Oily urine: Causes and treatment

Oily urineWhile you may notice a change in the color or smell of your urine, a change in its consistency could also be an indicator of something amiss with your bodily functions. Continue reading to find out what causes oily urine and what it means for your overall health.

What causes oily urine

There are many factors that can cause your urine to change, but what causes oily urine? Below are the four most common reasons your urine may become oily.


Dehydration: Dark yellow or amber colored urine is a telltale sign of dehydration that may be accompanied by an oily consistency. Drinking more water should clear this up; however, if the condition persists, you should contact your doctor.

Chyle: This is an oil-like substance that consists of fats and proteins. It is expected that small amounts of chyle will be found in the urine, especially if it has been held in the bladder for a long period of time. If you notice that your urine appears to be exceptionally oily and is accompanied by a frothy or milky consistency, it is important to contact your doctor as this could be the sign of a more serious issue.

Ketones: The presence of ketones in the urine can be caused by the metabolism of fats due to the body’s inability to use carbohydrates for energy. This issue occurs in those who have changed their diet to be protein-rich or void of carbohydrates. This may also happen in individuals who have been fasting or endured prolonged starvation, as well as people with uncontrolled diabetes. These ketones can cause the urine to take on an oily appearance that is not considered normal.

Vitamins: Oily urine may also be a result of excess vitamin intake. Too much of a good thing is possible, especially in terms of vitamin D, which can result in oily urine. This issue may be fixed by changes to your diet to include more whole foods and fiber and fewer vitamins.

Oily urine and other types: Risk factors

Changes in color, odor, consistency, and frequency of urine may be indicative of:

Kidney issues: If your urine has a strong scent like ammonia, it could mean that you have an infection in your kidneys or urinary tract, or that you have kidney stones. If you have kidney stones, your urine may also appear to be cloudy.

Diabetes: If your urine smells strangely sweet, this may be due to excess glucose in the urine, which could be a sign of diabetes.

Neurological diseases: Increased frequency of urination and issues with bladder control may be due to a neurological disorder like a stroke or Parkinson’s disease.

Prostate issues: An increase in the frequency of urination may be due to an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer in men.


Kidney or bladder infection: If your urine is red or pink, it may be due to eating beets or blackberries. However, if you haven’t eaten anything that can change your urine’s color, it may be due to blood in your urine and you should check with your doctor to make sure it isn’t an infection.

Changes in your urine may be indicative of a more serious underlying condition, and if left unchecked, they may develop into a significant medical concern. Be sure to see your doctor if you notice a sudden change in odor, color, consistency, and frequency as they may be indicative of infections or diseases.

Related: Proteinuria (protein in urine) causes, complications, and symptoms

Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.


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