Urine is waste produced by the kidneys. Although many people view it as gross or unclean, urine is actually sterile until it comes in contact with skin during urination. Urine is composed of approximately 95 per cent water and 5 per cent uric acid, ammonia and salts. Healthy urine should be a very pale yellow with a slight ammonia odour. Urine that is darker with a strong odour indicates dehydration, disease or the consumption of specific foods that cause strong urine odour.
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Drink at least eight 236ml glasses of water everyday. Dehydration is the main cause for foul-smelling urine. Not consuming enough liquids causes the concentration of ammonia and uric acid to increase in your urine while the concentration of water decreases.
Avoid eating foods such as asparagus, onions, garlic and fish. All of these can make your urine smell uncharacteristically strong.
Evaluate your vitamin intake. Starting a vitamin regimen can cause your urine to smell strong as well as cause the colour to appear more yellow. Take vitamins with plenty of water.
Try to distinguish the difference in urine smells. Strong ammonia odour indicates dehydration. A sweet urine odour usually indicates high blood sugar or diabetes. If you are experiencing sweet urine odour frequently, consult your doctor about getting tested for diabetes.
Consider a urinary tract infection as the cause. Often, urinary tract infections cause strong urine odour as well as a dark or even bloody appearance. If you are experiencing these symptoms for several days, consult your doctor.
Tips and warnings
- Certain medications cause strong urine odour. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if any medications you are taking could be the culprit.
- First morning urine is usually more concentrated, and therefore, more likely to smell strong and appear darker.
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