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Urine Odor Causes

Urine Odor Causes

A foul urine odor can be caused due to several factors ranging from dehydration, urinary tract infection, consumption of certain food to prolonged use of certain medications. The following write-up elucidates on some of the underlying causes of foul-smelling urine.
Chandramita Bora
Urine is the liquid excretory product that is secreted by the kidneys and excreted through the urethra. Urine contains water-soluble waste products (mainly nitrogenous waste products) generated by the metabolic processes taking place within our body. Both the odor and color of urine can serve as an important indicator of several health conditions. The urine of a healthy person is light and almost odorless, while the presence of strong odor in urine can indicate some underlying diseases.
Causes
Strong odor can be a symptom of several diseases or disorders, which are given below:
Dehydration
Dehydration is one of the most common contributory factors. Lack of sufficient water in the body causes the urine to become concentrated with waste products and produce a peculiar ammonia odor. The condition usually resolves with sufficient intake of fluid and water.
Urinary Tract Infection
UTI has been observed to be more common in women than men, and the urine discharged in this situation is found to have an ammonia odor. Urine color can also undergo changes, if UTI is the underlying cause. Bladder infection can also be a cause for a pungent-smelling urine.
Bacterial Vaginosis
Apart from being more vulnerable to develop infection in the urinary tract, women are also susceptible to vaginal infection. A fishy odor of the urine can be an indicator of bacterial vaginosis, which will also be accompanied by other symptoms like itching and a burning sensation in the vagina. Yeast infection of the vagina can also produce a urine odor, besides causing vaginal discharge and itching in women.
Rectovaginal fistula
This is an unusual condition where the vagina and rectum join to form a connection, resulting in the rectal contents being evacuated through the vagina, can also cause urine to have an offensive smell.
Ketoacidosis
If the urine smells sweet or fruity, then it can be caused by diabetic ketoacidosis. The presence of high level of ketones or sugar can give the urine a sweet or fruity smell. Such a smell can also be associated with some rare diseases related to metabolism.
Medication
Apart from diseases and disorders, medications, nutritional supplements and consumption of certain foods can be some of the most common causes. Multivitamin tablets (especially vitamin B6 supplements) and foods like asparagus are known to produce a foul-smelling urine.
Metabolic Disorders
In addition to these strong urine odor causes, sometimes liver and metabolic disorders can also cause smelly urine. A rare, but life-threatening disease, known as maple syrup urine disease can cause a burned caramel-like smell of urine. Another reason for smelly urine occurs when the body fails to absorb methionine, an amino acid. This malabsorption results in foul-smelling urine, similar to a yeast infection. If the urine emanates a musty odor, a likely cause could be phenylketonuria, a rare disorder where the body is incapable of breaking down certain proteins.
Remedies
» The simplest solution is to drink lots of water. Drinking plenty of water helps to flush out the toxic substances which produce strong smell of urine. It can be equally effective for eliminating harmful bacteria and microorganisms from the body.
» Drinking cranberry juice and garlic juice can also help, if the underlying cause is urinary tract infection.
» You can prepare another effective home remedy by boiling about two spoons of cumin seeds in four to five liters of water. Drinking this water will help to eliminate foul smell of urine.
» Similarly, women having vaginal yeast infection can take plain yogurt. The acidophilus bacteria present in yogurt can help to check the population of yeast, and treat yeast infection.
» Drinking lemon juice and barley water may also help in getting rid of the foul smell of urine.
But if the smell of urine does not go away even after taking all these measures, or if the problem is recurrent in nature, then consider visiting your physician. He or she will probably suggest urinalysis to find out the exact causes, and then treat the underlying condition accordingly.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.