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Bubbles in Urine

Presence of bubbles in urine can be indicative of various conditions in the body. It can occur in people with proteinuria, vesicocolic fistula, or urinary tract infection and needs to be treated as soon as possible. However, bubbles in urine can also be caused by mere forceful urination or mild dehydration. Let's find out more...
Priya Johnson
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Observing bubbles in urine after urination, can cause some people to panic. Urine is the solution prepared by the kidneys, containing excretory waste materials and water. By producing urine, the body is actually trying to get rid of the unwanted water-soluble substances in the body. Bubbles in urine indicates that the body is trying to get rid of something that causes bubbles.

Just because you observed bubbles in your urine, it need not be something bad. Random episodes of bubbles in the urine is nothing to be worried about. Foamy urine can occur without any reason as well. You may find bubbles in the urine, but tests will confirm you have nothing wrong. Sometimes, it may happen because the urine reacts with the toilet cleaning solutions. So there's no need to panic! Now let's have a look at the other reasons that can trigger bubbles in urine.
What Causes Bubbles in Urine?
Forceful Urination
Oft people make the mistake of assuming foamy urine as bubbles in urine. Actually foamy urine in the toilet bowl is not something to be worried about. It may just occur as a result of forceful and quick urination. The urine appears frothy due to excess air getting trapped into the urine, as the stream of urine hits the water in the toilet bowl. Moreover, if the bubbles appear when one urinates early morning, one must understand that early morning urine is more concentrated and can cause bubbles while urinating. Again this should not be a cause for concern. However, if foamy urine happens quite often, then you need to consult your doctor and find out if the protein levels in your urine are high or not.
Mild Dehydration
Drinking inadequate amounts of water can result in a case of mild dehydration. The symptoms of mild dehydration are fatigue, headache, dry mouth and decreased urine output, which may at times be frothy. When a person is mildly dehydrated, the urine formed is more concentrated and is likely to form bubbles. Replenishing the body with adequate levels of fluids, can help get rid of the bubbles.

This case of mild dehydration is seen more commonly in diabetics. When the blood glucose levels are high, the excess glucose is discarded through the urine. This results in more urine production, which in turn results in loss of water, thus, leading to dehydration. Besides mild dehydration and occurrence of bubbles in the urine, diabetics will also experience frequent urination and excessive thirst. In such cases, one must visit the medical practitioner as soon as possible.
Pregnancy
During pregnancy, some women observe bubbles in their urine. During ancient times, people predicted the sex of the unborn child, by observing the formation of bubbles in urine. However, keeping myths aside, the truth is that the kidneys of some women are seen to enlarge. The permeability of the glomerulus is also seen to increase, due to which protein seeps into the urine. The presence of this protein in the urine causes bubbly urine formation. Although this is not a cause for concern, it is best to consult the obstetrician as soon as possible.

Bubbles in urine during pregnancy can also be an indicator of preeclampsia. In this condition of preeclampsia, protein is found in the urine, which results in bubbles on urination. The expecting mother will also experience other symptoms like high blood pressure and swelling of hands, feet, and face. Preeclampsia is a condition to be concerned about, so if you find bubbles in the urine along with high blood pressure (greater than 140/90), please rush to your obstetrician immediately.
Bubbles During Menstruation
Some women experience bubbles in the urine during the first two days of menstruation. This can be mainly conduced due to dehydration and is not a reason for concern. Just drink plenty of water and the bubbles will disappear.
Proteinuria
One of the most common causes of bubbles in urine is proteinuria (presence of protein in the urine). Under normal circumstances, a small amount of protein is released in the urine. The presence of protein in the urine can be attributed to ingestion of high-protein diet, such as meat and fish. When we ingest excess protein through the diet, the excess gets excreted out in the urine. After urination, the toilet bowl contains abnormally large number of bubbles. This is not something to be worried about, and regulating the diet will help solve the problem.

However, when large amounts of protein is released in the urine, the condition is called proteinuria. The level of protein to be released in the urine is regulated by the glomeruli in the kidneys. If protein has passed the glomerular filtration step and has entered the urine, it only means that the glomeruli are inflamed or damaged. The protein-rich urine reacts with the atmospheric air during urination, and hits the water in the toilet bowl, to produce bubbles. The other symptoms of proteinuria are swelling of the feet, hands, face, etc. A urinalysis can confirm presence of protein in the urine.
Urinary Tract Infection
In a healthy adult, the urinary tract is clear of any infectious microscopic organisms, however, sometimes microorganisms manage to sneak their way into the urinary tract, and conduce to infections. This is called urinary tract infection (UTI). Besides experiencing a burning sensation and the urge to urinate frequently at night, one may experience bubbles in the urine stream. A gas-forming organism infecting the urinary tract is responsible for these bubbles.
Vesicocolic Fistula
A fistula is the term used to refer to an abnormal connection formed between two body cavities. So in this case, the vesicocolic fistula refers to the abnormal connection formed between the urinary bladder and the colon. A vesicocolic fistula is the most common type of fistula formation between the gastrointestinal tract and the bladder. It occurs more commonly in men, than in women. An edema or swelling is formed on the base of the urinary bladder, and fluid gets accumulated under the skin. Bubbles formed in this fluid are released in the urine and can be indicators of medical conditions like tumors, Crohn's disease. However, often there is no treatment required at all. Nevertheless, one needs to consult the doctor for further guidance.
Kidney Disease
Since the kidneys are responsible for urine formation, any damage or infection in the kidneys results in release of protein in the urine. This protein leakage leads to bubble formation on urination. The person also urinates frequently, because the kidney's ability to prepare concentrated urine is lost, due to the damage or infection. The other symptoms of kidney disease are fatigue, loss of appetite and high blood pressure.
To check if your urine is frothy because of the chemical in the cleanser or some physiological problem, urinate in a sterilized beaker and check if the urine is still frothy. If the bubbles in urine symptoms still exist, get a urinalysis done. The best way to identify the problem is by carrying out a 24 hour urine test, which is a more accurate test compared to the dipstick test.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.