A lot of people starting on a ketogenic diet report foamy urine. It is one of the most discussed concerns among those who follow this low-carb diet. There are several causes resulting in foaminess in the urine, whether or not the person adheres to a restricted diet.
In this post, we try to answer whether ketosis can cause foamy urine. We also discuss the reasons for foamy looking urine in the early stages of keto, considerations for a more serious problem and what you can expect moving forward.
Foamy Urine On Keto? Here’s What It Means
There are many reasons you can notice foamy urine when following a ketogenic diet. Let us discuss the most common conditions leading to foam in the urine.
The most obvious cause of foamy urine is urinating too much. Those who are just starting out the keto diet pee more frequently. When on a low-carb diet, the body eliminates the stored glycogen which holds four times water. As the body gets rid of this excess water in the form of urine, the person urinates speedily which causes the pee to look foamy.
Moreover, keto followers drink more fluids during the day and this additional intake contributes to making more urine. The increased volume of urine drives the force and causes it to make foam when urinating.
When people start a ketogenic diet, they often get dehydrated because of increased urination, sweating and lack of electrolytes. If you get dehydrated, the urine is more concentrated on waste material and can look foamy.
To avoid this, you should increase your intake of fluids when on a ketogenic diet, specifically in the early weeks. Also, make sure you get enough electrolytes like sodium, potassium and magnesium through keto-friendly foods.
Too Much Protein
Another common reason for foamy urine is excessive protein. A proper ketogenic diet contains about 70 percent fat, 25 percent protein and 5-10 percent carbs. However, people generally increase their protein intake and reduce the amount of fat they take on a daily basis. On a high-protein diet, the body breaks down excessive protein into the urine, leading to a foam-like appearance of the bodily fluid.
Does Ketosis Cause Foamy Urine?
Ketosis should normally not be a cause of foamy urine. However, some keto dieters report an association between foam in the urine and a higher intake of fat in their daily diet. A lot of people claim that they notice increased foaming in the urine when on a ketogenic diet upon increasing their fat intake resulting in higher blood ketone levels.
It is not clear whether it is the excess fat intake or the ketones excreted from kidneys that cause foamy urine. But reducing the fat intake to some extent can help lower foam in the urine. The most common reason for changes in urine during the early stages of the ketogenic diet is the increased breakdown of protein in the body.
Your body has been relying on carbohydrates for energy until this point. It can take up to three weeks for it to start getting energy from ketones once you start following the new diet. Before the adaptation takes place, the body converts other substances like protein into energy. Such processes can result in different changes including bubbly urine that you can expect during the initial weeks.
Foamy Urine With No Protein? Here’s What To Do
Excreting excessive protein can result in foamy urine, whether or not on a keto diet. However, sometimes, you may see foam in the urine without protein. The most common cause of this condition is urinating at a much higher rate at the beginning of a ketogenic diet. This is quite normal during the first few weeks of the diet and should get better on its own.
To deal with foamy urine from excessive urination, you should simply increase your water intake along with electrolytes. This will ensure that you stay hydrated and don’t suffer from any implications of too much loss of water. The same holds true for foamy urine occurring due to dehydration. The key is to take enough fluids throughout the day to make up for increased sweating and urination during the early days of the ketogenic diet.
Sometimes, the chemicals used to clean the toilet can make the urine appear foamy. You can try using a different toilet to see if the toilet cleaning chemical is responsible for foamy urine. Apart from this, some medications can also result in changes in the urine, including bubbly appearance. Some drugs used to treat urinary tract infections can cause foamy urine. Once you stop taking the medicine, the problem should go away on its own.
When To Worry About Foamy Urine on Keto?
If you are starting on a ketogenic diet and occasionally see foamy urine with no other medical issues, you should not worry about it. However, if you see foam in the urine for more than a few weeks or have other health problems accompanying it, you should consult the doctor. If you experience symptoms like vomiting, nausea, fatigue, appetite loss or swelling, it indicates a more serious condition that should be addressed.
A simple urine examination can help understand the levels of glucose, protein and blood in the urine. Sometimes, the foamy urine can result from diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure or an old autoimmune disease. Long-standing hypertension can damage kidney function and affect its ability to process waste and protein. Foamy urine can sometimes signal high blood pressure or kidney issues that should be treated on time.