No one pays attention to a quick bathroom break. So when you smell something unusual, it really shocks you. Tbh, very innocent reasons can explain it. Ask yourself, “Why does my pee smell?” By learning what different scents are, you can match what your body needs at any given time.

First of all, you probably already know this – urine doesn’t smell very good by nature. “This happens when the kidneys filter and remove waste products from the blood,” says UCLA Health urologist Stephanie Pannell. “The strength and type of scent depends on many factors, including a person’s diet, humidity, and medications.”

To get really technical about this, five percent of your urine is waste products (ammonia, calcium, sodium, and urea) and 95 percent is water. If these two are out of balance due to dehydration, the smell will be stronger. “When you’re dehydrated, urinary waste products such as ammonia become more concentrated and your urine smells stronger,” explains Daniel Garvey, MD, associate professor, director of the urology residency program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

If you do not have other symptoms such as burning or pain when urinating, frequent trips to the toilet, or blood in the urine, do not worry. In most cases, smelly urine is not a sign of disease, but sometimes it can be a sign of diabetes, liver disease, kidney failure, kidney stones, or a urinary tract infection.

Rules for when to see a doctor: If you drink tons of water and the smell doesn’t go away for days, or if you have fever, general weakness, back or abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting, Dr. Garvey.


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