Strong odors in urine sometimes stem from eating particular foods, but if the condition is persistent, an underlying illness or condition is often the cause, notes Healthgrades. Infection, inflammation and diabetes all have the potential to cause an unpleasant smell.
Problems in organs throughout the urinary tract, including the kidneys, urethra, bladder and ureters, often cause odor in the urine, explains Healthgrades. These problems can include swelling and infection. Dehydration and diabetes also have an effect on the urinary tract and other systems throughout the body, causing urine odor as just one of potentially many symptoms.
Strong smells in the urine affect people of all ages and sections of the population, notes Healthgraes. In many cases, additional symptoms are present with the odor, such as blood in the urine, burning or tingling during urination, and a cloudy appearance. In some cases, the causes are severe or life-threatening, such as with liver failure or pyelonephritis.
If the odor does not go away, it's time to get things checked out by a doctor. Diagnosis of the cause of the odor decreases the danger of potentially fatal complications such as shock and renal failure. If the urine odor presents with severe pain in the flank or abdomen, calling 911 is a necessity, states Healthgrades.