Urine is a mixture of a large number of chemicals. Under some conditions, these chemicals may modify and form salt crystals. The condition is termed Crystalluria.
Crystalluria can also be found in normal individuals. Thus finding crystals in the urine isn’t always a sign of disease. However, in certain circumstances, finding crystals in the urine can be linked to some underlying health conditions.
How Do Cholesterol Crystals Form In Urine?
To understand better, we can classify these crystals into normal salt crystals and abnormal salt crystals. Normal salt crystals include crystals, hippuric acid crystals, Uric Acid crystals, calcium phosphate crystals, calcium oxalate, triple phosphate crystals (struvite), calcium carbonate crystals, ammonium borate crystals, etc.
Abnormal crystals include Bilirubin crystals, Cholesterol crystals, tyrosine crystals, acyclovir crystals, cystine crystals, leucine crystals, indinavir crystals, etc. Cholesterol crystals are classified under abnormal crystals. They are transparent, clear, long, thin, and colorless plates with well-defined edges. Cholesterol crystals are normally found in both neutral and acidic urines. They are usually found in urine sediments but can also be seen within the urine casts.
Some important points to include:
- Cholesterol crystals mostly appear after the refrigeration of urine samples.
- They are soluble in ether, ethanol, and chloroform.
- They exhibit stained glass effects under polarized light.
What is the reason behind Cholesterol crystals in urine?
Cholesterol crystals in the urine can be caused by renal tubular disorders. This could be an indication of the development of renal failure. It could be a possible threat in the future if left untreated.
Alkali therapy can be used to treat Cholesterol crystals. Alkali therapy manages chronic metabolic conditions associated with kidney tubular disorders.
How to diagnose Cholesterol crystals?
Crystalluria is not a condition that you should be afraid of. Urine may show crystals if the chemicals in the urine get modified. However, the abnormal crystals could be a sign of an underlying health condition.
Urinalysis is a test that can be used to detect crystals in the urine. For the test, your urine is collected and analyzed to notice any change in color or opacity that may be caused by infections. Later, Urine components are checked by using a dipstick.
Finally, to find and detect urine crystals ( if there are any), the urine sample is analyzed under a microscope. If abnormal crystals are detected after analysis, you may need to go for further tests and treatments according to the kind of crystal present in your body.
How to prevent Crystalluria?
Urine crystal formation can be easily prevented by modifying diets and lifestyles. Dilution of urine can prevent the chemical components from being crystals. Drinking large amounts of water daily can make this possible.
Besides, avoiding the consumption of salty food, processes, and high protein food can also be avoided. You can consult a doctor and follow his instructions on these matters. As the popular quote says, prevention is better than cure. Make sure to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle, as it not only helps you to prevent Crystalluria but also improves your health and happiness.