Major Causes Of Foul Smelling Urine

smelling urine Since ancient times, urine is being considered as barometer to monitor the wellness of the body and is useful in diagnosis of suspected medical conditions. Urine serves a significant part in regulatory processes of our body by serving as means of eliminating wastes and toxics, excreted through the kidney infiltration process.

Any changes in color or odor of urine may be a cause of concern. The diluted urine normally does not smell, but highly concentrated urine has strong smell of ammonia. Smell of urine may vary from sweet to foul, depending upon volume and concentration of excreted chemicals in it.

The cause of foul smelling urine can be totally harmless, may be due to specific foods in the diet like asparagus or it could be a sign of some infection or serious medical concern. Many possibilities with same symptoms make it essential to get the urine examined and cleared about the cause of foul smelling urine.

Various Causes Of Foul Smelling Urine

Urine Concentration

After good night sleep, the first thing in early morning is having brighter yellow and strong odor urine. The urine gets concentrated over the entire night duration and such odor is due to large amount of strong smelling ammonia in the urine.

Drink Enough Water

Dehydration is the second factor that concentrates urine, hence it is essential to drink good amount of water every day. During hot weather and after intense physical activities, the body gets dehydrated and leads to foul smelling concentrated urine. The concentrated urine in absence of any other symptoms is generally not a harmful situation.


Some foods, majorily asparagus is notorious for producing foul smelling urine in some people. Eating asparagus leads to breakdown of sulphur containing compound, methyl mercaptan (also present in garlic) in urine, which is responsible for such changes in urine odor. No development of any health issues has been associated with asparagus derived odor.


Urinary Tract Infection

Foul smelling urine could be due to some urinary tract infections with additional signs of a burning sensation, cloudy urine and an urgency to urinate. Sometimes, foul smell alone could be the symptom of urinary tract infection, mostly if the odor remains same consistently.

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Therefore, it becomes necessary to have proper urinalysis and diagnosis for analysing the root cause of the foul urine. UTI infection should be easily treated with antibiotics to prevent its spread to kidneys and avoid kidney damage.

Bladder Infection

Burning sensation, stomach and back pain along with foul smelling urine are usual symptoms of bladder infection. One may also show signs of bladder leakage, frequent urination and cloudy urine in infected persons. Women are at higher risk to UTI and bladder infections than men.

Urinary Incontinence

The urine smell stronger due to urine incontinence (leakage) as it sticks to clothing. The causes of chronic incontinence are a few disorders related to weakened bladder or enlarged prostrate.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones formation could be another reason for infection of urine resulting in such foul smell. These urinary stones are caused due to infection in urinary tract and symptoms are cloudy urine and blood in the urine with a foul smell.

kidney stones

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The stones develop as a result of imbalance of acids and minerals within the urine, precipitating the urine crystals as hard and rigid stones. A few people may also show constant urge to urinate or have urine blockage. In case, it is further associated with chills, fever and illness, there is possibility of infection with kidney stones.

Medical Conditions

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Strong and sweet smelling urine is majorily due to advanced diabetes stage, referred as diabetic ketoacidosis. During type 2 diabetes, glucose is not getting converted to energy forms and instead, fats are breakdown as source of energy.


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Hence, ketones and sugars get accumulated in urine, resulting in sweet smelling odor. Though, diabetes symptoms may vary for each patient but still, additional signs of diabetes include fatigue, faintness, excessive thirst and frequent urination.

Metabolic Disorders

Phenylketonuria and maple syrup urine disease are rare metabolic disorders that show symptoms of musty urine odor. In phenylketonuria, the body metabolizes the three important amino acids leucine, valine and isoleucine, in different manner than usual, causing the odor, whereas in maple syrup urine disease, the increased levels of amino acids develop a smell similar to that of maple syrup. If left untreated, these diseases could be fatal for the patient.

Maple syrup disease symptom includes fussiness, loss of appetite and sweet smelling urine that normally appears within few days of birth of a newborn and the baby has probable chances of undergoing coma, seizures or death within next few months, in case, the disease is not treated and recovered on time.