What Could Cause Foamy Urine? 12 Possible Triggers (List)

It’s considered normal for people to pass foamy urine every now and then, primarily due to the speed of excretion. However, if it becomes more frequent and noticeable, there may be a cause for alarm. This is because foamy urine can indicate protein in the urine, otherwise known as proteinuria, and that isn’t a good thing. Proteinuria, also known as albuminuria, isn’t exactly a disease but can indicate something wrong with the kidneys.

The kidneys filter the toxins from the blood and turn them into urine to be expelled via the urinary tract. The filters, known as glomeruli, are a network of tiny blood vessels responsible for removing toxins and other harmful waste from the bloodstream. The kidneys process about 200 liters of fluid daily, resulting in at least a liter of urine waiting to be expelled from the body.

Certain tests are necessary to confirm if there’s indeed protein content elevation. For example, if there are minimal protein levels, there’s minimal kidney damage. However, if there’s a big jump in the protein levels, it may indicate a more serious condition that needs immediate medical assistance. 

Here are some causes of foamy urine.

Fast Urine Stream

A full bladder is one of the more common and probably non-threatening causes of foamy urine. When someone has a full bladder, the urination speed or the speed the body expels the urine through the genitals increases, leading to foamy urine. This is a common reaction of the body towards such a stimulus as the body wants to rid itself of the urine, which can be an irritant if held in for longer than necessary.

It’s probably better to note that bladder capacity varies with age. As the person becomes older, the bladder becomes smaller. An empty, regular-sized, and healthy bladder is typically the shape and size of a pear. The bladder walls are made of muscle that stretches to accommodate urine that the kidneys produce. The organ stores urine and allows for controlled and infrequent urination as the bladder can contain from 400mL to 600mL of the liquid at any given time. 

When a person advances in age, the bladder may begin constricting, leading to lower capacity and a faster-filling organ. Although it can be part of aging, doctors recommend several tests to determine whether there’s an elevation in protein contents.