Causes of Stinky Urine: Habits and Substances That Make Your Pee Smell Bad

There are many things that can cause stinky urine.  There are many different types of smelly pee as well, from urine that just has a strong odor to urine that smells like nail polish remover, rotten cabbage or even like fruit.  Don’t forget- if you don’t find your answer here, you can visit our forums on urinary tract health for more info.

FoodsFoods that Cause Stinky Urine

Some of the causes of stinky urine are harmless.  Eating certain foods can make your urine smell bad or different.  Asparagus and coffee are two well-known offenders.  Many other foods, drinks and spices cause foul smelling urine, but this smell is normal.  The urine odor caused by certain foods does not indicate a health problem and will go away within a day or two.  Click here for more information on which foods, drinks and spices cause stinky urine.

medications

Lifestyle, Habits and Substances that Cause Smelly Pee
Other causes of stinky urine due to lifestyle, habits and certain substances include:
High Protein/Low Carb Diets, such as the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Paleolithic Diet and the ketogenic diet

Comments Off on Causes of Stinky Urine: Habits and Substances That Make Your Pee Smell Bad

Filed under Common Causes of Stinky Urine

Different Colors of Urine: What Do They Mean?

Urine ColorUrine should be clear to light yellow in color, but it can turn many different colors.  Causes range from the foods you eat to the liquids you drink to the diseases and infections you might have.

Orange Urine

Some different medications can cause orange urine, like rifampin and phenazopyridine.  This color urine can also indicate that you’ve got some problems with your bile duct or liver.  If it is lighter yellow orange urine, you may just be dehydrated.

Dark Orange or Brown Urine

Infections of the bladder such as UTI infections or even kidney problems could be to blame.  Some foods- like fava beans- are known to turn your urine a little bit brown.  Medications for malaria can turn your urine brown as well.  If your urine is dark orange or brown, you could have one of several serious conditions, such as jaundice, rhabdomyolysis, or Gilbert’s Syndrome.

Pink or Purple Urine

If you like beets, you’ve probably seen this in the toilet.  It’s known in the medical community as beeturia.

If you are already on a UTI infection medication, especially pyridium, you may end up with pink urine.

Green Urine

Do you eat a lot of asparagus?  It can cause green urine.  Medications such as propofol, an anesthetic, can also do this, as well as certain multivitamin regimens.  Pseudomonas, a bacterium that causes bladder and urinary tract infections, can also cause green urine.

MORE ABOUT GREEN URINE

Red or Brown Urine

This color can be the result of porphyria, a skin (or nervous system) condition. Click MORE below to get more information on red urine.

MORE ABOUT RED OR BROWN URINE

Blue Urine

Blue urine color is often produced by medications containing methylene blue. Examples of diseases treated with methylene blue medications include malaria, plaque psoriasis, AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma, cancer, West Nile virus, Hepatitis C and carbon monoxide or cianide poisoning, to name a few.

In babies, blue urine can be caused by blue diaper syndrome, a rare disorder where the child’s body has difficulty digesting the amino acid tryptophan.

Hypercalcemia, a condition where you have too much calcium in your blood, can also cause your urine to turn blue. Hypercalcemia is not a disease in and of itself; it is a condition that may be a symptom of disease.

Dark Yellow Urine

You are most likely dehydrated if you have dark yellow urine.  If you’ve been exercising a lot and not drinking enough water, you could start seeing dark yellow urine when you urinate.  Down a few glasses of water and see if that doesn’t get rid of the problem. Another possibility, though, is excessive amounts Vitamin B6 that is causing your urine to turn darker.

MORE ABOUT DARK YELLOW URINE

Yellow Orange Urine

Your body may have removed excess vitamins from your bloodstream.  Yellow orange urine can also happen from drinking too much alcohol.  Dehydration is to yet another cause of yellow orange urine, so don’t forget to make sure you are drinking enough water to stay hydrated.

Red urine

Blood in urine is called hematuria.  Blood in urine could be caused by a UTI infection, but there is also a small chance it could be an early sign of bladder cancer.  Many more things can also cause bloody urine, including medications, exercise, injury and kidney stones.  If you’re seeing blood in your urine, you should call your doctor to get some tests done.

Black Urine

Certain substances used in laxatives, such as senna or cascara, can cause black urine.

Black urine is sometimes a symptom of melanoma, in which case it is called melanuria.

Another possible cause is a rare genetic condition called alkaptonuria (AKA black urine disease). Alkaptonuria is a genetic disorder that causes the body to have trouble metabolizing tyrosine and phenylalanine. Black urine disease is more common in the Dominican Republic and Slovakia, compared to other countries in the world.

If you have urine that is black in color, you need to seek medical help.

What Do I Do Now?

So many things can make your urine change color, from common foods and medications, all the way to serious illnesses and even hereditary disorders.  If you’re urine is a different color than usual, call your doctor and get some tests run- it’s always better to be on the safe side.

Need to Find Out More About Urine Colors?

There are many great websites out there for those wanting all of the details on their specific urine color.

Urine Colors Website
http://www.urinecolors.com/

Better Medicine Article on Urine Colors
http://www.localhealth.com/article/urine-color-changes

Comments Off on Different Colors of Urine: What Do They Mean?

Filed under Colors of Urine, Infections

Yellow Urine

Yellow UrineYou should have pale yellow urine. Sometimes, though, there are fluctuations in color. Dark yellow urine could indicate that you are dehydrated and need to drink more fluids. Neon yellow urine is often a side effect of a medication or vitamin you’ve taken. Below is more information on neon yellow urine and yellow orange urine.

Neon Yellow Urine

Neon yellow urine color is most often caused by a multivitamin, vitamin C or B vitamin complex you are taking. Some of the vitamins cause bright, neon yellow pee, especially carotene. This side effect of taking vitamins is not harmful and is no reason for concern.

Another common cause of neon yellow urine is food dye. Dyes are used not only in food, but also in medications (both over-the-counter and prescription). Eating foods that have a lot of orange or yellow coloring could turn your urine neon yellow for a day or two. Dyes are also commonly used in urinary pain relief medications- the color depends on the brand you bought. Neon yellow urine resulting from food coloring or dyes is not a sign of a health problem and won’t hurt you.

Don’t forget that natural foods have their own “dyes”, too, so they can also turn your urine neon yellow. Asparagus is one food known to make your urine neon yellow. And if you’ve eaten a lot of carrots or other foods high in carotene, they can also change the color of your urine to a bright, neon yellow. Beets are another frequent cause of neon yellow urine.

Yellow Orange Urine

Yellow orange urine can be caused by food dyes, commonly found in foods and medications. Urinary pain relief medications often turn your urine yellow orange. Sometimes they turn your urine orange all together.

Some of the prescription medications known to cause yellow orange urine are:

  • Idarubicin
  • Ferrioxamine
  • Oxamniquine
  • Phenazopyridine
  • Rifampicin
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Warfarin

Yellow orange urine can also be caused by eating large amounts of beets, rhubarb or blackberries.

Conditions that Can Turn Your Urine Yellow Orange

Some health conditions and diseases can give you yellow orange urine. These include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperlipidemia (high levels of lipids/lipoproteins in urine)
  • Porphyria

Comments Off on Yellow Urine

Filed under Colors of Urine, Infections

Blue or Green Urine

Blue or GreenWhen You Have Blue Urine or Green Urine

If you find that you have blue urine or green urine, it is most likely that the cause is a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a medication you’ve been taking. There are, however, some diseases and conditions that cause blue urine or green urine.
There are many, many medications- both over-the-counter and prescription- that give you blue urine or green urine. Below is a list of some of them, but don’t forget that there are more than just these. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about whether any new medication you’ve taken could have green or blue urine as a side effect.

Medications that Cause Blue or Green Urine

Amitriptyline- an anti-depressant and migraine preventative known to cause blue urine or green urine

Cimetidine (Tagamet)- a common antacid medication that is also used to treat stomach ulcers

Indomethacin (Indocin)- a medication used to treat gout

Propofol (Diprivan)- a drug used as a general anesthetic or a sedative administered by IV

Methylene Blue- an ingredient in food dyes and medications with a wide variety of uses. It is usually part of the food colors Azure A, B and C. It is an MAOI and so should be used carefully, especially by those taking SSRI medications. Methylene blue is an ingredient in Prosed, another medication on this list, and is the reason Prosed can cause blue urine or green urine.

Metoclopramide- an anti-nausea drug that also increases gastric motility

Promethazine (Phenergan)- an anti-histamine medication that is also used to treat nausea and insomnia

See more medications that cause blue urine or green urine below.

Prosed, Urised and Trac Tabs- anti-spasmodic medications used for urinary tract pain

Triamterene- a diuretic used to treat high blood pressure and edema (swelling)

Viagra- a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction

General Categories of Medications:

Medications used to treat urinary pain- These can turn your pee unusual colors, depending on which brand you get. It is not unusual for this sort of medication to turn your urine blue or green.

Medications with Methylene Blue as an ingredient- This compound is used for many different purposes. In combination with light, it is used to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as psoriasis, West Nile virus and Hepatitis C, due to its anti-viral properties. It is being investigated for use against cancer and dementia.

Comments Off on Blue or Green Urine

Filed under Colors of Urine, Infections

Black or Brown Urine

Brown UrineIf you have urine that is black or brown, it is understandably distressing. Fortunately, the most likely cause of black urine/brown urine is that you ate certain foods or it’s a side effect of a medication you took. In some cases, though, it can be a sign of disease.

The first part of this article is about black and/or brown urine, while the second part is about black urine in particular.

The foods you eat could be the cause of your black/brown urine. The top three foods that can cause this are aloe, rhubarb and fava beans (also called broad beans or field beans). If you have black or brown urine from eating these foods, it is harmless and will go away in a day or two.

Medications that Cause Black or Brown Urine

Some medications have black/brown urine as a side effect. If you have recently taken a new medication, check with your doctor or pharmacist whether black/brown urine is a side effect.

These medications are known to sometimes cause black/brown urine as a side effect:

Metronidazole (Flagyl)- an antibiotic, especially used for Clostridium dificile infections.  It is also used in anti-rosacea creams or gels, although the cream or gel versions are unlikely to turn your urine black or brown.

Furazolidone- an antibiotic/anti-microbial medication

Methyldopa (Aldomet)- a treatment for high blood pressure, especially pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. Methyldopa’s metabolites turn black when they come into contact with bleach, which is present in many toilets.

Chloraquine- a drug used to prevent malariaPrimaquine- a medication used to treat malaria and sometimes pneumoniaNitrofurantoin- an anti-biotic often used as a treatment for urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Cascara or Senna- ingredients in some laxatives

Methocarbamol- a muscle relaxer used to treat muscle spasms

Sorbitol- has many uses, including as a laxative and as a sugar substitute.

Contamination with Betadine (povidone-iodine) solution can turn urine brown (this could possibly happen while douching).

Diseases that Cause Brown or Black Urine

Some health conditions and diseases can cause black or brown urine. Alkaptonuria, a rare genetic disease, is one example. People who have alkaptonuria may have urine that gets darker and darker the longer it is exposed to air/left standing.

Melanoma can also cause urine that gets darker and darker as it is left exposed to air. This is due to the melanin and melanogen in the urine. This kind of black/brown urine will darken from the top down, which can be seen if the urine is in a clear container.

Tyrosinosis, a metabolic disorder, can cause a person’s urine to appear brown or black.

Porphyria cutanea tarda, a disease that affects heme in the body, may case brown/black urine as a symptom. However, the main symptoms are blistering or the detachment of nails from the nail bed after exposure to sunlight. People with this type of porphyria also often have liver problems.

Black Urine

Laxatives and Black Urine

Laxatives that use senna or cascara may cause black urine. Senna is a plant product and is often found in “vegetable laxatives” or “all-natural” products. These brands have at least one product that contains senna:

  • Senokot
  • Walgreens Senna Tablets
  • Smooth Move
  • Goldline
  • Sunmark
  • Fieldtex
  • Traditional Medicinals
  • Mason Remedies
  • McKesson

Cascara is another laxative ingredient that might turn your urine black. It is from a buckthorn species of plant. These brands have at least one product containing cascara:

  • Puritan’s Pride
  • Nature’s Way
  • NOW Foods
  • Heughan’s

Senna and cascara are not known to be harmful. Black urine caused by these substances should resolve within 1-2 days.

Malignant Melanoma

Melanoma, an aggressive type of cancer, can cause black urine due to the melanin in it.

Black Urine Disease (Alkaptonuria)

Another possible cause is a rare genetic condition called alkaptonuria (AKA black urine disease). Alkaptonuria is a genetic disorder that causes the body to have trouble metabolizing tyrosine and phenylalanine. Black urine disease is particularly common in the Dominican Republic and Slovakia, compared to other countries in the world.

Hemoglobinuria

Hemoglobinuria- excess hemoglobin in the urine- may cause black urine, but it could also result in red or brown urine instead. Hemoglobinuria is when you have high levels of hemoglobin, a component of your blood, in your urine. There are many possible causes for hemoglobinuria, including:

  • Burns
  • Acute glomerulonephritis (a kidney disease)
  • Kidney cancer
  • Malaria and medications used to treat malaria
  • Exposure to arsenic gas

If you have black urine, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible, especially if you have any other symptoms.

Related:

Chlamydia

Gonorrhea

Urinary Tract Infections Cause Smelly Urine

Yeast Infections and Urine Odor

Comments Off on Black or Brown Urine

Filed under Colors of Urine, Infections

Blood in Your Urine

If you notice blood in your urine (which is called hematuria), you should consult your doctor.  Although in some cases blood in your urine is not serious, it can also be a sign of a medical problem.  It is difficult to tell if the blood in your urine is harmless or if it is a sign of a disease, but your doctor can order tests to figure out what is causing it.

If your doctor determines that the blood in your urine has been caused by a medical condition, you will likely be given a treatment to resolve the root cause of the problem.  Once the problem is gone, the blood in your urine should be, too.  There isn’t really a specific treatment for bloody urine itself.  It is usually treated as part of a wider problem.

There are several likely places where the blood in your urine may have come from.  The bladder, kidneys, ureters (which connect the kidneys and bladder) or the urethra (which carries urine out of the body from the bladder) are all possibilities.  It is also possible that the blood came from somewhere else entirely, such as a cut in the skin that is bleeding or the vagina.

What Conditions Are Associated with Blood in Urine?

You can sometimes see blood in your urine- this will turn it an abnormal color, such as red, brownish red, pink or the color of tea.  However, on some occasions the blood isn’t visible and you find out about it because it was found in a urine sample you gave. 

If you are female, it is possible that the blood in your urine is related to menstruation.  For a short period of time after a period, lab tests may find red blood cells in your urine sample. 
If you have blood in your urine in addition to other symptoms, the likelihood that a medical condition is causing it is higher.  The following are possible causes of blood in urine:
• Kidney or bladder stones (urinary stones). Other symptoms you may experience include severe pain in the pelvic area or abdominal pain.

• Kidney infection. This is also known as pyelonephritis. Symptoms include lower back pain, fever and chills.

• Bladder or urinary tract infections (UTI). Symptoms of UTIs vary, but commonly include frequent urge to urinate and pain during urination. Babies that have urinary tract infections may run a fever, lose interest in eating and display signs of irritability.

• Enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. Early stage prostate cancer may not have any symptoms. Later, symptoms such as difficulty urinating, swelling in the legs, discomfort in the pelvic area and bone pain may be present.

• Sickle cell anemia. This disease is present at birth, but symptoms may not show until a few months later. Symptoms can be extreme and life-threatening. They include restriction of blood flow to organs or extremities, pain and many other serious symptoms. 

• Cystic kidney diseases. There are dozens of different types of cystic kidney diseases. All involve cysts on the kidneys. Some become apparent early in life, while others show up after age 50.

• Glomerulonephritis.  This is an inflammation in the kidneys. 

• Tumors in the urinary tract or prostate.

• Injury to the kidneys.

• Extremely vigorous exercise.

•Some medications, such as penicillin, heparin, phenazopyridine, cyclophosphamide and aspirin.

Foods & Dyes Can Make Urine Look Like It Has Blood In It

Some food dyes can turn your urine red or orange, which might look like your urine has blood in it.  Sometimes people will not realize they have ingested food dyes.  This is often the case when they take a product like AZO, an over-the-counter medication for urinary pain.  The change in urine color caused by food dyes is harmless and will go away once you stop ingesting the dye.

If you eat a lot of beets, it can turn your urine red.

Reasons You May Have Blood in Your Urine

There are many medical conditions that can make your urine bloody, and you need to know what they are if you’re seeing red in the toilet:

• UTI Infection
• Kidney Stones
• Bladder Stones
• Trauma
• Clotting
• Medications
• Cancer

Blood in urine is related to all of these conditions. If you’re seeing red when you should be seeing yellow, call your physician and schedule an appointment.  Don’t assume hematuria will go away on its own, especially if you are a bit older.

To find out the cause of your bloody urine for sure, you’ll have to see your doctor. Without the appropriate tests, it is difficult to tell what might be causing the problem.

If you’ve recently experienced any type of trauma, perhaps from a car accident or sports injury, you may very well have bloody urine for that reason.

Seniors especially should pay attention to any blood in their urine.  Men who are over the age of 50 should always get regular prostate checks to ensure prostate health.

Related:

Urinary Tract Infections

Cloudy Urine

Red Urine

Comments Off on Blood in Your Urine

Filed under Bladder & Liver Diseases, Colors of Urine, Infections, Kidney

Fistula

Bladder, Vaginal and Rectal Fistulas

A fistula is an abnormal connection between two organs that are not usually connected.  A fistula between the bladder and the vagina or the colon could cause your urine to smell bad. The fistula would allow bacteria into the bladder that is normally not present. This can make your urine smell bad.

Fistula

What Causes a Bladder Fistula?

Bladder fistulas are usually caused by a previous surgery, Crohn’s Disease, diverticulitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, cancer or radiation therapy.

Treating fistulas involves removing them surgically.

Comments Off on Fistula

Filed under Bladder & Liver Diseases, Worst Case Scenarios

Bladder Cancer

In some rare instances, a foul odor in urine can be caused by bladder cancer.

Bladder cancer is a relatively rare condition. The symptom most commonly associated with bladder cancer is blood in the urine. The majority of people with bladder cancer will have blood or blood clots in their urine. Other symptoms of early stage bladder cancer include pain during urination, frequent urination of small amounts of urine and frequent urinary tract infections.
Bladder Cancer

As bladder cancer advances, it may cause lower back side pain and swelling in the legs.

If you have any of the signs or symptoms associated with bladder cancer, you should discuss them with your doctor. Many different conditions can cause the same symptoms as bladder cancer. You will need a doctor’s help to find out what is at the source of your foul-smelling urine.

Comments Off on Bladder Cancer

Filed under Bladder & Liver Diseases, Infections, Worst Case Scenarios

Kidney, Bladder and Liver Conditions that Can Cause Smelly Urine

 

Bladder Cancer

In some rare instances, a foul odor in urine can be caused by bladder cancer. 

Bladder cancer is a relatively rare condition.  The symptom most commonly associated with bladder cancer is blood in the urine.  The majority of people with bladder cancer have blood or blood clots in their urine. MORE... 

Fistula

A fistula is an abnormal connection between two organs that are not usually connected.  A fistula between the bladder and the vagina or the colon could cause your urine to smell bad. The fistula would allow bacteria into the bladder that is normally not present. This can make your urine smell bad. MORE...

Liver Failure

Liver failure occurs when the liver becomes unable to function. It can be the result of years of deterioration, or it can have a sudden onset, depending on the cause. MORE...

 

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are known for being extremely painful. Typically the pain radiates from the flank to the groin or to the genitals and inner thigh area…MORE...

 

Renal Glycosuria

Renal glycosuria is a very rare genetic disease, and it’s estimated to only affect 0.16-6.3% of the total population.  The condition is harmless, however it can still cause stinky urine… MORE…

Vesicoureteral Reflux

Vesicoureteral Reflux

MORE...

 

Comments Off on Kidney, Bladder and Liver Conditions that Can Cause Smelly Urine

Filed under Bladder & Liver Diseases

Infections that Cause Stinky Urine

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s)

Sexually transmitted diseases can cause stinky urine, especially one called Trichomonas… MORE... 

 

 

 

UTI Infections (Urinary Tract Infections)

Urinary Tract Infections are bacterial infections that most commonly affect the bladder and urethra…MORE...

 

 

 

Yeast Infections

 

Yeast infections can also make your urine smell extremely bad…MORE...

Comments Off on Infections that Cause Stinky Urine

Filed under Bladder & Liver Diseases, Infections