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Does Your Pee Smell Funny? Here are 5 Possible Reasons Why

Yiwen Lu, MS, RD
July 19, 2023
July 19, 2023

We all engage in the natural bodily function of urinating multiple times a day, yet it's a topic that often goes unnoticed or unspoken. However, the truth is that our urine holds valuable clues about our overall health. While it is normal for urine to have a slight odor, certain changes in smell can be a cause for concern. If you've noticed that your pee has been smelling funny lately, it's worth investigating the possible reasons behind it.

1. Dehydration

One of the most common reasons for a strong-smelling urine is dehydration.

When the body lacks sufficient fluids, urine becomes more concentrated, resulting in a stronger odor. Dehydration can occur due to inadequate water intake, excessive sweating, or certain medical conditions. To address this issue, make sure you stay adequately hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day. Read this article to learn how much fluid you need to drink per day.

2. Certain Foods and Beverages

Foods like asparagus, garlic, onions, and spices such as curry can give urine a pungent smell.

Furthermore, consuming certain beverages like coffee, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners can also lead to a change in urine odor. While these changes are typically harmless, if the smell persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional.

3. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Urinary tract infections are bacterial infections that commonly affect the bladder, urethra, and kidneys. UTIs can sometimes cause a foul odor in the urine. If in addition to foul smelling urine, you have symptoms such as a frequent urge to urinate, pain or burning sensation during urination, and cloudy urine, you may have a UTI, If you suspect a UTI, it is essential to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics.

4. Certain Medications and Supplements

Some medications and dietary supplements can influence the smell of urine. For instance, antibiotics, B vitamins, and certain multivitamins can alter the odor and color of urine. While this change is generally harmless, it is always a good idea to discuss any concerns with your doctor, especially if you notice any other symptoms.

5. Medical Conditions

In some cases, foul-smelling urine could indicate an underlying medical condition. For example, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a sweet or fruity odor in the urine due to the presence of excess glucose. Liver or kidney diseases can also cause changes in urine odor. If you notice persistent or unusual smells accompanied by other symptoms like frequent urination, fatigue, or abdominal pain, consult your doctor right away.


While occasional changes in urine odor may not be cause for immediate concern, it is crucial to pay attention to persistent strong smell in urine-strong smell that doesn't go away. Reach out to your doctor or Care Team if you have a concern. Your health and peace of mind are worth prioritizing.

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