There is no need to immediately panic if you find particles in your urine, however, it certainly should be addressed by your doctor.
There are many reasons that white stuff could appear in urine, and some reasons are more critical than others.
According to the University of Washington, it may be due to something as simple as a urinary tract infection.(1)
It is important to have a doctor investigate the root of the issue further to find the cause of the problem.
Causes Of Particles In Your Urine
According to HealthTherapy, there are a variety of issues that could result in seeing particles in your urine.(2)
Some of these include:
Sediments are the white phosphate particles that are in urine. Often, these particles go unnoticed. The sediment particles found in urine are usually just detached cells of the urinary tract walls.
These cells may detach due to several other health complications, such as yeast infections and UTIs.
» Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection that is caused by E. coli, gram-negative bacteria, or other pathogens.
A patient suffering from a urinary tract infection is likely to have more sediment in their urine than healthy people do. This excess of particles is made up of protein, white blood cells, leukocytes, and bacteria.
Bacteria can enter the urinary system either through the bloodstream or through the urethra. If they enter through the urethra, the bacteria enters the tract directly, letting it multiply quickly, leading to an infection.
A UTI can also cause the walls of the urinary tract to detach, leading to its excretion from the body through urine.
» Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can also lead to white particles in urine. Small particles that show up in the urine that look like grains of salt can actually be very small kidney stones.
People can get a kidney stone due to several different things, such as poor diet and lifestyle. If these are small and easy to pass, they are not likely to cause much trouble. However, large kidney stones may require surgery.
» Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is caused by the overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina, possibly due to poor genital hygiene.
According to Health Central Encyclopedia, the most common bacteria that overgrows in the vagina is gardnerella vaginalis.(3)
The symptoms of this may not become severe enough to see white specks in the urine, but this condition may cause them to be present.
» Monilia Yeast Infection
This is a naturally occurring yeast in the vaginal canal. However, under the right circumstances, it can multiply quickly, leading to a yeast infection. This is typically caused by changes in the pH levels in the vagina.
A primary symptom of a Monilia yeast infection is a white vaginal discharge with the presence of soft particles. When this vaginal discharge is combined with urine during the process of urination, it leads to white flakes in the urine.
» Parasitic Infections
An infection that is caused by parasites can attack the urinary tract.
Parasites typically leave the body with urine, which then causes the urine to have floating white particles. Additionally, parasites that cause a trichomoniasis infection in the urinary tract may cause urine to have white thread-like particles, due to the discharge of mucus in the urine.
However, according to the CDC, many people who have a trichomoniasis infection never realize it is present.(4)
» Excess Protein
If the kidneys are unable to fully filter stuff from the urine, protein particles may be discharged through the urine.
For example, the proximal tubules may not be able to fully absorb proteins, or an increased production of proteins in the body may be too much for the body to absorb.
Finally, a pathological damage that has been done to the glomerulus can result in excess protein. The most common protein that is found in urine is Albumin, and the most common symptom of this is having cloudy urine.
» Retrograde Ejaculation
When semen leaks into the bladder rather than passing through the penis during ejaculation, urine sediments may occur. This is because the semen gets removed through the urinary tract and have the appearance of sediments.
Men who have had prostate surgery are more likely to suffer from this condition.
According to HealthTherapy, people who have diabetes have an excessive amount of blood glucose, which can show up in a patient’s urine.(6) People suffering from diabetes are also prone to Ketonuria, which is a condition that causes an excessive amount of ketones to be present in urine.
Ketones are formed during the body’s process of breaking down fat. In healthy people, ketones particles never move from the blood to the urine, but people suffering from diabetes may experience an overflow of ketones particles, causing it to be present in urine.
Having sediment appear in urine is likely to be a symptom of an underlying condition rather than being an issue on its own.
Therefore, any symptoms experienced with this problem would be those that are associated with its cause.
For example, if the sediment is due to a kidney stone, according to the Mayo Clinic, some other symptoms that the patient may experience include:(7)
» Severe lower back pain
» Pain spreading to the groin
» Pain that fluctuates in intensity
» Painful urination
» Odd-colored urine
» Cloudy urine
» Increased urgency to urinate
» Fever and chills
» Inability to fully empty the bladder
There are also non-urinary metabolic problems that may be present if urine has sediment in it. Seeing the sediment is a sign that the body is ridding itself of extra chemicals or toxins, and is using the urinary tract as an exit for the excess materials.
If this is the case, some non-urinary symptoms may appear, such as weakness, changes in digestion, or other noticeable changes in your body.
There is not an easy way to determine the cause of tissue in the urine just by looking at it. This is why it is important to see a doctor if you notice this happening more than once.
In order to receive a proper diagnosis, there are several urine tests that can be performed. A doctor may request a urine ketone test or a urine dipstick test. In general, it is best to visit a doctor when trying to get a correct diagnosis.
According to LiveStrong, the sediment that is present in urine is made up of debris, cells and other solid materials.(8) With a urine specimen, a doctor can see the lab results after the urine is spun down in a centrifuge, extracting the sediments.
If the tissue found in the urine is extremely abnormal, a doctor may order a biopsy of the kidneys. This method to diagnose the issue is most common if a patient has extraordinarily high levels of protein in the urine.
You should always see a doctor if you notice particles in your urine. If this happens once and then goes away without accompanying symptoms, you are likely safe to wait and see if it happens again before visiting your doctor.
However, if this occurs often and is accompanied by other symptoms, it is likely a sign of an infection or disease. A doctor may perform various tests in order to determine the cause of the sediment. The treatment plan will then be based on the root cause of the flakes in your urine.
For example, if the particles are found to be due to bacteria, an antibiotic may be prescribed to fight off that infection. If the sediments are due to a more serious condition, such as severe kidney difficulties, surgery may be suggested.
After treatment is completed, patients may need to return to the doctor for a routine urinalysis at regular intervals. This will help ensure that the assigned treatment is effective and the concentration of sediments in the urine has decreased. This is especially important in those who very concentrated urine sediments.
The best approach to avoiding sediments in your urine is prevention.
No matter what the root cause of the issue may be, the best approach is preventing the issue with a forward-thinking lifestyle. By doing this, you are paying attention to your overall health and maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle.
One’s diet can have a great impact on the chances of developing many diseases. Diets full of various fruits and vegetables give your body the antioxidants it needs to fight off diseases.
These foods also help to cleanse your blood of unhealthy cholesterol. Cholesterol can build up in the blood vessels and prevent blood from circulating properly. If your circulation is strong, your heart is much more likely to be healthy and the blood is able to distribute enough nutrients to your organs to make sure they are nourished.
This will help the organs function at an optimal level.