Smelly Urine: What Causes Foul Smelling Urine & How To Treat It?

Smelly urine is something, no one would actually like. There are some most common causes of foul smelling urine that are absolutely harmless and can be fixed easily.

An Introduction On Smelly Urine:

Medically speaking, urine is a sterile by-product of the human body that is secreted by the human kidneys via a process called as urination and anatomically excreted through the human urethra, which is a part of the kidney. The urine is composed of waste materials and some water-soluble chemicals that our body does not need. Apart from this, urine is a primary basis of numerous medical conditions and should not be given less importance. It can contribute to the understanding of what the human body is experiencing in an internal manner.

Normally our urine is characterized as having a straw yellow hue and being clear in appearance. Moreover, it is not characterized as something that has a strong odor. There are instances when an individual experiences foul smelling urine and it may indicate a benign or serious medical condition that may or may not require strict medical attention. If you are experiencing foul smelly urine for a long time then you need to consult your doctor and get yourself diagnosed and treated well.

Smelly Urine: What Causes Foul Smelling Urine & How To Treat It?

Smelly Urine: What Causes Foul Smelling Urine?


The most important cause of smelly urine is dehydration. If you are not drinking enough water, your body is dehydrated and the urine has strong odor and also appears dark in color. It is the body’s way of telling you to rehydrate.

Foods That Can Cause Smelly Urine:

There are some foods that can cause smelly urine. Asparagus, garlic, Brussels sprouts, onions, curry, alcohol, salmon and also coffee can cause smelly urine.

High-Salt Diet:

A high-salt diet can also make your urine more concentrated and give it a stronger smell. Thus you may have a foul smelling urine because of a high-salt diet.

Urinary Tract Infection:

One of the most common causes of smelly urine could be UTI or Urinary tract infection. In fact, when urine has a strong ammonia smell, or a foul smell is often the first indication that you have a urinary tract infection. The bacteria causing the infection produce the odor, and also make your urine appear bloody or cloudy. In case you suspect a UTI, you need to talk to your doctor on an immediate basis so as to get started on an antibiotic.


One of the most common symptoms of diabetes is the frequent need of urinating and also causing smelly urine. This may be a “fruity” smell because of the extra sugar being excreted by your kidneys because of the Type 2 diabetes.

Genetic Disorders:

There are also some genetic disorders that are associated with the smell of your urine. If your urine smells sour, foul or fishy, you might have a condition called as ‘Trimethylaminuria, which gives you a strong body odor. It is more common in women and the symptoms may worsen around puberty, before or during menstrual periods, or after taking oral contraceptives.


Some of the sexually transmitted diseases or STDs, can also cause foul-smelling urine. Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, etc are some of the sexually transmitted parasites. If you experience smelly urine for long time, then do show to your doctor.

When You Are Ovulating:

Once you are ovulating, your urine may be smelly. While the hormones like estrogen and progesterone are not necessarily changing the odor of your urine itself, they are amping up your ability to smell it, making the ammonia scent more noticeable.


The hormone changes that make it possible to grow a baby, also make you have a smelly urine. During pregnancy, your urine can have a more pungent smell from the hormones that are produced during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.

Some Supplements & Medications:

There are also some supplements, vitamins and medications that can cause changes in the urine smell. Artificial flavors are put in the coatings of some pills to make them more palatable. However, these flavors can also change the smell of your urine. Pill rich in vitamin B6, including some multi vitamins, heart disease medications, pregnancy medications, etc. can cause smelly urine.

Other Less Common Causes of Foul Smelling Urine:

There are some other less common causes of smelly urine. These may include kidney stones and liver diseases. If you are having lower back pain, pain while urinating, see blood in urine, along with smell urine, you may probably suffering from kidney stones. Similarly, in case of liver failure, you may experience symptoms like yellow skin and eyes (jaundice), stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, along with smelly urine.

Though all these may be the symptoms of some underlying medical condition, you must not self-diagnose. It is essential for you to consult your doctor and take the best treatments.

When To See A Doctor?

You need to see a doctor, if you need to urinate suddenly or more often than usual, if you have burning sensation or pain while urinating, if you notice blood in your urine, in case you have lower tummy pain, if you feel tired and sick and if you are feeling agitated or confused.

How To Treat Smelly Urine?

The type of treatment for smelly urine will depend on the causes. For instance, if the cause of smelly urine is dehydration, it can be treated by drinking sufficient water and rehydrating the body. Some of the treatments and home remedies for smelly urine are listed below. Hope these could help in treating the condition.

Medical Treatment

If a bacterial invasion is causing the smelly urine, then an antibiotic treatment is required to begin immediately. With proper antibiotic treatment that is determined by a culture and sensitivity laboratory test, the smelly urine will eventually disappear as the person reaches the recuperation stage.

Insulin Treatment

For individuals suffering from diabetes mellitus, they have the ability to produce smelly urine because of the excessive sugar in their blood which has spilled into the urine. When the diabetic patients lack insulin in the body, they have problems in controlling the blood sugar levels. So, it is essential that insulin treatment should not be overlooked.

Home Remedies For Smelly Urine:


One of the most important cause of smelly urine is dehydration. So in order to treat the condition, you need to hydrate and it is better to drink plenty of water so as to hydrate your system.


You can also try out one more home remedy for treating smelly urine. Add pasted onion and ginger to buttermilk and consume it every day. This remedy may cure if there is a urinary tract infection. If your urine stinks in the morning, it is better you drink buttermilk twice in a day.

Cranberry Juice

Drinking cranberry juice can be one of the best solutions for smelly urine in the morning. In fact, you can also eat cranberries, if you do not find the juice.


We know that accumulation of toxins can cause foul smell. So, ensure that you detoxify your system by consuming lemon water on empty stomach in the morning.

Other Home Remedies:

Clothes: Be sure that you do not wear tight inner garments. Also, wearing cotton inner garments and clothers may help.

Proper Hygiene Maintenance: This is very much important for people experiencing smelly urine. A proper hygiene maintenance to eliminate and terminate the experience of foul-smelling urine is important.

Consumption Of Salt-Free Yogurt And Honey Mixture: There is one more suggestive treatment that is effective in overcoming smelly urine. You need to consume a mixture of salt-free yogurt and honey, that can be effective.

What To Avoid?

You need to avoid certain foods and beverages in order to get rid of smelly urine. Do not drink a lot of coffee or alcohol, do not eat too much of asparagus or garlic that may be causing a smelly urine and do not take more than 10mg of Vitamin B6 in a day.


The symptoms of infections of foul smelling urine differ from person to person, depending on the physical state of a human body. One should never overlook the possibility of having smelly urine. There is a need to consult with a doctor when someone experience smelly urine for more than 2-3 days.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 9, 2018

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