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Crystals in Urine

Crystals in Urine

Too many crystals in urine are generally formed due to insufficient water intake, urinary tract infection (UTI) or change in pH values of urine. To know more about urine crystals, read on...
Nicks J
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2018
As we all know, our kidneys are assigned the task of filtering blood. This process produces urine, that is primarily made up of water and other waste matter which gets separated from the blood during filtration. Several urine tests have revealed that certain chemicals and compounds form components of urine. Carbon, uric acid, nitrogen and calcium are some of the constituents of urine. As urine is a solution, all these compounds are in liquid form. So, is it natural to have crystals in urine? It is discussed below:
Symptoms
A change in urine color is one of the most common symptoms of crystals in pee. The usual light yellow urine is not seen and in such circumstances, the urine appears cloudy. A diet high in certain nutrients can also make the urine cloudy. Also, simply on the basis of urine color, it would be wrong to conclude that there are crystals in urine. This is because cloudy urine can also occur due to intake of certain medications. A regular urinalysis is the best way to check whether there are too many crystals in pee.
Causes
A large number of crystals in urine indicates that something is wrong with the urinary system. Basically, the urinary system consists of the kidney, bladder, urethra and the ureters. Besides modification in diet or a change in urine concentration there are some other causes of urine crystals:
Dehydration
A dehydrated body allows few components in the urine to solidify, resulting in formation of crystals. When the body is deprived of adequate water intake, concentration of certain compounds such as uric acid increases drastically. This can lead to the development of uric acid crystals in urine. Studies show that infants peeing crystals is often linked to dehydration.
Urine pH Changes
When pH value of urine deviates from normal range, urine crystals are likely to form. The pH scale determines, whether a solution is acidic or alkaline. When the urine is acidic, pH value is less than 7. On the other hand, when pH value is above 7, it means urine is alkaline. Calcium oxalate crystals in pee are an indication of its strongly acidic nature. When urine is alkaline, generally it indicates the presence of calcium phosphate crystals.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
Humans as well as animals like cats and dogs suffer from UTI. In fact, crystals in dog urine are often the result of UTI. This happen because the bacteria increases the pH value of urine, making it more alkaline. A change in pH value promotes the formation of crystals in the urine.
Urolithiasis
Peeing crystals for a considerable period of time can also mean urolithiasis, meaning bladder stones. The reason why the person may not show any symptoms of bladder stone is due to the small size of the stone (hardened crystalline matter). However, when a large crystal gets trapped in the bladder, consistent pain in the abdominal area is likely to occur.
Diet
A diet high in proteins can also lead to formation of crystals in urine. Too much intake of protein foods increases calcium and uric acid content in urine. This will cause unwanted change in urine concentration and ultimately lead to development of urine crystals. Also, it is observed that over consumption of protein rich foods on a daily basis, increases the acidity of the urine, thus encouraging formation of crystallized matter in urine. This side effect of protein rich foods is also seen in cats and dogs.
Urine Crystals and Stone Formation
Although, it would be wrong to conclude that urine crystals point out to bladder or kidney stone formation, persistent occurrence of crystallized matter in urine puts a person in the risk zone of kidney or bladder dysfunction. This is because, at some point of time, these crystals are likely to get accumulated in these organs and form stones, eventually interfering with normal urine flow and even block the urinary tract. The best way to avoid development of crystals in urine, would be to drink plenty of water. Sufficient water intake (8 glasses of water a day) is the key to ensure that the urine remains free from crystals.
Usually, a small number of crystals in urine is not a cause for concern. However, when there are too many crystals in urine, it is pointing towards an underlying medical condition that may require urgent treatment.