Usually our urine has a delicate odor and a straw yellow color. However, sometimes there are exceptions to the norm.

In most cases, the strong smell of urine is hardly a symptom of the disease, because it can be affected by medication, diet or insufficient water intake. However, if an unusual smell persists for a long time, you should think about visiting a doctor. What can cause the smell of urine to change and how to deal with it, says family medicine doctor Kristina Shevchenko.

What is normal diuresis

Urine usually has a delicate, almost imperceptible odor and a straw-yellow color. The normal volume of urine is from 1000 to 2000 ml (depending on the amount of fluid drunk), and the number of visits to the toilet can be up to 7 times a day, which is considered normal. As for the smell of urine itself, it changes both against the background of a urinary tract infection, and can be caused by diets or systemic diseases, such as diabetes.

Strange smell of urine and diet

First of all, we must look for a connection between the strange smell of urine and the food consumed. Some foods can change its smell, such as:

  • asparagus
  • garlic
  • horseradish
  • Brussels sprouts,
  • coffee
  • oriental spices.

However, if the strange smell of urine is not related to the diet, you should take a closer look at its color and pay attention to possible additional symptoms.

Ammonia smell of urine

If you smell ammonia during your urination and your urine is dark in color, you may be dehydrated. It is worth paying attention to the amount of fluid that is drunk during the day - you need to drink 1.5-2 liters of water per day. We're talking about plain water without gas, not tea, coffee or compotes. With sufficient fluid intake, human urine has a straw-yellow color and is practically odorless. On the other hand, too light or clear, almost boilless urine may indicate hyperhydration - an increased water content in the body.

The smell of urine, resembling ammonia and not associated with dehydration, can be a sign of urinary tract infections - cystitis or kidney disease.

Acetone smell of urine

The smell of acetone or sour apple may indicate ketoacidosis - ketone bodies are present in the urine, causing disruption of the acid-base balance of the body. This smell requires urgent urine, blood and medical advice.

Fruity smell of urine

If the smell of urine resembles fruit, this may indicate too high a blood sugar level, that is, hyperglycemia, which indicates the possible presence of diabetes.

Musty smell of urine

Such a smell during urination can be a sign of liver or pancreatic disease. In this case, consultation with a gastroenterologist is recommended.

Fishy or mouse smell of urine

Such unusual urine odors may indicate metabolic disorders or diseases that are very rare, for example:

  • Trimethylaminuria (fishy smell of urine) is a disease that develops due to the lack of an enzyme in the body involved in the conversion of trimethylamine.
  • Phenylketonuria (mouse smell of urine) is a genetic metabolic disease that causes an excess of phenylalanine (an essential amino acid) to accumulate in the body.

Unpleasant smell of urine during pregnancy

Slight fluctuations in the change in urine odor during pregnancy is a physiological phenomenon caused by changes in hormonal levels. However, care should be taken and be sure to consult a doctor, since during pregnancy there are frequent cases of cystitis. This disease during pregnancy requires mandatory treatment under the supervision of a physician. For diagnostic purposes, a general examination and urine culture along with an antibiogram are performed. This will determine the type of bacteria and their sensitivity to certain groups of antibiotics, which will allow choosing more effective pharmacological agents for therapy. The doctor may also order an abdominal ultrasound with special emphasis on the kidneys.

Diagnosis of unpleasant urine odor

The unpleasant smell of urine that persists for more than a few days requires expert advice. The main test to suggest the cause of the unusual odor is urinalysis and, in some cases (if infection is suspected), urine cultures.

Treatment of strange urine odor: what to do

Treatment of this symptom is closely related to the cause of the unpleasant smell of urine. Bacterial infections usually require oral antibiotic therapy, preferably cultured. In the case of diabetes mellitus or suspected ketoacidosis, treatment is required to compensate for existing disorders.

Rare genetic diseases are treated only by specialists - usually special diets are needed to eliminate life-threatening amino acids, which prevents the development of serious complications from the nervous system.

When the bad smell of urine is caused by food, liquids, or medications you're taking, you have two options—get used to the strange smell of urine or stop eating some type of food.

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