Foamy, Bubbly Urine?

What does it mean to have protein in your urine? It just means that some of the proteins you’ve ingested are being pushed out of your body as waste. Well, you’ll most always have some protein in your urine, as trace amounts of protein are excreted in your urine as part of normal urine production. The concern is when you have TOO MUCH protein in your urine or the protein in your urine is too concentrated. This is a symptom known as proteinuria.

How can you tell when you have too much protein in your urine? One of the tell-tale signs of too much protein is when your urine is very foamy, frothy or bubbly. Another way to diagnose proteinuria would be through a urinalysis.

What is most likely happening here is your body is not breaking down certain proteins properly or you have been ingesting a too much protein for your body to absorb and utilize. When your kidneys are filtering your blood, excess chemicals, minerals, etc are removed. In this case, your body could not metabolize these proteins for one reason or another, so they are expelled from your body in your urine.

When you have a high concentration of protein in your urine, the protein reacts with the air as you urinate and you notice it when it hits the water, creating that foamy or bubbly urine you may see from time to time.

Sometimes you may experience this foamy urine or bubbly urine after eating a lot of fish, chicken and other meats. These meats contain muco-proteins. People who take a lot of protein supplements, such as whey protein powder, may see this bubbly urine as well. Why is this? Well, if your body is not breaking down these proteins efficiently, the protein is usually expelled from your body in your urine. The proteins, when combined with the air, then produce a foamy or bubbly urine. If there’s enough protein being expelled, you’ll see the bubbles or froth even if you’re not peeing in the toilet. In other words, it’s not the interaction with the toilet water that causes these bubbles, but rather the interaction with the air. Proteinuria caused by eating too much protein in your diet is, of course, temporary, and the proteinuria should diminish as you reduce the amount of protein you are consuming.

Now if you continually experience a foamy urine or bubbly urine, regardless of the amount of protein you are consuming, then you should go see a doctor. Foamy urine can also be a symptom of a more serious issue. Persistent proteinuria can be a sign of a kidney infection problem, kidney damage (also known as renal damage) or a gallbladder problem.

Repeated or persistent proteinuria (protein in your urine) is not something to be taken lightly, since it could be a sign of kidney problems. You should note the frequency in which you notice the protein in your urine. If you are concerned that the proteinuria may be a frequently occurring issue, try keeping a journal to record each incident of frothy or bubbly urine. Then report this information to your doctor.

On a side note, when people are trying to diagnose Proteinuria, they usually refer to it just as Protein in Urine, and in their internet search protein is commonly mispelled as Protien in Urine. It’s one of those times when the i before e rule doesn’t apply, so it’s an easy mistake. Many people are not familiar with the term proteinuria, so it’s not mispelled (as protienuria) as frequently, but that’s only because not as many people type proteinuria in their internet searches… or should we say, Google searches?

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