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DrSugar Answers: Smelly Urine?

DrSugar is in the house and he's answering your health questions.

Dear DrSugar,
This is a little embarrassing and a little weird, but my pee doesn't smell like normal these days. It has smelled off for about a week. It smells bad and it doesn’t seem to matter what I eat. Trust me, I haven't eaten any asparagus in months. Maybe you know what causes this and am wondering if it is serious. I can't for the life of me figure it out! Any information would be helpful
—Distressed in the Loo

To see if DrSugar feels this is a symptom of something serious,

Smelly urine can be related to certain foods or medications, but it can also be a sign of certain diseases. The most common cause of foul smelling urine is a urinary tract infection (UTI). Sometimes the odorous urine precedes other common symptoms of a UTI such as: burning with urination, frequent urination, lower abdominal pain, and fevers. If the foul smell persists, a urinary tract infection can be easily diagnosed with a urinalysis test at your doctor’s office. A previous FitSugar post outlines some easy ways to prevent urinary tract infections, including drinking cranberry juice, wiping properly, and voiding your bladder after sex.

Other diseases can cause urine to smell abnormal. For example, sweet smelling urine can be a sign of diabetes. Other signs of diabetes include: increased frequency of urination, increased thirst, and fatigue. Severe dehydration and low carb diets are associated with an ammonia like scent in urine. Asparagus is by far the most common food-related cause of abnormal smelling urine, but you haven't been eating that so it cannot be the culprit. Other foods have been associated with abnormal urine odor, but nothing as consistent as asparagus. If the smell does not resolve soon, it would be a good idea to see your doctor for a urinalysis test, which can detect both diabetes and a urinary tract infection. Good luck.

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DrSugar's posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

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