Learn All about Urine Abnormalities

May 18, 2019
There are several types of urine abnormalities. Don't hesitate to consult your doctor if you're seeing changes in your urine.

Urine is a liquid that the kidneys produce after they filter organic waste and excess water. Then, it reaches the ureters and finally the bladder, where it’s stored.

Urine is usually composed of 96% water. The other 4% is composed of dissolved substances such as urea, uric acid, creatinine, chloride, etc. If you suffer from a urinary abnormality, doctors will measure all of these substances.

After the bladder, your body expels urine through the urethra.

The bladder is an organ that, if it works normally, can store up to 170-180 cc of urine in three to five hours.

Urine Abnormalities: Different Aspects

Urine Output Problems


Overall, kidney stones are one of the main problems that alter urine output.

Urine output change due to many different factors or diseases. For example, it may be blocked, usually by stones, but tumors may also cause an obstruction. These changes don’t allow the bladder to empty properly.

In turn, urine output problems may also result from kidney diseases, especially when the patient is suffering from kidney failure.

Infections also affect urine output, as well as bladder control problems such as overactive bladder, incontinence, and benign prostatic hyperplasia in men.

We recommend you to read: 6 Tips to Eliminate Kidney Stones

Urine Abnormalities Due to Changes in Urine Composition

As we explained above, although urine is mainly water, it also contains other elements. The levels of these components may increase or decrease, indicating that something isn’t working properly.

Urinalysis measures these components to help diagnose some diseases.

Here are some of the urine components that may suffer alterations:

  • Proteinuria. This means elevated protein levels in the urine. It may signal the presence of diseases such as diabetes, certain intoxications, glomerulonephritis, or urinary tract infections.
  • Glycosuria. This is the presence of glucose in the urine. It’s usually indicative of patients with poorly controlled diabetes and some kidney diseases.
  • Pyuria. This refers to the presence of pus in the urine.
  • Hematuria. This may indicate urinary infections, kidney stones, or urinary tract cancers. It’s the presence of blood in the urine.
  • Bacteriuria. This can be a sign of infection in the urinary system or tract. It’s the presence of bacteria in the urine.

Urine Abnormalities Due to Changes in Urine Volume

Urine volume can also vary. Anuria is when you don’t produce any urine. On the contrary, polyuria is when you urinate more than normal.

Another urine abnormality is oliguria, which is when there’s a low urine output. We should also mention urinary retention, which is the inability to expel urine.

Finally, urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine. In this case, it’s the difficulty to control the amount of urine your eject.

This article may interest you: Is It Normal to Go to the Bathroom Often at Night?

Urine Abnormalities Due to Changes in Urine Color

The most common changes in urine color are:

  • Dark yellow urine is usually a sign of dehydration.
  • Orange urine may be due to excessive intake of foods rich in beta carotene or the intake of certain medications.
  • Red or pink urine usually comes from the presence of blood in the urine. Doctors call this hematuria.
  • Purple urine usually occurs in patients with a urinary catheter. This is due to the transformation of certain pigments due to the bacteria in the catheter tube.
  • Whitish urine, or albuminuria. This may come from a severe urinary infection or lymphatic fistula, especially in cases of neoplasia or abdominal trauma.

If the color change lasts for more than three days, we recommend you visit a doctor. They’ll probably run some tests to diagnose the problem that’s causing the abnormality.

It’s also advisable to undergo a checkup if you have other urine abnormality symptoms.

  • Graff, L. (1983). Analisis De Orina. Analisis De Orina Graff.
  • Escalante-Gómez, C., Zeledón-Sánchez, F., & Ulate-Montero, G. (2007). Revisión Proteinuria, fisiología y fisiopatología aplicada. Acta Médica Costarricense. https://doi.org/http://www.scielo.sa.cr/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0001-60022007000200004&lng=en
  • Andrés, E., Servicio, R., Fundació, N., & Barcelona, P. (2004). Fisiopatológica de la insuficiencia renal. Anales de Cirugía Cardíaca y Vascular.