serious conditions.
A small amount of protein in the urine, less than 150mg/day, is normal. However, the presence of albumin (the most common type of protein in the blood) is a cause for concern as it indicates glomerular damage (damage to the filtering ‘apparatus’ of the kidney).
This can be confirmed by a urine dipstick test or sending a urine sample to a laboratory for urinalysis.
Some of the causes of proteinuria include :
- Chemical, heavy metal poisoning.
- Envenoming – venom from snake/insect bite or sting.
- Heart conditions – enlargement, inflammation or failure.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Infections, particularly those of the urinary tract (UTI), although other systemic and localized infections can lead to proteinuria (fever).
- Kidney failure.
- Liver disease, damage or failure.
- Lupus (SLE) and other types of autoimmune diseases.
- Renal vessel conditions like renal artery stenosis.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Sickle cell anemia.