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Overview

Urine has a distinct odor, although it is normally light and not overwhelming under normal conditions. Urine is a clear, colorless liquid with a distinct odor. Your urine may have a strange or unpleasant odor under certain circumstances. Urine odor might be a symptom of a disease or a physical anomaly.

Urine has a characteristic odor that differs from person to person. You could notice that your urine has a stronger odor than usual on occasion.

Urine that smells strongly or oddly may suggest an underlying medical issue in rare cases. An unpleasant scent in the urine may be caused by dehydration, some vitamins, and certain drugs.

Urine may sometimes smell like ammonia, particularly first thing in the morning or when a person is dehydrated. On the other hand, smelly urine might be an indication of illness; thus, consult a doctor if the smell continues or if other symptoms appear.

Causes

Water makes up the majority of urine. The smell of urine is influenced by the amount and concentration of different waste products produced by the kidneys.

Urine that is rich in water and low in waste has little or no odor. Your urine may have a strong ammonia odor if it becomes excessively concentrated — that is if a high concentration of waste products is contained in a small volume of water.

Certain foods and drugs, such as asparagus and certain vitamins, might cause a distinct odor in the urine. Certain foods and medications, even in little doses, might cause this odor.

Some of the causes of urine odor are:

Concentrated urine or dehydration: Extremely concentrated urine contains much more ammonia and significantly less water than less concentrated pee. As a result, it may develop a strong odor.

Pee is more concentrated when someone is dehydrated. If a person does not drink enough water throughout the day, particularly first thing in the morning, this is often the case. Some of the signs and symptoms of extreme dehydration are as follows: weakness, tiredness, and headaches with a dry mouth. If any signs of dehydration persist after a person has ingested enough fluids, they should see a doctor. A kidney infection is most likely the cause of concentrated strong-smelling urine.

Food: Certain food metabolites result in foul-smelling urine. Any molecules formed during digestion are referred to as metabolites. Because they are expelled in the urine by the body, some of them may have an odor. The metabolites released into the urine when asparagus is digested, for example, produce an unpleasant odor.

UTI: A UTI i.e. urinary tract infection occurs when harmful bacteria form in the urethra, bladder, or kidneys, causing pain. In addition to foul-smelling urine, the majority of people have symptoms including bladder discomfort while peeing, urgent need to urinate and blood in the urine. If an infection has progressed to the kidneys, fever may also occur. Lower back pain might also develop if an infection has progressed to the kidneys.

Certain bacteria, most commonly Aerococcus urinae, may produce foul-smelling urine with or without additional symptoms. Antibiotics are often effective in the treatment of infections.

Bacterial vaginosis: A peculiar fishy odor results from bacterial infection of the vaginal mucosa, which may be worsened during intercourse. You may suffer discomfort, stinging, or burning when urinating, as well as a thin, white, or grey discharge.

Diabetes: diabetes medications, as well as the disease itself, might change the smell of urine, especially if blood sugar levels are not controlled. When the urine includes an excessively high amount of sugar, smelly urine passes.

Organ failure: The urine odor may be changed when digestive or urinary functions are not functioning correctly. People with renal failure, for example, may have an unpleasant body odor or foul-smelling urine. Liver dysfunction may also alter the urine odor.

Depending on the organ and the underlying reason, organ failure manifests differently. Yellowing of the skin or eyes is also frequent in patients suffering from liver failure, while renal failure may cause pain when peeing.

Pregnancy: Pregnant women may notice a change in the smell of their urine. As a result of hormonal changes, the smell of urine — or a person’s sensitivity to smells — may vary during pregnancy.

It is crucial to note that pregnant women with UTIs may not have any other symptoms; a change in the odor of their urine may be the sole indication that anything is wrong. Treatment of UTIs as soon as possible reduces the risk of infection.

The presence of certain medical conditions or diseases, such as the following, may produce urine smells like ammonia:

·         Metabolic disorder

·         Cystitis

·         Diabetic ketoacidosis

When to see a doctor

The majority of changes in urine odor are temporary and do not signal the existence of a serious illness, particularly if no other symptoms are present. When a foul urine scent is caused by an underlying medical condition, other symptoms are often present. You should see a physician in case of the occurrence of symptoms like burning pee, discomfort urination, and cloudy pee.