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Urine That Smells Like Ammonia

Urine That Smells Like Ammonia

Ammonia-like odor in urine could be attributed to dehydration, which in turn is caused due to inadequate intake of water and fluids. This HealthHearty article provides other reason behind the change in urine odor.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Under normal circumstances, the color of urine is clear to straw yellow, and it is odorless. However, there are many people who do complain of change in the odor of urine. It might smell sweet or foul. The most common complaint is ammonia-like smell. Basically, the odor arises due to the concentration of chemicals. When one's intake of water and fluids is normal, and the bladder is emptied at regular intervals, the urine is often clear and does not have any odor.
Contributing Factors
Consumption of Nitrogen-rich Food
Meat, eggs, asparagus, etc., are food items that are rich in nitrogen. Excessive consumption of these food items could cause ammonia-like smell. When the consumption of these foods is cut down, the smell would resolve on its own.
Dehydration
Dehydration is one of the most common reasons behind foul-smelling urine. When urine that is excreted out is concentrated in nature, it is most likely to have a strong odor.
Kidney Infection
A kidney infection could cause a change in the color and odor of urine. Along with the smell, the urine will also be discolored. Increasing the intake of water and taking drugs would help treat the infection.
Liver Problem
Liver performs the vital task of eliminating toxins and poisons from the body. It is the liver, which helps in getting rid of ammonia using a complex process. If the urine does smell of ammonia, it's advisable to get diagnostic tests done for checking the liver function.
Bacterial Infection
Kidney infections, urinary tract infections, or bladder infections are often caused due to bacteria. These infections are far more common in women than men. In case of women, the urethral opening and bladder are located close to each other, and same applies to the vaginal and rectal opening. This makes them susceptible to infections.
Other Cases
Urine might smell like ammonia in case of people who do not empty their bladder at regular intervals. Also, prolonged use of certain drugs could be a contributing factor. Foul-smelling urine could also occur in case of individuals affected by a sexually-transmitted infection.
Associated Symptoms
The more concentrated the urine, the stronger would the smell be.
In case of an infection, the urine might have a strong smell, as well as cloudy appearance. In severe cases, it may contain blood.
In case of an infection, the affected individual might experience discomfort while urinating.
Burning sensation or itching may also be experienced.
Treatment
The treatment would vary, depending on the underlying cause. In order to get rid of the smell, one should at least drink 10 to 12 glasses of water. In most cases, increasing the intake of water helps in getting rid of the smell. Similarly, you will also have to watch your diet. Reduce the quantity of nitrogen-rich food from your diet. Also, make sure that you empty the bladder at regular intervals.
If these remedies don't help, it's advisable to consult a doctor. Inform your healthcare provider about all the symptoms that you have been experiencing.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.