You have probably heard by now how to tell if your stools are healthy or if your diet needs some work in the fiber department. They shouldn’t be too loose, they shouldn’t be too dark, and they should be easy to pass. It’s pretty normal for No. 2 to not smell great. But what do you do if you suspect something’s wrong with your urine? While it might not seem like a cause for too much concern, weird-smelling pee could alert you to something more serious going on with your body (via Thought Catalog).
When your kidneys filter out urea from your body, they concentrate it with other waste products and water and send it through your urinary system into your bladder. The bladder’s job is to store and get rid of urine, and a healthy bladder can hold as much as two cups of urine at one time (via Hopkins Medicine). The color of your urine can tell you certain things about your health, like whether or not you are dehydrated or if your kidneys are functioning properly. The smell, however, can often give you a much clearer window into what might be happening inside your body. If you notice a sudden change in the odor of your urine, pay attention and learn the signs of what’s normal and what’s not.
There's more than one reason to pay attention to your No. 1
If your urine starts to smell funny, think about what medications or foods you may have ingested recently (via Mayo Clinic). Asparagus, for example, causes an almost immediate change in the smell of urine. Certain vitamins, other strong-smelling vegetables, and even coffee can cause odor changes. And if you are not drinking enough water, the increased concentration of the waste products in your urine can cause it to smell like ammonia. Drinking more water can help dilute your urine and eliminate the smell.
But if your urine has a sweet smell to it, your body could be trying to tell you that you have a urinary tract infection. Diabetic ketoacidosis and uncontrolled type II diabetes can also cause sweet-smelling pee. Urine that has a strong, fishy smell might be the result of a rare genetic condition called trimethylaminuria, which is caused by the body’s inability to convert certain compounds into less noxious chemicals (via National Human Genome Research Institute).
Paying attention to the smell, color, and clarity of your urine, as well as any other symptoms you may be experiencing, can help you distinguish between a new food that you ate and a potentially dangerous underlying condition. If you suspect that something’s off the next time you go No. 1, get checked out by a doctor who can help you figure out what’s going on internally.
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