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Urine: what does the smell say?

  1. Almost everyone is familiar with the smell that urine gives off after eating asparagus. But the urine can also change odor at other times. Because of some medication, for example, or when your blood sugar level is on the high side. What does the smell of your urine say?

  1. Our body has a self-cleaning function that starts in the kidneys. That's where the blood that pumps through the body is filtered. The waste that this produces is - together with moisture - excreted. We know this as urine. The lighter your pee, the better. With a lot of moisture loss or too little moisture absorption, the urine is much more concentrated and will give off a stronger odor. Not only the smell is important, but also the color of your urine.

  2. Our body has a self-cleaning function that starts in the kidneys. That's where the blood that pumps through the body is filtered. The waste products that this produces are excreted â € “together with moisture â €“. We know this as urine. The lighter your pee, the better. With a lot of moisture loss or too little moisture absorption, the urine is much more concentrated and will give off a stronger odor. Not only the smell is important, but also the color of your urine.

Sulfur odor

  1. The best known abnormal urine odor is the asparagus odor; a little sulfuric air. Asparagus gives your urine a strong odor due to the way your body digests it. Certain substances in the asparagus (asparagusic acid) are converted in the body into volatile sulfur-containing compounds. These give your pee the typical asparagus smell. Not everyone is bothered by this, although it is not entirely clear why. Some people may not have the enzymes to convert the aspartic acid. In addition, the one has better olfactory receptors than the other and the smell therefore smells better. The latter is called specific anosmia and is also known from other fragrances such as truffle flavor.

  2. The best known abnormal urine odor is the asparagus odor; a little sulfuric air. Asparagus gives your urine a strong odor due to the way your body digests it. Certain substances in the asparagus (asparagusic acid) are converted in the body into volatile sulfur-containing compounds. These give your pee the typical asparagus smell. Not everyone is bothered by this, although it is not entirely clear why. Some people probably do not have the enzymes to convert the aspartic acid. In addition, the one has better olfactory receptors than the other and the smell therefore smells better. The latter is called specific anosmia and is also known for other fragrances such as truffle flavor.

Metallic odor

  1. B vitamins are good for skin, hair and nails and help transport oxygen in your blood. Although it is found in quite a lot of foods (think of brown bread, grain products, potatoes, vegetables, fish, meat and meat products, milk and milk products and nuts) there are quite a few people who take a B complex as a supplement. What you take in too much of vitamin B you urinate. You can even see this. The urine is then dark yellow in color and smells stronger: a bit metallic.

  2. B vitamins are good for skin, hair and nails and help transport oxygen in your blood. Although it occurs in quite a lot of foods (think of brown bread, grain products, potatoes, vegetables, fish, meat and meat products, milk and milk products and nuts) there are quite a few people who take a B complex as a supplement. What you take in too much of B vitamins you urinate. You can even see this. The urine is then dark yellow in color and smells stronger: a bit metallic.

Smell of ammonia

  1. Our body breaks down amino acids from proteins when there are too many of them. The ammonia that is released during this process is converted by the liver into urea, also called urea. This is then excreted in the urine. Due to our high meat consumption, this is common in Western countries, because meat is packed with protein. Many athletes take extra protein to build muscles. They also regularly have to deal with an ammonia odor in sweat and urine.

Acetone odor

  1. When the urine (and breath) has a typical acetone odor, it means that the blood sugar level is high. The body can no longer remove sugars from the blood and therefore gets a shortage of energy. Alternatively, it will burn fats, releasing waste products. They smell like acetone. This occurs with certain crash diets, but can also be a symptom of diabetes. This is often the case in people with diabetes who have not yet been diagnosed, because they then have very high blood sugar for a longer period of time. People who know that they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and therefore also inject insulin also regularly have high blood sugar, but rarely so extreme that there is an acetone odor. With low blood sugar, there are also too few sugars in the blood. But then another process occurs in the body. The body will try to release glucose from glycogen (this is the stored form of glucose) and if that fails, this person will pass out.

  2. When the urine (and breath) has a typical acetone odor, this means that the blood sugar level is high. The body can no longer remove sugars from the blood and therefore gets a shortage of energy. Alternatively, it will burn fats, releasing waste products. They smell like acetone. This occurs with certain crash diets, but can also be a symptom of diabetes. This is often the case in people with diabetes who have not yet been diagnosed, because they then have very high blood sugar for a longer period of time. People who know they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and therefore also inject insulin also have high blood sugar with some regularity, but rarely so extreme that there is an acetone odor. With low blood sugar, there are also too few sugars in the blood. But then another process occurs in the body. The body will try to release glucose from glycogen (this is the stored form of glucose) and if that fails, this person will pass out.

Sweet or fruity scent

  1. A sweet, fruity urine odor indicates an excess of glucose. It is often described as 'apple scent'. This can also be a sign of diabetes. Not only the sweet smell (and taste) of the urine is a characteristic, but also a lot of drinking and urination indicate diabetes. Going to the doctor is the only option.

  2. A sweet, fruity urine odor indicates an excess of glucose. It is often described as 'apple scent'. This can also be a sign of diabetes. Not only the sweet smell (and taste) of the urine is a characteristic, but excessive drinking and urination are also indicative of diabetes. Going to the doctor is the only option.

Fishy smell

  1. There are three causes for urine with a fishy odor. First of all, some people smell it when they have eaten fish. Just like the asparagus smell, this is temporary and has to do with the way in which the food is digested. Another possibility is infection with trichomoniasis. This is an STI caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. You can get it through unprotected sex, but also by sharing towels or washcloths, for example. Trichomoniasis is quite common, often in combination with gonorrhea and chlamydia. The symptoms are intense itching, foamy greenish-yellow urine and urine with a foul odor. Trichomoniasis can lead to infertility and is treated with a single dose of antibiotics.

Fish Smell Syndrome

  1. A third and possible cause is the so-called 'fish odor syndrome' or trimethylaminuria (TMAU). This is a rare genetic disease in which the body no longer breaks down (properly) the substance trimethylamine. The excess trimethylamine is eventually released through sweat, urine and breath and has a characteristic smell. This odor is described as stale cigarette smoke or the smell of waste, faeces, urine, rotten eggs and fish. There is no treatment (yet) for the condition.

Pregnancy

  1. Your urine can also smell different during pregnancy. And that is usually also because your smell changes and not your pee. Make sure you drink enough and keep an eye on the color and smell of your pee. If you have a sweet smell, go to the doctor to rule out gestational diabetes.

Stink in general

  1. A number of herbs, dietary supplements and medicines can also have an influence on the smell of urine. In the case of medicines, this is usually stated in the package leaflet. In addition, for example cystitis or an infection of the urinary tract is also accompanied by a pungent smell. The urine is often cloudy or red. If your urine suddenly changes odor or color, it is always wise to have this checked by your doctor.



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