What Factors Can Cause Urine to Smell Bad?


Quick Answer

If urine has a particularly unpleasant odor, the potential causes include diet, urinary tract infections, diabetes, liver disease and some rarer conditions, as stated by Healthline. While strong urine odor typically does not signify a major medical problem, it sometimes is an expression of an underlying condition.

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What Factors Can Cause Urine to Smell Bad?
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Full Answer

The food perhaps most commonly associated with strong-smelling urine is asparagus. Many people report a change in the smell of their urine after eating it. Coffee, garlic and onions are other foods that potentially change the smell of urine, reports Healthline.

Dehydration concentrates the urine, giving it a darker yellow or orange tint and making it smell like ammonia. Drinking more water or other fluids generally brings the color back to normal. Urinary tract infections, also known as UTIs, frequently make urine smell unpleasant. A burning sensation during urination and a strong need to urinate are two classic signs of this kind of infection, notes Healthline. It is important to seek treatment for a UTI quickly because, left untreated, the infection sometimes moves to the kidneys, which is often much more unpleasant.

Diabetics sometimes notice that their urine smells sweet. Untreated diabetics frequently have high blood sugar levels, which often causes the air around them to smell sweet, as well, says Healthline.

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