Believe it or not, smelly urine is often not a huge cause for concern.
But there are times when strong smelling urine could be a sign of an underlying problem, like if it’s joined by pain or a burning sensation when you go to the loo – or if there’s blood.
Before you start to panic – urine is usually clear or pale yellow with a mild smell – read below for the most common causes of smelly urine and what it’s trying to tell you.
Why does my urine smell?
If your urine is dark yellow and strong smelling, chances are you haven’t been drinking enough water and you’re dehydrated. This is the number-one cause of smelly urine and it’s your body’s way of telling you to rehydrate. Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water and squash, until your pee is a pale clear colour.
You’ve eaten asparagus
This delicious green vegetable comes with one very noticeable side effect – it makes your pee smell foul. According to the British Medical Journal, 40% of the population say they can smell “asparagus pee” – which is not pleasant when you’re using a public bathroom and someone rushes into the cubicle once you’ve done your business.
But it’s not just asparagus that can do this. Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, curry and even alcohol can change the smell. Unfortunately, the only way to combat this is to stop consuming the culprit.
You have a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)
If your pee is cloudy, smelly and it hurts or burns when you pass urine – or if there’s pain in your lower tummy – chances are you have a UTI and will need to see your GP for antibiotics.
A UTI isn’t just an infection in your bladder (cystitis) – it can also affect your urethra (urethritis) or kidneys (kidney infection) – so make sure you seek medical treatment immediately to get back to feeling your best.
If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI), then you know just how uncomfortable it can be. You’re not alone – around 60% of women will have a UTI at least once, while 25% will have recurrent UTIs.
The good news is, two natural extracts have been proven highly effective in treating UTIs – cranberry, and hibiscus, a diuretic with antibacterial properties. Both extracts are found in URI-Kleer Maintenance (from R99,95, Dis-Chem).
Yes, you read that correctly – changes in the smell of your urine can be a sign that you’re expecting. Pregnant women often find themselves needing the toilet more frequently, and many notice a new smell lurking.
This is because the hormones produced during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, can make your urine more pungent. So if in doubt, reach for a pregnancy test or visit your GP.
This article originated on: www.womanandhome.com
Digital Editor at woman&home magazine, F1 Fan, Chocoholic.