All urine has a natural odour whether it is human urine or animal urine. In most cases our urine does not smell too strongly of anything because the odour is mild. However stronger smelling urine can be an indicator of an underlying health issue, or it could be that you have eaten something that has caused a stronger aroma. There are many natural reasons why your urine smells so let’s look.
First up, what exactly is urine?
Urine is a waste product, concentrated from everything that you eat and drink and passed through the kidneys. However, the main component of urine is water. Your urine should be the color of pale straw and be odourless but some foods, as well as medication and health conditions cause the urine to become darker in color and stronger in smell.
Dehydration is a common reason why your urine smells. If you do not drink enough fluid, the urine becomes more concentrated, deeper in colour and it smells strongly of ammonia. Dehydration affects young children and older adults especially but can happen to anyone especially in hot weather or after exercise. In most cases, drinking more fluids will be enough to remedy dehydration but if someone does become severely dehydrated, they will need urgent medical attention because this is a dangerous medical condition.
Cystitis or a UTI?
If you are not dehydrated and your urine smells strongly it could be an indicator of cystitis – a medical term for bladder inflammation. Alternatively, it could be a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) which is an infection of any part of the urinary system. Both these conditions require a course of antibiotics because if left unchecked they may spread to the kidneys, which is a more serious condition.
Type 2 diabetes can cause strong smelling urine. Sometimes people don’t realise they have this common medical condition, so it is important to see your doctor for a check up if you are unsure. Diabetes can lead to Diabetic Ketoacidosis which causes the urine to smell like pear drops and is caused by high levels of ketones in the blood stream which the body can’t process so it leaves the body as waste. Again, this is a serious medical condition, so it is important to get this checked out if you notice it.
Other reasons that cause the urine to smell
Other medical conditions that cause the urine to have a strong odour include metabolic disorder when your body doesn’t not process food correctly or a rare genetic disease called maple syrup urine disease usually detected in childhood.
Sometimes medication or food can affect the way your urine smells. Asparagus for example is well known for causing bad smelling urine and some medication does the same. To find out whether your medication is the reason why your urine smells strong, read the information associated with your product.
The smell and the appearance of your urine tell you a lot about your physical health. Always seek medical advice if you notice abnormalities such as blood in your urine or if you have any symptoms or discomfort associated with going to pee.
However, before you check in to A and E because of discolored urine think back to what you have eaten. Beetroot for example colors the urine pink which can be mistaken for blood. And asparagus wee smells dreadful but is perfectly natural and will soon pass.