Bad smell in the urine can be caused by harmless causes, but if it persists for several days may indicate an important disease.
When urine has a stench or smell of ammonia, urinalysis is essential to determine the cause.
Normally, the urine is odorless and colorless or pale yellow.
Urine is composed mainly of:
- Water in excess,
- Filtered blood residues.
When the concentration of waste becomes high, the urine can produce a bad smell.
- 1 Strong smell in women’s urine
- 2 Cause of bad smell in men’s urine
- 3 Bad smell in male or female urine
- 4 Bad smell in the urine in the morning
- 5 Causes of ammonia smell in urine
- 6 Causes of urine smelling of ammonia in children
- 7 Bad smell in urine after eating asparagus
- 8 Symptoms associated with bad smell in urine
- 9 Treatment for bad smell in the urine
- 10 Natural remedies for bad smell in urine
Strong smell in women’s urine
In women the strong and acidic smell of urine can be caused by certain diseases listed below:
Urinary tract infection
The infection bacterial urinary tract can affect any part of the urinary system, but the bladder and urethra are the organs most commonly affected.
- The urethra is shorter and thus the bacteria reach the vagina more easily,
- The outer opening of the urethra is close to the anus. Bacteria contained in feces can enter the urethra during cleansing after bowel movement.
If the infection worsens and reaches the kidneys, it can cause:
Women who feel stinky urine when they go to the bathroom may actually suffer from vaginitis (inflammation of the vaginal walls).
Vaginitis is usually the consequence of an infection:
- Fungal (yeast).
In vaginitis, going to the bathroom is extremely unpleasant because the woman must withstand the stench of urine.
Symptoms : In addition to the foul smell of urine and vaginal discharge , affected women suffer from:
After menopause , the level of estrogen hormones decreases and the woman becomes more predisposed to urinary tract infections due to the loss of protective vaginal flora.
During pregnancy , a woman’s body metabolism increases because she has to support the growth of the child.
This causes an increase in the waste that enters the urine.
In addition, during pregnancy a strong and unpleasant smell of urine can mean a urinary tract infection .
If this symptom is accompanied by a burning sensation during urination , then the likelihood of infection becomes greater.
Cause of bad smell in men’s urine
Symptoms: Patients generally report discomfort in the pelvic region, followed by pain during urination.
In acute bacterial prostatitis the symptoms are severe and the patient may also suffer from:
- Sudden fever ,
- Urgency of urinating,
- A weak urine stream.
In the acute form of prostatitis the urgency and frequent need to urinate are often observed.
The prostate cancer is another cause of bad smell in the urine because it prevents complete emptying of the bladder, causing a portion of the urine becomes stagnant in this organ.
A high protein diet
Ammonia is a nitrogenous compound and therefore a high protein diet can cause ammonia to smell in the urine.
The presence of kidney stones can also cause the production of urine:
In the kidneys accumulations of mineral salts and other crystallized substances are formed due to changes in the composition of the urine.
When in the urine the percentage of calcium and oxalate increases above a certain level, crystals begin to form.
The crystallized matter separates from the urine and remains in the kidneys, forming calculations over time.
Symptoms : In addition to a terrible smell, there is a change in the color of the urine, but even more importantly the person feels pain:
Generally, the person suffers from these painful symptoms when the calculus leaves the kidneys and remains trapped in the ureters.
When we drink little water, it decreases the volume of urine that becomes too concentrated.
Who drinks little water has a change in the smell of urine, which becomes:
Concentrated urine has a strong ammonia-like odor.
A strong smell of ammonia in the urine is a sign that the person is suffering from dehydration .
Beverages like coffee, which are popular all over the world, can also modify the smell of normal urine, from almost odorless to fetid.
The antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections are known to alter the smell of the urine.
So people who take antibiotics like Augmentin or Ciprofloxacin (even for a short time) feel a strong odor when they urinate.
Most patients who take antibiotics complain of a sudden change in the smell of urine that stinks as in the case of yeast infection ( candida ).
Often doctors prescribe multivitamin supplements for different diseases.
However, these supplements can cause a change in the smell of urine, especially vitamin B6.
Problems in the liver
The urine that emits bad smell can also be a sign of liver failure ; this means that the liver is not able to perform functions efficiently.
The liver processes a pigment (bilirubin) of yellowish-green color and only a small amount of bilirubin reaches the urine.
However, if the liver is not functioning properly, too much bilirubin flows into the urine, causing a dark amber color.
In addition to the change in urine color, the odor during urination is terrible.
Phenylketonuria is a congenital metabolic disease in which the body loses the ability to break down an amino acid (part of a protein) called phenylalanine.
At a time when the metabolism of phenylalanine is reduced, the concentration in the blood and urine of this amino acid and its derivatives increases.
People who have diabetes have a urine with an abnormal smell.
This is because diabetics have high blood sugar levels .
This excess sugar often goes into the urine, which assumes a characteristic sweet smell.
If urine has a fruity or sweet odor, this may be due to diabetic ketoacidosis.
The presence of a high level of ketones or sugar can give the urine a sweet or fruity scent.
Bad smell in the urine in the morning
Concentrated urine : It is normal for urine to smell stronger in the morning.
After a night’s sleep, the urine is more concentrated, has a strong smell and a more intense yellow color.
The dehydration can increase the concentration of urine, causing much stink.
So, after a hot summer night, you’re more likely to have this problem.
Diet : If a person ate asparagus the night before, they may smell bad in the urine in the morning.
Among the causes are:
- Dehydration. When the individual drinks a little water, a greater concentration of urine occurs.
Therefore, a dehydrated person always smells ammonia in the urine.
- Some foods and beverages affect the odor of urine, which can become smelly. Those responsible for stinking urine: asparagus, onions , garlic and caffeinated beverages.
This disease is harmless and temporary.
- The presence of a urinary tract infection can also be one of the reasons for foul-smelling urine.
The infection is caused by a bacterial or viral growth in the urinary tract, it can also cause other symptoms such as frequent urination , burning during urination, etc.
- The smell of ammonia or mold in the urine may be a sign of liver failure .
Individuals who have a malfunction of the liver may suffer from a number of complications because the liver is not able to eliminate toxins and by-products from the blood. It also can not keep levels of chemicals in the body, causing problems like yellowing of the skin and eyes ( jaundice ), belly pain and bloating along with fetid and dark urine .
If the change in urine or odor is temporary, there is no cause for concern. However, if it is a regular phenomenon, the disease should not be ignored.
When the child is dehydrated, the urine is designed to be concentrated, causing a strong ammonia smell.
The child’s food plays a role in the urine that smells of ammonia. If the diet is high in protein , it produces a greater amount of ammonia that is expelled through the urine.
Urine may smell ammonia due to certain types of medications (especially antibiotics).
When there is a proliferation of bacteria in the digestive system, a large amount of ammonia is produced which is expelled through the urine.
Urine disease in maple syrup
It is a genetic disease in which the body has difficulty in correctly processing certain types of amino acids.
This causes the release of ammonia in the urine and a smell of burnt sugar.
Children under the age of 16, newborns or infants may suffer from type 1 diabetes which is also known as juvenile diabetes.
After eating asparagus, over forty percent of people smell a strange smell in their urine.
The reason for this strange odor of urine after eating asparagus is the presence of two ingredients that contain sulfur, known as:
- Mercaptan methyl,
Methyl mercaptan is one of many reasons why people have:
When the digestive tract metabolizes both these ingredients, the result is a strange smell in the urine.
Another chemical that can cause a bad smell in the urine after eating asparagus is aspartic acid .
However, scientific studies show that not everyone can smell this, but only 30-50% of the population.
That depends on some genes in the body.
The bad smell of urine can be the consequence of a disease. To identify the problem, it is important to look for other symptoms that accompany the unpleasant odor in the urine.
Symptoms that indicate dangerous diseases
- Blood in the urine
- Severe pain in the abdomen
- Sudden behavior change
Symptoms that indicate a urinary tract infection
- Abdominal pain
- Need to urinate often
- Burning during urination
Treatment depends on the cause or illness that caused this symptom.
If you have diabetes, you should change your diet.
In case of infection, the doctor will advise the most appropriate antibiotic.
Avoid certain foods
For diabetics who feel a strong smell in urine, one advice is to avoid completely candies and fizzy drinks.
Drinking blueberry juice and garlic may help if the cause is a urinary tract infection.
»It is possible to prepare another effective home remedy by boiling about two tablespoons of caraway seeds in four or five liters of water. Drinking this water helps to eliminate the stench of urine.
»Similarly, women who have vaginal candida can eat low-fat yogurt . The bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus present in yogurt can help control the spread of yeast and cure the infection.
Drinking lemon juice and water can help eliminate foul-smelling urine.