Foamy Urine
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Reviewed By:

Jason Chandrapal, MD

Jason Chandrapal, MD (Urology)

Dr Chandrapal received his MD degree from Texas Tech Health Science Center School of Medicine. After graduation he did a research fellowship with the University of Utah Division of Urology, followed by 4 years of urology residency at Duke University. In 2020 he began a 2 year tenure as an Interprofessional Advanced Clinical Simulation Fellow at the Durham VA in Durham, NC where he created and implemented clinical simulations with an emphasis on emotional intelligence. Additionally he has experience with medical writing and consultation for Buoy Health.

Nao Saito, MD

Nao Saito, MD (Urology)

After graduating from Tokyo Women's Medical University School of Medicine, Dr. Saito worked at Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital, Toda Chuo General Hospital, Tokyo Women's Medical University Yachiyo Medical Center, and Ako Chuo Hospital before becoming Deputy Director (current position) at Takasaki Tower Clinic Department of Ophthalmology and Urology in April 2020.

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Content updated on Jan 4, 2023

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  • Bubbly-looking urine

  • Bubbles in the pee

  • Bubbly urine

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About the Symptom

Foam is a substance made by trapping air or gas bubbles inside a liquid, and foamy urine occurs when this process happens during urination. A thin layer of air bubbles forms on top of the urine while urinating. Most causes of foamy urine are normal, such as having a full bladder or being dehydrated. However, persistent foamy urine may be due to excessive protein in your urine, which could indicate more serious issues like kidney problems.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Eyelid edema

  • Constipation

  • Lower leg edema

  • Gross hematuria

  • Difficulty breathing / breathlessness

  • Unexplained weight loss of 5% or more in 1 month

  • Recent weight loss

  • Respiratory wheeze

  • Facial edema

  • Edema

Possible causes

Generally, Foamy urine can be related to:

  • Nephrotic syndrome

    A condition where the blood vessels in your kidneys get damaged and leak protein. Common causes include autoimmune (the body's immune system attacking itself) and diabetic kidney disease. It causes swelling in your body, usually in the feet and ankles.

  • Diabetes mellitus (DM)

    A disease where blood sugar levels are abnormally high due to issues with insulin production or resistance. Often, there are no symptoms until the condition worsens, so regular screening is important. Over time, high sugar levels can cause many complications affecting the nervous system, heart, eyes and kidneys.

  • Amyloidosis

    A disease in which "amyloid," an abnormal type of protein, accumulates in various organs, causing damage. Affected areas can include the heart, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract. The causes are diverse.

  • Alport syndrome

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Foamy urine may be related to these serious diseases:

  • Uremia / chronic renal failure

    The build-up of toxins in the blood that is caused by decreased kidney function. Causes include repeated damage from infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, and autoimmunity (the body's immune system attacking itself). It usually occurs with chronic and end-stage renal disease but may occur in acute kidney injury as well. When toxins that are usually filtered out by the kidneys, stay in the blood, symptoms such as fatigue, cognitive issues, shortness of breath, muscle cramping, nausea and vomiting can occur.

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Is your urine foamy?

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Reviewed By:

Jason Chandrapal, MD

Jason Chandrapal, MD (Urology)

Dr Chandrapal received his MD degree from Texas Tech Health Science Center School of Medicine. After graduation he did a research fellowship with the University of Utah Division of Urology, followed by 4 years of urology residency at Duke University. In 2020 he began a 2 year tenure as an Interprofessional Advanced Clinical Simulation Fellow at the Durham VA in Durham, NC where he created and implemented clinical simulations with an emphasis on emotional intelligence. Additionally he has experience with medical writing and consultation for Buoy Health.

Nao Saito, MD

Nao Saito, MD (Urology)

After graduating from Tokyo Women's Medical University School of Medicine, Dr. Saito worked at Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital, Toda Chuo General Hospital, Tokyo Women's Medical University Yachiyo Medical Center, and Ako Chuo Hospital before becoming Deputy Director (current position) at Takasaki Tower Clinic Department of Ophthalmology and Urology in April 2020.

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