Why does urine smell?

Have you started to notice that lately your urine or urine of your child somehow began to smell wrong, exude a new unpleasant odor or change color? There is nothing shameful and depraved that you follow the excretions of your body, therefore the question of why urine smells strongly is quite normal. A new sharp or too unpleasant smell of urine may indicate various changes in the body or the development of certain diseases.

Why urine smells - causes

Urine of a healthy person is yellow, transparent and almost does not smell. All deviations from the norm speak about some problems.


Some foods may affect the smell of urine. So, eating horseradish, garlic and other pungent spices can change the smell of urine. This includes seafood and asparagus. From asparagus, urine acquires a particularly pronounced odor. To avoid this, while cooking with asparagus, add sea salt to it.


Why does urine smell? The cause of the spoiled smell of urine can be inflammation, diabetes, liver failure and leucinosis.

The kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra are involved in the process of excreting urine. A sharp change in the smell of urine may indicate diseases of one or more organs of the excretory system. Among the inflammations can be pyelonephritis - inflammation of the kidneys; cystitis - inflammation of the bladder; urethritis - inflammation of the urethra; UTI (urinary tract infection).

The unpleasant smell of urine can be the result of a disease such as diabetes. If you have a severe form of diabetes, the urine may acquire a sweetish apple odor, which occurs due to the large amount of ketone bodies. If the urine starts to smell like acetone, then this is a signal that diabetes is becoming out of control. We must urgently take some measures and consult a doctor!

Hepatic failure - a disease in which there are violations of the liver due to alcohol, certain drugs and the acute form of viral hepatitis. Jaundice affects the color of urine - because of it, it becomes greenish-brown or acquires a hint of dark beer; in addition, the urine appears unpleasant thick odor.

Leucinosis is a hereditary disease, in which there are various metabolic disorders of amino acids. The smell of urine is very similar to the smell of maple syrup, which is why leucinosis is also called “maple syrup disease”. This odor is formed due to a special substance in the urine that arises from leucine.

Due to the fact that various diseases can provoke a change in the color and smell of urine, make sure that such changes last no more than three days. Otherwise, you need to consult a doctor!


Are there any other reasons why urine smells? "Spoil" the smell of urine can omnipen, amoxicillin, trovan, ampicillin, proloprim, ciprofloxacin, vitamins of group B. When used, the smell of urine can become unnatural.

Dehydration and fasting

When dehydrated, urine may acquire an ammoniac odor, because the imbalance of body fluids makes urine more concentrated. An adult needs to drink 1.5 liters. water a day to avoid such unpleasant consequences.

Prolonged and improper fasting can trigger acidosis. The body receives an insufficient amount of carbohydrates, which is trying to fill with fatty acids.Also, there is a reduced sugar content (hypoglycemia), due to which the urine becomes acidic and, when excreted, it releases the ketone bodies from the body, giving it an ammonia smell.

The smell of urine in a child

Why does a baby smell urine? If the child is small, but grows rapidly, the smell of his urine will change as he grows older. In newborns, urine almost does not smell, with age, it acquires a smell and color, like in adults. Even if the urine of the child began to acquire an unnatural and sharp odor, it is possible to diagnose any disorder or disease only after the urine is taken for analysis.

In general, the reasons why the child begins to smell urine sharply are the same as in adults: infections in the excretory system (pyelonephritis, etc.), acetonemia, diabetes mellitus, dehydration.

The reason for the strong smell may be a lack of vitamin D. When there is a lack of this vitamin, the child starts to eat poorly, his palms and feet sweat, he gains weight, and a bald patch appears on the child’s head (symptoms for children under 1 year of age).

With colds, the child has a fever, the nose is blocked and nasal breathing is difficult.All this provokes the appearance of a sharp and unnatural smell of urine.

If the baby is breastfed, then the change in the smell of his urine can directly depend on the nutrition of the mother. For example, an unpleasant smell of urine in a child can be caused by cabbage, eaten recently by a mother. The change of food or the emergence of new products in the diet can also affect the smell of urine. This happens with the introduction of complementary foods. Also, the urine smell is influenced by the child’s specific preferences - if he eats a lot and often eats seafood or meat, for example.

Hunger, taking certain medications, vitamins and antibiotics can cause a change in urine odor for a short time.

An unpleasant smell of urine may occur due to contact with non-sterile underwear. You can collect in a separate container a little urine of the child and after a while check whether the urine you collect is different from the urine that the baby left on the panties. If only the urine that was left on the linen smells sharply, then the problem is in the child’s clothes. Boil and thoroughly rub the child's underwear and do it periodically.

This is why urine smells.There are many reasons, and it is not always possible to determine which of them is for you or your child. If the smell has changed for 1-2 days, do not panic. Perhaps the reason only in the diet. But if the sharp specific smell lasts for 3 days or more, then it's time to go to the doctor for an appointment.