Smelly urine refers to the strong ammonia or any abnormal scent of the urine that lasts for more than two days. Normal urine has a distinct smell however, it is usually not strong. Although smelly urine is not commonly serious, it may also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

Some of the causes of a smelly urine includes:

  • Asparagus. The sulfurous compounds in the Asparagus can create a foul odor in the urine. It is not serious and usually subsides after.
  • Dehydration. Dehydration can make the urine more concentrated and smells like ammonia.
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). The bacteria that cause UTI can also make the urine smell strong.
  • Diabetes. A sweet smelling urine may be an indicator of high blood sugar levels or diabetes.
  • Bladder Fistula. The bacteria from the intestines that enter the bladder can make smelly urine.
  • Pregnancy. A pregnancy hormone called hCG can cause the urine to have a strong odor.
  • Liver Disease. A strong urine odor may be a sign of a liver disease.
  • Maple Sugar Urine Disease. It is a rare genetic disorder that unable to breakdown amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine causing the urine to smell like maple syrup.
  • Phenylketonuria. It is an incurable genetic disease which unable to breakdown an amino acid called phenylalanine causing the urine to develop a mousey smell.

Strong odor is the general symptom of smelly urine. However, it may be accompanied by other symptoms depending upon the underlying cause of the foul odor. For example, smelly urine together with pain and burning sensation in urinating may be a symptom of UTI.

Some other symptoms that may accompany a smelly urine include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Jaundice (if it is cause by a liver disease)
  • Sweet-Smelling Urine
  • Mental Confusion
  • Bloating
  • Weakness


To diagnose the underlying cause of smelly urine, the doctor may order several tests, including:

  • Urine Analysis- A urine sample is being tested for any presence of bacteria.
  • Cytoscopy- This test looks for any urinary disease that may cause the strong odor. In this procedure, a thin tube with camera is inserted into the bladder.
  • Imaging tests- X-rays or ultrasound show what could be the problem if there are no signs of infection in the urine.



Treating the underlying cause would solve a smelly urine. As for UTI, antibiotics can be prescribed by the doctor as a treatment.

Other treatments may involve:

  • Detoxfying- Detoxifying the system with lemon water can flush out toxins. This accumulation of toxins may be the root cause of the foul smell.
  • Hydrating- Consuming plenty of water to hydrate the body and to avoid smelly urine.
  • Cranberries- Cranberry juice is believed to be effective in removing foul odor in the urine.



Some of the things that you can do to avoid smelly urine are:

  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Avoiding consuming Asparagus
  • Avoiding tight inner garments
  • Having a healthy urination habit

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