Concern and worry are the two most common emotions when confronted with smelly urine. A variety of causes like dehydration and urinary tract infection are possible and knowing more about this condition can prevent a more serious problem from developing.
Causes of Smelly Urine
The most common causes of smelly urine are outlined below. It is important to know about these conditions to address any issues before they grow into a more serious problem.
1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Bacteria can enter the urinary tract and grow and multiply in number. The end result is smelly urine and discomfort.
Other symptoms include burning, frequency of urination, abdominal or back pain and cloudy urine, night sweats and chills.
Treatment includes drinking plenty of water and cranberry juice. Your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics to kill the bacterial infection.
Home remedies for UTI:
Vaginal infections and irritation result in a bad smell from the vagina. Common causes are bacteria, yeast and sexually transmitted diseases. Some symptoms include smelly vaginal discharge, painful urination, discomfort during sex, and vaginal itching.
A doctor can evaluate the cause and prescribe antibiotics or antifungal medication to treat the problem. OTC creams may also help with symptoms.
Home remedies for bacterial vaginosis:
The prostate acts like a sponge and increases in size over the years. Men with prostatitis often experience bladder infection symptoms such as smelly urine, urgency and discomfort in the lower abdomen, groin or lower back.
Treatment includes adequate hydration and a 10-day course of antibiotics. Resistant cases are treated with a longer course of antibiotic therapy or intravenous antibiotics.
4. Kidney Stones
Smelly urine can occur due to kidney stones. Several types of kidney stones exist and the urine will often be pink or bloody in appearance. Flank, back and lower abdominal pain can be intense with this condition.
Treatment includes pain control, hydration and occasionally a procedure to remove the kidney stone is required. Many small stones will pass on their own. A bacterial infection along with a kidney stone can become serious and hospitalization may be necessary until the stone can be removed.
Highly concentrated urine has a strong smelly odor due to the accumulation of waste products. The most common odor is ammonia and increasing fluid intake is a simple way to treat dehydration.
6. Foods, Drinks and Vitamin Supplements
A variety of foods and supplements alter the odor of urine. Many are familiar with the characteristic urine smell after eating asparagus. Coffee and caffeine also alter the smell of urine. Vitamin B6 will commonly change the odor of urine after taking this supplement.
Antibiotics commonly change the odor of urine. You may note yeast or fungus-like smell as some antibiotics such as penicillin, are derived from mold. Other medications will alter the normal smell of urine and may change the color as well, such as dietary multivitamin supplements.
8. Liver Problems
The liver processes waste and eliminates them in the urine and stool. A liver that is failing to function properly will change the appearance of the urine and produce very dark, smoky or even brown-green urine. This is a sign of a very serious problem and medical attention is needed. The odor will often be bad and may smell like ammonia or worse.
As the body loses the ability to handle sugar, it accumulates in the urine and results in increased urine excretion. The odor is often sweet smelling and will be exceptionally sticky due to the extra sugar content. Excessive thirst and weight loss are also signs of new onset diabetes.
See a doctor whenever this condition is suspected. Maintaining a healthy diet and controlling blood glucose levels with medications, diet and exercise are important steps to manage diabetes.
As the baby grows and hormones change, the female is more prone to bladder infections and vaginal discharge. Both of these can produce smelly urine. Any pregnant person with these symptoms should see a doctor to evaluate further. Untreated bladder infections can lead to premature labor.
This is an inherited condition that affects metabolism. Persons with PKU cannot process phenylalanine in the diet. The urine can smell strong, musty or even mouse-like. Most cases are diagnosed after birth due to screening processes, but occasionally milder cases are detected later. The diet must be changed to exclude phenylalanine.
12. Maple Syrup Disease
This is another genetic disease and the urine will smell like maple syrup. Certain dietary proteins cannot be broken down and the diet must be radically altered to prevent brain damage and death.