It is known that color and odor of urine reflect the health of our urinary tract and kidneys. Also, it may reflect our overall health, so we should not ignore any changes in urine.
Urine usually doesn’t have any odor and it is pale yellow in color. Of course, it refers to healthy people who consume enough water and whose bladder works properly. However, in some cases, urine may have a foul or even sweet odor. But, have you ever heard that urine smells like ammonia?
In this article we will tell you something more about the ammonia smell in urine. We will tell you what the causes and the symptoms of the ammonia smell are and how to treat this condition properly.
Causes of Ammonia Smell in Urine
High-Protein Foods. As we all know, a diet may have a big impact on our health. If you consume large amounts of the foods that are rich in protein, it can cause the ammonia smell in your urine. Actually, the foods rich in protein may cause the build-up of nitrogen, which will lead to the ammonia smell of your urine.
Dehydraton. One of the most common causes of the ammonia smell in urine may also be dehydration. If you don’t drink enough water during the day, your urine will be too concentrated and it will have the ammonia smell.
Liver Damage. Another possible reason for the ammonia smell in urine is a liver damage. Liver has the most important role because it removes ammonia and breaks it down. So, if liver doesn’t work properly, ammonia will come to the urine and it will cause bad smell.
Menopause. When we talk about the most common causes of the ammonia smell in women, we have to mention menopause. It may be caused by weight gain, changes in a diet or by dehydration.
Pregnancy. It is known that pregnant women should consume more water than other people. If they don’t drink a plenty of water during pregnancy, they may be dehydrated, which is one of the most common causes of the ammonia smell in urine.
Bacterial Infection. The cause of ammonia smell in urine can also be a bacterial infection of urinary tract, bladder or a bacterial infection of kidney. These bacterial infections usually occur in women.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD). If you have any of the sexually transmitted diseases, you will probably have the ammonia smell in your urine. Women may have vaginal discharge that gets in the urine and causes the ammonia smell.
Maple Sugar Urine Disease. Maple sugar urine disease is a genetic disease that can also cause the ammonia smell in urine. Actually, if you have such disease, your body will not be able to break the amino acids and it will lead to releasing the ammonia in your urine.
Other Diseases. There are also many other conditions and diseases that can cause the ammonia smell in urine, such as metabolic disorders, urinary tract infections (UTI), kidney problems or diabetes.
Medications and Supplements. It is proved that different medications and supplements may cause the urine to have the ammonia smell. Also, if you hold urine for too long, it may cause the ammonia smell in urine. It is usually the case with pregnant women who are taking a lot of nutritional supplements. This is not harmless, but if the ammonia smell in your urine bothers you, it would be best to visit your doctor.
It is important to know that ammonia smell in urine is also possible to occur in children. For example, if your child suffers from type 1 diabetes, then your child will probably experience the ammonia smell in urine.
Symptoms of Ammonia Smell in Urine
The most common symptom of the smell in urine is a strong ammonia odor. But, there are also many other symptoms, such as the blood that may appear in your urine and also a burning or itching sensation while you are urinating.
It is important to keep note of all the symptoms because it can help your doctor diagnose the underlying cause of your condition.
Treatment of Ammonia Smell in Urine
As you have seen, there are many possible causes of the ammonia smell in urine. Most important is to find out the underlying cause of this condition, in order to treat it properly.
Drink Plenty of Water. As we have already said, dehydration is one of the most common causes of the ammonia smell in urine. Most important thing you should do if you have the ammonia smell in urine is to increase your daily intake of water. It is recommended to take 10-12 glasses of water during the day or a glass of water every hour or so.
But, you should not drink too much water right before going to bed at night because it may disturb your sleep. In this case you will probably have to wake up several times over night to urinate.
Reduce the Amount of Protein. Sometimes it will be necessary to change your diet in order to get rid of the ammonia smell in urine. If you have the ammonia smell in urine, it will be necessary to reduce the intake of the foods that are rich in protein. These foods are meat, peanuts, green soybeans or soy extract.
We recommend you to eat more vegetables, but it doesn’t mean that you should remove proteins completely from your diet. Keep in mind that proteins are necessary for your health, but if you have a problem with the ammonia smell in your urine, it is best to cut down the intake of protein.
Urinate More Often. Most people urinate only when their bladder is completely filled with urine. But, if you are outside and if it is impossible to urinate at that moment, you will hold the urine and this will make the urine more concentrated. Of course, if the urine is more concentrated, it will have stronger odor. Because of that it is best not to hold the urine because it can lead to the foul odor later when you urinate.
Stop Using Supplements and Medications. If the reason for the ammonia smell in your urine are supplements, you should stop using them. Studies have shown that supplements may have a strong impact on the smell of your urine. If you are using some nutritional supplements, protein supplements or body building supplements, it would be best to reduce their intake, but you should consult your health provider first.
Sometimes the cause of the ammonia smell in urine may be the use of certain medications. In that case it would be best to consult your doctor. You should not stop using the medications on your own. It is known that certain medications can have an impact on the bad smell in urine.
Do the Urine Dipstick Test. Before visiting a doctor, you can also do the urine dipstick test at home. This test can detect protein in the urine, bacterial infections and other possible causes of the ammonia smell. You can buy the urine dipstick test in a pharmacy and you just need to follow the instructions on the packaging. If the test shows that something is wrong, you should see your doctor immediately.
Maintain Personal Hygiene. If you have the ammonia odor in urine, it is also very important to maintain proper hygiene of your genitals and groin area. If your hygiene is poor, the bacteria will multiply and it will lead to very bad smell that comes from your urine. You should clean yourself well after you urinate. It is also very important to wash your genitals and the groin area thoroughly when you are having a bath.
Visit the Doctor. If you make these changes but the ammonia smell in urine is still there, then we recommend you to seek medical help. Also, if you are not sure what the cause of your condition is, ask the doctor for advice.
As you have seen in this article, the ammonia smell in urine is common and in most cases it is harmless. Some of the most common causes are dehydration, protein foods, sexually transmitted diseases, bacterial infections and diabetes. As we have already said, medications and supplements may also cause the ammonia smell in urine.
It is important to find out the main cause of your condition, in order to treat it properly. If you have the ammonia smell in urine, you will have to drink more water, reduce the intake of protein foods, avoid taking supplements and urinate more often. You can also do urine test at home to check what may be the cause of the ammonia smell in your urine.
We hope this article has been useful for you and we are sure that you will not ignore the ammonia smell that comes from your urine. Remember that ammonia smell indicates that you have a health problem. Visit your doctor and find out how to get rid of the ammonia smell in your urine.