Nephrology/Bubbly Urine



I should preface my question with a little information about myself.  I am a 29 year old male who often suffers from health anxiety.  My father began a battle with leukemia when I was in 9th grade, and just past away last year due to a relapse, 11 years after his bone marrow transplant.

This stress in my life has made me a little bit of a worrier when it comes to health.  It isn't that I make things up, but rather I seem to make myself worry quite a lot over things that usually turn out to be nothing to worry about at all.

My recent worry is bubbly urine.

I have no idea how long it has been like this, but I did hear or read something a couple of weeks ago about bubbly/foamy urine being a kidney issue.  So, after urinating one day last week, I took notice of some bubbles and began to worry about it.  This led to quote a bit of googling unfortunately.

I want to know what is 'normal' and what isn't?  I have been told by doctors before that googling medical issues is a bad ideas as most often worst case scenarios are posted.

Here is my situation:

- Bubbles there frequently.  Sometimes more than others. I do however seem to urinate with force
- Never any bubbles when peeing sitting down (I tried to see what would happen)
- A couple of times when I was quite hydrated my urine was much lighter than normal, and in these instances I had hardly any bubbles.
- I have no other symptoms that I know about

My question is: Is this normal?  If I had protein issues in my urine, would the bubbles still be present when sitting? Would they still be present when well hydrated?  It seems I need to drink a little more water as my urine is usually a medium yellow colour.

Looking for some advice from someone who has experience in this area.  It seems that everything online regarding 'bubbly urine' points to protein, and doesn't give scenarios related to force, sitting vs. standing, or hydration.



Thanks for asking my opinion on "Allexperts".

Bubbly urine can sometimes be caused by the presence of protein in urine. Please ask your doctor to order a spot urine albumin/creatinine ratio. This will provide a quick answer to your anxiety. In most cases, though, presence of bubbles in urine is non-specific.


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Dr. Shamik Shah, MD, DNB (Nephrology), ISN Fellow


I can answer all questions related to kidney diseases, hypertension, plasmapheresis and kidney transplantation. I am an Indian-Board certified Nephrologist. I was a post-Doctoral Scholar at the Division of Nephrology & Hypertension,Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego. My area of interest is Critical care Nephrology and Acute Kidney Injury.

Please mention the units in which your lab results were reported and the normal reference range for your laboratory.

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Ten years as a Critical Care & Transplant Nephrologist

International Society of Nephrology
Indian Society of Nephrology
Indian Medical Association
European Renal Association

- Shah SH, Cerda J. Acute Tubular Necrosis; Lerma, Edgar V., Rosner, Mitchell eds. Clinical Decisions in Nephrology, Hypertension and Kidney Transplantation. Springer ISBN 978-1-4614-4453-4, pp. 191-198
- Shah SH, Cerda J. Management of Acute Kidney Injury; Lerma, Edgar V., Rosner, Mitchell eds. Clinical Decisions in Nephrology, Hypertension and Kidney Transplantation. Springer ISBN 978-1-4614-4453-4
- Cerda J, Tolwani A, Shah SH, Ronco C. Continuous Renal Replacement Therapies in Modeling and Control of Dialysis Systems edited by Azar AT, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany (In Press)
- Shah SH, Cerda J, Kellum JA. Acute Kidney Injury in Special Circumstances. John Kellum, Jorge Cerda, eds. Renal and Metabolic Disorders, Oxford University Press (In press)
- Shah SH, Mehta RL. “Anticoagulation in CRRT: Is Citrate better?”; Vineet Nayyar Ed. Critical Care Update 2009, Jaypee Brothers (In press)
- Shah SH, Mehta RL. “Non-dialytic management of acute kidney disease”; Evidence based Nephrology, BMJ, (In press)
- Shah SH, Mehta RL. “Epidemiology of Community-acquired AKI”; Ronco C, Bellomo R, Kellum J Eds. Critical Care Nephrology, Saunders. ISBN 1-4160-4252-0
- Abdeen O, Shah SH, Mehta RL; “Dialysis therapies in the surgical intensive care unit”; William Wilson, Christopher Grande, David Hoyt Eds. Trauma: Resuscitation, Anesthesia, and Critical Care, Informa Healthcare, NY 2007. ISBN 0-8247-2920-X
- Shah SH, Mehta RL. Acute kidney injury in critical care: time for a paradigm shift? Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2006 Nov;15(6):561-5.
- Shah, SH, Soroko S, Lischer E, Mehta RL. Delivered vs. Prescribed dose of Dialysis in Hospitalized Patients: Results of an Audit. J Am Soc Nephrol 17(Abstracts Issue): 2006, 107A.
- Shah SH et al “Biochemical Nutritional Parameters in Non-vegetarian and Vegetarian CAPD patients” Perit Dial Int 2001; 21 Suppl 2: S1-182

MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine), Diplomate of National board (Nephrology), ISN Fellow

Awards and Honors
Educational Ambassador of the International Society of Nephrology 2010
Fellowship of the International Society of Nephrology 2005.
Young Investigator Award by the International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis 2001

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