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Crystals in Urine – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Written by Dr.Mary

The kidneys in the human body function is to filter the blood and produce urine that is made up for water as well as other material that gets separated out from the blood during filtration. Urine tests reveal that uric acid, carbon, calcium and nitrogen are some of the chemicals or compounds found in urine. All of these compounds are found in liquid form. So why are crystals often found in urine and is it normal?

Individuals who are healthy in general have a few crystals in the urine. But a large amount of crystals or definite types of crystals can indicate kidney stones are at hand or that there is a dilemma with how the body is metabolizing food.

Symptoms of Crystals in Urine

When crystals are found in the urine it is an indication or a symptom that something is wrong in the urinary system. The urinary system is made up of the kidney, bladder, ureters and urethra. Modification in the diet as well as urine concentration can be a cause of the crystals but there are other causes also.

Crystals in Urine Causes

Some of these other causes include:


A body that is dehydrated will allow a few materials in the urine to harden, resulting in the creation of crystals. Being deprived of sufficient water intake, causes the concentration of definite composites such as uric acid to radically increase. This leads to the uric acid crystals to develop in the urine. Dehydration or lack of moisture is one of the more frequent reasons of crystals especially in infants.

Urine pH changes

When the pH rate of urine changes crystals are prone to occur. The pH scale determines whether the solution is alkaline or acidic. Urine that is acidic has a pH value below 7, where pH level above 7 means the urine is too alkaline. Calcium oxalate crystals in urine can indicate that the urine is strongly acidic in nature. When the urine is too alkaline crystals of calcium phosphate are likely to form.

UTI or Urinary Tract Infections

Humans as do cats and dogs suffer with UTI. This occurs when the bacteria boosts the pH value of urine, making it much more acidic. This change in pH causes crystal formations in the urine.


If crystals in the urine have been there for a substantial period of time, it can also indicate urolithiasis or bladder stones. There are normally no indications of bladder stones because of the small size of the stone which is hardened crystalline material. But when large crystals do get ensnared in the bladder there is constant pain in the abdominal area.


Diets that are high with proteins can in some cases lead to the development of crystals in the urine. Eating too much protein foods will increase the uric acid as well as calcium content in urine. This will create changes in the urine concentration and leads to the development of urine crystals. It has also been observed that the over consumption of protein rich foods on an every day basis, can add to the acidity of the urine, which encourages the development of crystallized material in the urine.


Crystals in Urine Treatment

Any infection of course will need to be cleared up with antibiotics. But for most of the crystals that form in urine, treatment is advised to be managed by dietary changes.

These changes include:

Oxalate-Rich Foods. Oxalate is formed by the body as well as being present in some foods. Oxalate built up in the human body can cause the urine to become very high in acidity which activates the formation of stones from calcium oxalate. Foods that are elevated in oxalate include:

  • Chocolate
  • Beets
  • Concord grapes
  • Beer
  • Berries
  • Instant coffee
  • Okra
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat germ
  • Spinach
  • Spiced Indian tea
  • Sweet potatoes

Purine-Rich Foods. Purines are matters occurring naturally on some foods. These foods rich in purine substance can encourage crystals in the urine leading to uric acid stones. Because of this, individuals who are prone to these stones can avert or decrease the formation of stones by avoiding the following foods:

  • Anchovies
  • Organ meat
  • Gravy
  • Sardines
  • Sweetbreads

Foods that are modest in purines should be eaten moderately and some of these foods include:

  • Bacon
  • Asparagus
  • Carp
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Cod
  • Cauliflower
  • Crab
  • Kidney beans
  • Ham
  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Lamb
  • Lobster
  • Shellfish
  • Mushrooms
  • Salmon
  • Snapper
  • Spinach
  • Turkey
  • Trout

It has been advised that those individuals who are prone to developing kidney stones can benefit from a reduction in animal-bases protein consumption or eating less than 4 to 6 ounces of poultry, fish or meat daily.

Salty Foods

The sodium that is available in salt or salty foods may cause the human body to eject extreme amounts of calcium into the urine, increasing the risk of crystals in the urine. Restricting sodium in the diet is more valuable than restraining calcium intake in avoiding calcium oxalate kidney stones. Foods high in sodium include:

  • French fries
  • Fast foods
  • Frozen entrees
  • Canned soup
  • Gravy
  • Tortilla chips
  • Potato chips
  • Seasoned bread crumbs
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese-topped pizza
  • Deli meats that are processed
  • Pickles

By substituting table salt with natural herbs as well as low-sodium seasoning blends may help to decrease sodium intake as well as preventing crystal formation.

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