Why Does My Pee Smell
Urine is mostly waste products and water and normally has a mild smell and a light yellow color. If you have more waste than water in your urine, it can smell more strongly.
In most cases, a strong smell isnât a sign of disease. Itâs usually from your diet and medications, or it means you need to drink more water. Certain urine smells can be a sign of some conditions, but your doctor might not consider that to be the case unless you have other symptoms.
What Can Cause Smelly Urine
Foods, medication, vitamins, and medical conditions can all cause your urine to smell.
The food most commonly associated with changing the smell of your urine is asparagus eating the green stalks often results in asparagus pee. According to a study published in December 2016 in the journal BMJ, 40 percent of the population has a gene that allows them to smell a change in their urine after they eat asparagus.
Medication, supplements, and vitamins can alter urine odor due to the artificial coatings on capsules. Youre also more likely to smell a change in your urine if youre taking pills that contain vitamin B6.
Smelly urine can also indicate that you have a medical condition that needs attention. These can include:
- Urinary tract infection
Dehydration can cause a strong, ammonia-like odor, signaling that you need to rehydrate. If your urine smells sweet or like ammonia, it might be an early sign of a urinary tract infection . A yeasty smell can indicate bacteria from a potential yeast infection. Foul-smelling urine can be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease, such as chlamydia or trichomoniasis.
If your urine smells fruity and youve been rushing to the bathroom more frequently, you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes.
Some people may have a genetic disorder that affects the scent of urine. Trimethylaminuria is a condition in which the body cannot break down trimethylamine, a chemical compound with a strong odor akin to rotting eggs that can also occur in urine.
Common Reasons Why Urine Smells Like Popcorn
As mentioned, there are plenty of reasons why your urine smells sweet or like popcorn.
You might also notice sour odors that remind you of something you ate or drank. For example, if you drink too much coffee, your pee could temporarily smell like that beloved morning pick-me-up.
Some of the most common reasons why this occurs are listed below.
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When To See Your Gp
It’s not necessary to see your GP about smelly urine unless you’re concerned. This may be, for example, if you have other symptoms too.
See your GP if:
- you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection , such as pain, presence of blood, or a burning sensation when urinating and a need to urinate often. This is the most likely cause of unexplained foul-smelling urine.
- you have diabetes and feel you’re not managing it properly urine can smell abnormally sweet in uncontrolled diabetes
Medical Conditions That Cause Urine To Smell
You Have A Bladder Fistula
Fistulas, openings that form between two organs, often affect the bladder. According to the Urology Care Foundation, fistulas of the bladder often connect the organ to either the bowel or vaginacontributing to a number of issues, including changes in urine odor.
In most cases, bladder fistulas that connect to the bowel are caused by inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis, says Dr. OLeary. However, gynecological and colon cancers, along with recent surgeries, can also cause fistulas.
Since bladder fistulas can allow bacteria from other organs into the bladder, they often manifest as urinary tract infections, urine that looks or smells like stool, and urine that contains gas.
Why Does My Urine Smell Like Penicillin
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Less Common Causes Of Smelly Pee
The following conditions can sometimes cause smelly urine, but they are uncommon:
- urinary stones these may cause an ammonia-like odour
- a bladder fistula this is an abnormal connection between your intestines and bladder
- maple syrup urine disease this rare genetic disease means you have difficulty breaking down certain amino acids
- diabetic ketoacidosis this dangerous complication of diabetes happens when the body is unable to use blood glucose because there isn’t enough insulin, so it breaks down fat as an alternative source of fuel, causing a build-up of a by-product called ketones
What Would Happen If You Took A Whole Bottle Of Probiotics
Bloating, gas, and nausea are common adverse effects of taking too much probiotics. Those with a weaker immune system or a major disease are more likely to experience harmful side effects, so check a doctor before taking excessive doses of probiotics.
There have been reports of people getting sick from too many supplements in their diet, but it’s very unusual for this to happen with probiotics. It’s more common to see this problem with pre-made products that contain several different strains of bacteria. If you take too many, it’s possible that you could get sick or even develop a resistance to them.
People have also reported developing allergies or other negative reactions to probiotics. While these cases are rare, it’s best not to assume the bacteria in probiotic products is safe for everyone. An allergic reaction could occur if someone has an existing sensitivity to one of the ingredients in probiotics. Check the label on any product you’re interested in buying to make sure there aren’t any problematic additives included.
Taking too many supplements can lead to overdosing. The recommended daily dose of most nutrients is very small. For example, the RDI for vitamin D is 20 IU, which is equivalent to 800 micrograms per day. That’s less than half of what some people are taking in one form or another.
Consuming Certain Foods Or Drinks
The smell of your urine may change based on your diet. The most notorious culprit is asparagus, which can cause a very distinct smelling urine.
“This is because our bodies convert an acid in asparagus into sulfur-containing byproducts that are passed into the urine,” says Loh-Doyle.
Other foods that can change the smell of your urine are:
You Just Drank Lots Of Coffee
Coffee has a light diuretic effect, meaning it can cause your body to release water, ultimately dehydrating you and contributing to ammonia-like urine, says Dr. Dune.
Plus, the metabolites produced as your body breaks down coffee may also influence the smell of your urine, Dr. Dune adds. Nothing to be concerned aboutas long as you make the effort to hydrate post latte.
Fishy Smelling Urine Despite Taking Antibiotics
Question posted by Leoboy on 9 Oct 2021
I’ve been taking amoxicillin 250g three times a day for two days now but my pee still smells gross. How long does it take to stop smelling please? I’m so paranoid people can smell it and it makes me feel very depressed. Thank you so much 🙂
Is this for a urinary tract infection? I believe uti antibiotics are supposed to clear up uti s in a couple days. The remaining doses are so the bacteria wont return. Has the uti cleared up otherwise? Ie : burning, frequent urination, etc? Give doc a call to see if this Med is correct antibiotic.
Hi, yes it’s for a urinary tract infection, I think I will have to call the doctor because the pee odour is still there and I seem to always be going to the toilet especially at night. I was lucky enough not to have had any burning which is great
When To See A Doctor
A bad smell in the urine often goes away on its own, especially when dehydration or something in the diet causes it.
A person does not need to see a doctor if they can identify a harmless cause of their smelly urine, such as asparagus.
Other causes need medical treatment. While a UTI is relatively harmless, it can progress and cause serious health issues, including kidney infections. With early treatment, a person should feel better in a few days.
Because some people with UTIs have no symptoms, see a doctor if the bad smell lasts longer than a few days. This is especially important for people who are pregnant.
Other health issues that can cause this odor require ongoing treatment. For example, a person with diabetes may need to switch medications or make certain lifestyle changes.
If a person who has any chronic condition finds that the smell of their urine changes significantly, it may be a good idea to flag it with a doctor.
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Is Bad Or Foul
The severity of your bad smelling urine depends on the cause.
- Not serious: Any changes in urine smell are often due to dehydration, eating certain foods, or starting a new supplement or medication. If you have no other symptoms, it’s rarely a concern.
- Moderately serious: If there is also an unusual color to the urine, along with a persistent and very disagreeable odor, you may have a condition that should be treated.
- Serious: If you have the above signs along with pain or other symptoms of illness, you should see your medical provider as soon as possible.
What causes bad smelling urine with no other symptoms?
Eating certain foods can change the smell of urine and cause “bad smelling urine.” Asparagus is a common culprit. So is coffee. Usually, foul-smelling urine is associated with infections and can happen in the absence of other symptoms. You may also have bladder pain and possibly fever or chills. Dehydration and concentration of urine can also increase the intensity of the smell of urine.Dr. Rothschild
Does Penicillin Make Your Pee Smell
Antibiotics, which contain penicillin, can also induce urine odor since they are generated from mold. This can give your urine a yeasty or fungus-like odor, but it should go away when you finish your antibiotic prescription. If the odor remains after you stop taking antibiotics, contact your doctor immediately.
What Else Causes Fruity
Fruity-smelling urine can be a sign of other diseases and complications.
Diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a dangerous complication of diabetes that happens when ketones build up in your blood. It causes symptoms like fruity breath, sweet-smelling urine, excessive thirst, and tiredness.
Maple syrup urine disease. This rare, life-threatening genetic condition prevents the body from breaking down some amino acids. It affects babies and children.
When these build up in your blood, a compound called a branched-chain alpha-keto acid shows up in your urine and makes it, along with your earwax, smell like maple syrup. The disease can cause other serious symptoms like seizures, sleepiness, irritability, and poor feeding.
Can Probiotics Make Your Pee Smell
This is a completely safe consequence. But there’s a catch: according to a new study, taking probiotic pills might result in some unpleasant side effects. Yes, they, like antibiotics, can produce a change in the odor of your urine.
The research, published in the journal Microbiology Research Journal, found that certain strains of bacteria present in many probiotic products can cause these smells to be released when they break down food molecules in the digestive system. Some people may even notice this effect right after taking a probiotic pill, but it should disappear within a few hours.
Since these bacteria are good for our health, there’s no need to worry about them producing toxic substances or causing other problems. However, if you have any kind of medical condition or take any medications, ask your doctor first before taking any probiotic supplements.
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What Does Diabetic Urine Smell Like
One warning sign of diabetes or high blood sugar is urine that smells sweet or fruity. The sweetness comes from sugar in your urine and is a sign your body is trying to get rid of extra sugar in your blood. Some people say their pee smells like Cheerios, which might be a sweet smell that you should tell your doctor about.
Why Does My Poop Smell Like Antibiotics
Infection and antibiotics Antibiotics may cause transient stomach distress and foul-smelling feces in patients. This is due to the fact that antibiotics can upset the delicate balance of healthy and harmful bacteria in the stomach. When this occurs, some gases that are produced by beneficial bacteria may give rise to unpleasant smells. The foul odor will then disappear once the patient stops taking the antibiotic.
Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that can cause diarrhea or colitis. It can also lead to inflammation of the colon if it is not treated with antibiotics. C. difficile infections can be cured with antibiotics, but too many courses of treatment leave the patient vulnerable to other illnesses. CDIs are the number one cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea.
When you take antibiotics, they kill both good and bad bacteria in your body. The bad bacteria include those that cause diarrhea, but there are others that help protect you from more serious problems such as urinary tract infections or pneumonia. If you stop taking antibiotics, the field is left empty and easy for other bacteria to grow and invade new areas of your body. These other bacteria may not be as friendly as the original ones and could instead cause infection.
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Pee That Smells Like Ammonia
If you detect a hint of ammonia in your urine, it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection. The odor suggests that bacteria may be swimming around in your urinary system, most likely in your urethra, kidneys or bladder.
Urine showing signs of a UTI also may be cloudy or even a bit bloody. Peeing may also become painful a symptom made even worse by the fact that you may feel the need to urinate more often. A fever and mental confusion are other tell-tale accompanying signs.
If you have multiple symptoms, schedule a visit with your healthcare provider.
UTIs are pretty common, sending approximately 10 million Americans to the doctor every year for antibiotic treatment, says Dr. Bajic. Women and older adults are more prone to getting the infection.
Other potential causes of urine that carry the whiff of ammonia include:
Now an ammonia-like odor also can be linked to dehydration and certain foods and vitamins, as mentioned previously. So if the smell pops up and disappears quickly, theres little reason for concern. If it lingers, though, get checked by a medical professional.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Dehydration quickly impacts your urines smell and color. If youve not had enough water, you may notice the urine changes to a darker yellow and gives off a stronger smell.
Staying hydrated will help dilute the chemicals in your waste so the odor is more typical.
Try avoiding coffee and alcohol, too. These liquids increase your chances of becoming dehydrated.
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Its A Side Effect Of Certain Medications
Those metabolites are back! According to Dr. Dune, certain medications affect the metabolites created in the body or contribute to pH changes in our urine, both of which can affect our pees smell. Certain diabetes medicationsand a drug called Methenamine, which is used to address chronic UTIscan have this effect.
A Rare Metabolic Disorder May Be The Culprit
Though very uncommon, metabolic disorders , can impact the smell of our urine.
One of the most common is maple syrup urine disease, in which a deficiency in enzymes needed to break down certain amino acids causes sweet-smelling urine, explains Dr. Dune. Luckily, this condition is usually caught and treated in infancy.
Other metabolic disorders, like phenylketonuria , though, can also influence urine smell. In PKU, a defective gene prevents the breakdown of the amino acid phenylalanine, which builds up and causes musty-smelling breath and urine, among other symptoms, like rashes and even seizures.
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