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Smelly Urine – 10 Causes, Healthy Tips & When To See The Doctor

Smelly urine

Urine has a distinctive odor that is unique to each individual. You may notice that your urine has a stronger odor than it usually does. This is not always worrying. However, strong or odd-smelling urine can be a sign of a more serious medical problem.

Smelly urine, on the other hand, can be an indication of infection, so if the odor persists or if accompanying symptoms arise, consult a doctor.

Causes of Smelling Urine

1. Dehydration

When you do not consume enough water, dehydration occurs. If you are dehydrated, you may notice that your urine is a dark yellow or orange hue and has an ammonia-like smell.

The majority of people experience relatively mild dehydration and do not need to seek medical attention. Generally, increasing fluid intake, particularly water, restores normal urine odor.

If you have mental disorientation, weakness, extreme weariness, or other strange symptoms, you may be suffering from severe dehydration and should seek medical attention immediately.

2. Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections frequently cause urine to smell strongly. The most typical symptoms of a UTI include a strong urge to urinate, the need to urinate frequently, and a burning feeling upon urination.

Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria in the urine. If your doctor confirms that you have a urinary tract infection, they will prescribe medications to kill the bacteria.

3. Diabetes

The color and odor of urine may also alter with the use of diabetes drugs, as well as the disease, particularly if blood sugar levels are not managed.

A nice, very pleasant smell is noticed by certain persons. When the urine is saturated with sugar, this will occur.

4. Asparagus

Metabolites are any compounds that are produced in the digestive process. When the body eliminates them in urine, certain of these substances can give urine a distinctive odor.

One of the metabolites that are released after digestion of asparagus causes urine to have a bad odor.

5. Bladder Fistula

Bacteria from your intestines can go to your bladder via a fistula (break in the skin) that results from an injury or deformity. An open fistula to the bladder may be caused by an operation or an illness such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease.

6. Pregnancy

Women experience an increase in a pregnancy hormone known as hCG during pregnancy. This increase may result in an overly strong odor in your urine.

However, pregnant women have a heightened sense of smell, which may contribute to any reports of strong urine odor.

Additionally, pregnant women should increase their water consumption to avoid dehydration. Dehydration results in the accumulation of uric acid, which can give urine an unpleasant odor.

7. Liver Disease

A strong urine odor can be a sign of liver disease. Other symptoms of liver disease include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, yellow skin or eyes, called jaundice, weakness, bloating, weight loss, dark-colored urine.

8. Maple Syrup Urine Disease

Syrup de maple Urine disease is a rare and incurable genetic disorder that results in the odor of maple syrup in the urine. Individuals suffering from the disease are unable to break down the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Inadequate treatment can result in permanent brain damage and death.

9. Phenylketonuria

Phenylketonuria is a hereditary disorder that is present at birth. It impairs your ability to digest an amino acid called phenylalanine. When these metabolites build up in your urine, the odor may become “mousy” or musky.

10. Bacteria Vaginosis

The vaginal infection bacterial vaginosis causes a distinct fishy odor that may be worse after sex. Other symptoms include pain, itching, burning pain while urinating, thin, white, or gray discharge.

Healthy Urinary Tips

  • Avoid eating foods that cause urine to smell, especially asparagus.
  • Switch supplements, if high levels of thiamin or choline are likely to be the culprit.
  • Drink plenty of water to support hydration and kidney and urinary tract health.
  • Visit the bathroom as soon as the urge strikes.
  • Manage any chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, as carefully as possible, with the guidance of a doctor.

When To See The Doctor

The majority of changes in urine odor are transient and do not indicate a serious illness, especially if you have no other symptoms. Other symptoms may be present when an unusual urine odor is caused by an underlying medical issue. Consult your doctor if you’re concerned about the smell of your urine.


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