What causes urine sediment?

Updated February 21, 2017

Urine sediment, the particles found in concentrated urine, is completely normal in small amounts. Though many patients with urine sediment experience no pain, it can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as s urinary tract infection, bladder stones or liver disease. If you regularly notice high amounts of urine sediment in your own urine or a pet's, you should consult your doctor or veterinarian to have it analysed.

Bladder Stones

Prostate overgrowth in older men can press against the urethra, interfering with urine flow. This causes urine to remain in the bladder, where it begins to form crystals. Weak bladder pressure in older women, nerve damage or weakened areas of the bladder caused by bladder diverticula can also prevent the bladder from emptying properly. Another problem that can lead to bladder stones and urine sediment is the migration of kidney stones travelling down the ureters into your bladder. Radiation therapy to the pelvic area can cause the bladder to become inflamed and develop bladder stones. Catheters and other devices that can come in contact with the bladder, such as contraceptive devices, can also cause mineral crystals to form. These crystals show up in the urine as sediment. Blood in the urine is another sign of bladder stones.


Excess amounts of blood glucose sometimes show up in the urine of patients with diabetes, as they have higher blood sugar than normal. In addition, diabetes sufferers, as well as starving people and pets and those suffering from other diseases, form excess amounts of ketones, the substances formed during the breakdown of fats. These ketones travel to the blood and eventually to the urine. A healthy patient without diabetes shouldn't have ketones in the urine.

Liver Disease

Bilirubin, a protein made by the liver, often shows up as sediment in the urine of healthy dogs and humans, but high amounts of the protein, or any amounts in cat urine are a sign of liver disease, bile duct obstruction or hemolysis. The liver disease associated with this urine sediment can lead to jaundice without proper treatment.

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About the Author

Christina Sloane has been writing since 1992. Her work has appeared in several national literary magazines.