Urination is a normal process that happens as part of the excretory system. This is how our body gets rid of wastes to prevent complications. In most people, it is perfectly normal if your urine emits mild odor. However, there are certain instances wherein you may experience smelly urine if you happen to take in some medications or food that can affect its consistency.
Sometimes though, if the episodes of smelly urine are recurring and you think that the smell gets worse and worse than the previous. You might want to have yourself checked out and see whether there is some sort of underlying infection, condition, or disease.
Smelly urine can be caused by diseases such as diabetes and dehydration. It could also be some unusual benign conditions such as taking certain medications or eating foods. However, if the urine always seem to smell bad or emits unusually strong odor, you need to seek prompt medical care. This will reduce other complications that might be associated with it.
Signs and symptoms of smelly urine
The odor of your urine can come together with other symptoms. This will depend on what certain disease or disorder you have. These problems may have started in the urinary tract which is composed of the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys. Smelly urine could also be a manifestation of problems in the endocrine system, reproductive system, cardiovascular system, and in some other systems and organs in the body.
Some of the symptoms because of urinary tract disorders that may coincide with smelly urine are the following:
- Usual urine color such as pink-tinged, dark, tea-colored, or bloody urine
- Abdominal pain
- Foamy or cloudy urine
- Pains, spasm, or cramps in the abdominal area
- Changes in urination habits
- Painful passing of urine
- Feeling the urge to urinate at most times of the day
- Feeling of always having a full bladder.
Some other symptoms that may happen together with smelly urine are the following:
- Excessive hunger
- Rectal pain
- Weight gain
Possible causes of smelly urine
As mentioned earlier, a lot of factors can affect your urine. It could be from the foods that you eat, supplements, or more. Listed below are just some of the possible causes of smelly urine:
1. Dehydration – The body needs enough amount of fluid to keep it working well. If you do not take in enough amounts of water every day, the tendency is that you will get smelly urine because your urine will be so concentrated due to the fact that your body was only able to collect limited amount of urine. You have to release your urine every once in a while to get rid of body waste, and if your body is not hydrated enough, the result will be smelly urine.
2.Urinary tract infections – Complications coming from bacteria can also make your urine smell foul. People who are suffering from repeated episodes of UTI will most likely have smelly urine together with other health-care issues such as difficulty in urinating, pain in the lower abdominal area, painful passing of urine, and more. Most women are very susceptible to repeated UTI cases because the vagina is prone to more bacteria because of its physical structure and its close proximity to the anus. However, men too are just as prone as them to suffer from foul smelling urine because of the following factors: unsafe sexual intercourse with affected people, stress, alcohol, and more.
3. Pregnancy – If a woman suddenly gets foul smelling urine without her knowing the reason, it is possible that she is pregnant. Doing a pregnancy test will determine if the cause of her smelly urine is that she is bearing a child. You see, if a woman enters into the phase of conception, there are various mechanisms that the body needs to go in order to accommodate the baby. This will include not only physical changes, but hormonal changes as well. This sudden shift can affect the consistency and smell of the urine.
4. Medications – Another possible cause of foul smelling urine is the medications and drugs that a person takes. It can affect the components in the body. Take for instance, if you are going to take in iron capsules to address anemia, during the first few weeks you will notice that your urine is emitting a strong smell similar to iron. This is how your body keeps up with the changes.
Addressing the foul odor of your urine
If the cause is as simple as diet changes, then the doctor will usually recommend that you take in enough glasses of water to flush out the toxins in your body. For people who emit foul odor from their urine because of dehydration, this is also the best possible way to address this health-care concern.
On the other hand, women who are pregnant will have to pay a visit to their doctor to see if they are not suffering from UTI infections. Pregnant women, especially, are very prone to get UTI episodes and this can be harmful for the baby if not addressed properly. The obstetritian-gynecologist will usually prescribe antibiotics to cure the infection and kill the bacteria so that this will not affect them anymore.
If you have foul smelling urine because of medications prescribed to you by a doctor, you have to verify with your physician if the smell is just a normal event that usually happens to a person taking that drug. If the doctor says so, then you do not have anything to worry about. However, if the smell really bothers you then maybe you can ask your doctor to change your vitamins so that your urine will not smell bad again.
Tests will usually be conducted by the physician to determine the underlying causes of your foul smelling urine. There is no need to prepare for it because all you have to do is to provide a sample, and the doctor will send it to the laboratory for testing. This will help him/her give you the proper and best diagnosis.