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Dark Foamy Urine - Can It Be A Sign Of Something Serious?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Akanksha 88% (195 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine
Nephrologist, Noida  •  21 years experience
Dark Foamy Urine - Can It Be A Sign Of Something Serious?

If you are experiencing pink or cola-colored urine or your urine is foamy, you could be suffering from glomerular disease. Also known as glomerulonephritis, this condition involves inflammation of the tiny kidney filters or glomeruli. It may be acute, sudden or chronic. When glomerulonephritis occurs by itself, it is called primary glomerulonephritis, and in case it occurs from other diseases, it is called secondary glomerulonephritis. Prolonged and intense inflammation associated with glomerular disease may damage the kidneys.

The symptoms of glomerular disease are based on the form of glomerulonephritis. The common symptoms are as follows:

  1. Pink urine due to the presence of red blood cells in the urine
  2. Foamy urine because of excessive protein
  3. High blood pressure
  4. Retention of fluid with swelling in the hands, face, feet and abdomen
  5. Fatigue due to kidney failure or anemia

There are several conditions, which may lead to glomerular disease. They are as follows:

  1. Glomerulonephritis may develop a few weeks after you recover from a throat infection or impetigo. The body produces excessive antibodies, which may settle in the glomeruli and cause inflammation.
  2. Certain bacteria may spread through the bloodstream, enter the heart and cause infection of the valves of the heart. This is known as bacterial endocarditis.
  3. Certain viral infections like the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV, hepatitis B and C may lead to glomerulonephritis.

Immune diseases
A chronic inflammatory disease called lupus can cause glomerulonephritis. Goodpasture’s syndrome, IgA nephropathy and some forms of vasculitis also lead to this condition.

The tests and procedures used for the diagnosis of glomerular disease are as follows:

  1. Urine tests are carried out to detect red blood cells in the urine which may indicate glomerulonephritis. Urinalysis also shows the presence of white blood cells, which may lead to inflammation or infection and increased protein.
  2. Blood tests are performed for getting information on the extent of kidney damage by the measurement of waste product levels.
  3. Imaging tests such as an X-ray or CT scan may be required for visualizing the kidneys.
  4. Kidney biopsy is an effective diagnosis, which involves the extraction of small pieces of the kidney via a special needle. The extracted pieces are studied under a microscope for diagnosis.

The treatment for glomerulonephritis or glomerular disease aims at protecting the kidneys from more damage.
Keeping the blood pressure under control is important for protection of the kidneys. You should take prescribed medications for the management of blood pressure. Other medications are prescribed for the treatment of underlying causes, which lead to glomerular disease with kidney inflammation.

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