We don’t normally talk about our trips to the bathroom, but we should. Our bowel movements reveal a lot about our health. One thing you should be talking about with your doctor is the smell of your urine. You may not have noticed it because you probably flush fairly quickly, but the next time you go to the bathroom, pay close attention to the smell. It can offer valuable insight into your health. Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you stick your nose close to the toilet—just by hovering above the toilet, you’ll be able to smell any odor that is present.
Below are six reasons you have smelly urine. If you‘re concerned about the smell of your urine, you should speak to your doctor and see what’s really going on.
6 reasons for smelly urine
You’re dehydrated. When you’re well hydrated, your urine will be clear or a very pale yellow with little to no smell. But when you’re dehydrated, not only is your urine darker, but the smell is much stronger too. Simply increasing your water intake will resolve this problem.
You ate something different. Certain food will cause your urine to change odor. Some of these foods include asparagus, garlic, fenugreek, Brussels sprouts, and curry.
You drank extra coffee. Increasing your coffee intake can cause your urine to smell differently. That’s because there is a compound in coffee that is released while roasting that is insoluble in water. You may notice the smell if you consumed plenty of coffee and little water because the compound will be more concentrated.
You have a urinary tract infection (UTI). Bacteria that causes a UTI can also change the smell of your urine. Your urine may have a strong ammonia smell, or it can smell sweet. Along with changes in odor, the color of your urine may also be different, appearing cloudy or even containing small traces of blood. Additionally, you may experience a burning sensation, frequent urination, and lower back pain.
You are on a new supplement. Some vitamins, medications, and supplements can cause urine smell to change. The biggest culprit are B vitamins, which may make urine appear neon yellow. Antibiotics can cause urine to smell almost fungus-like, but this will go away when you finish your antibiotics.
You have diabetes, High glucose levels being expelled through urine can cause it to have a sweet smell. This process is also linked to diabetes. Furthermore, you will notice that you’re more thirsty than usual and will probably pee more often.
As mentioned, if you suspect that your changes in urine smell are a result of a serious health condition—you will experience other symptoms as well—then speak to your doctor to uncover the underlying cause.
Related: Causes of irritable bladder: Symptoms, treatment, and home remedies