Urine odor refers to the scent of the fluid excreted during urination. Urine odor varies. However, if you drink enough fluids and are otherwise healthy, urine does not usually have a strong smell.
Abnormal urine odor may indicate:
Contact your health care provider if you have fever, chills, burning pain with urination, or back pain along with an abnormal urine odor. These may be signs of a urinary tract infection.
The following tests may be performed:
Changes in urine odor are usually temporary. Such changes are not always a sign of disease. Certain foods and medicines, including vitamins, may affect your urine's odor. For example, asparagus causes a characteristic urine odor.
However, foul smelling urine may be due to bacteria, such as that responsible for urinary tract infections. Sweet smelling urine may be a sign of uncontrolled diabetes or a rare disease of metabolism. Liver disease and certain metabolic disorders may cause musty smelling urine.
Patel HP. The abnormal urinalysis. Pediatr Clin North Am. Jun 2006; 53(3): 325-37, v.
Wein AJ. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2007.
Review Date: 1/10/2010
Reviewed By: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine.
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