Weird and Strong Urine Odor

Urine naturally has a smell, however it is typically not very strong smelling. Strong smelling urine is typically not a cause for concern. Often, nevertheless, strong or weird smelling urine is a sign of a hidden medical problem.

Diet Related Urine Odor

Certain foods may make your urine odor strong.

One food that many individuals say makes their urine smell strong is asparagus. Some, however, say that asparagus does not alter the method their urine smells. John H. McDonald, MS, PhD, of the University of Delaware says that it is possible that your genes figure out if asparagus makes your urine odor strong. McDonald says another possibility is that everybody’s urine smells strong after eating asparagus, but just some people with certain genetic makeups can spot the modification in smell (McDonald, 2011).

Other foods that may alter the odor of your urine include onions, garlic, and coffee.

If you think food is to blame, getting rid of the food source must permit your urine to return to a typical smell in less than 12 hours. If you get rid of the food and the smell remains, there is most likely another cause.

Why My Urine Smells Weird and Strong?

A number of conditions can cause strong or unusual urine odor. The most common causes consist of:


Dehydration takes place when you do not drink enough fluids. If you are dehydrated, you may notice that your urine is a dark yellow or orange color and smells like ammonia. Most people only experience minor dehydration and do not require medical treatment. Consuming more fluids, especially water, will usually cause urine smell to go back to normal. If you are experiencing mental confusion, weakness, extreme tiredness, or other uncommon symptoms, you may have severe dehydration and should get medical treatment right away.

urine smells weird and strong

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections– often called UTIs– frequently cause urine to smell weird and strong. A strong urge to urinate and a burning feeling upon urination are the most common symptoms of a UTI. Bacteria in your urine cause urinary tract infections. If your doctor determines you have a UTI, she or he will provide you antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria.


A typical symptom of diabetes is sweet-smelling urine. Individuals with without treatment diabetes have high blood glucose levels. High blood sugar level levels cause the sweet urine smell. See your doctor as soon as possible if your urine often smells sweet. Without treatment diabetes is dangerous and can be life threatening.

Less common causes of urine odor

Bladder Fistula

A bladder fistula happens when you have an injury or problem that enables bacteria from your intestinal tracts to enter your bladder. Bladder fistulas can happen due to surgical injuries or bowel illness such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease.

Liver Disease

A strong urine odor can be a sign of liver disease. Other symptoms of liver disease consist of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, yellow skin or eyes, weak point, bloating, and weight reduction. See your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of liver disease. Without treatment liver disease can be life threatening.

Rare Causes of Weird and Strong Urine Smell


Phenylketonuria is an incurable hereditary disease that is present at birth. The disease makes you unable to break down an amino acid called phenylalanine. Other symptoms consist of:

  • decreased skin pigmentation
  • a large head
  • mental defects
  • slow-developing social abilities

If this disease is not treated early, it can result in ADHD and severe mental handicaps.

Maple Sugar Urine Disease

Maple sugar urine disease is a rare and incurable genetic disease that causes urine to smell like maple syrup. People with the disease can not break down the amino acids eucine, isoleucine, and valine. Absence of treatment can cause neurological (brain) damage and death.

When to See a Doctor

Make a visit with your doctor if you have a strong or abnormal urine odor that lasts for more than two days or if you have added, unusual symptoms. If you have severe symptoms such as sweet-smelling urine, mental confusion, bloating, nausea, or vomiting, see a physician immediately. These symptoms might be signs of diabetes, severe dehydration, or liver disease.


Updated: August 30, 2016 — 8:33 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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