Although asparagus pee might not be a top priority for scientific research, it’s been observed and wondered about for long enough that it has warranted some investigation.In this article, nephrologist Shane Bobart, MD, explains why the asparagus pee phenomenon happens, who it affects and if there’s anything you can really do to prevent it.When you pee, the sulfur byproducts evaporate almost immediately, causing you to smell that unpleasant scent.It’s worth noting that asparagus isn’t the only thing that can change the smell of your pee.Brussels sprouts, onions and garlic have also been linked to odd smelling pee in some people.So before you start wondering if something is wrong with you, rest assured asparagus pee is a totally normal bodily reaction.Just because your pee might stink after eating asparagus doesn’t mean you should ditch the stalky vegetable. .
Do Brussel Sprouts Cause Urine to Smell?
Brussels sprouts are a highly nutritious food included in the Brassica genus of vegetables.It is a natural chemical found in the blood, brain and tissue matter of humans and animals alike.The gas is also released from animal decay in swamp areas and can be found in several types of natural gases, coal, tar and various crude oils.Studies in lab rats at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in the 1990s have indicated that once the chemical enters the blood stream, it is difficult to break down in the body and is either exhaled from the lungs as you breathe, or passes through the urine within a few hours 1.However, even though organosulfur compounds are often associated with a foul odor, it is unclear if the sulfur content of the urine caused the smell.A healthy diet that includes vegetables from the Brassica genus is desirable, and the advantages of overall better health with an improvement in body detoxification and a possible solution to fighting some of the most damaging cancers clearly outweighs a little embarrassment and some disconcerting odors. .
Urine Smell: What Does It Mean? – Cleveland Clinic
Consider it a whiff of information, as the smell of your urine can offer important insight as to what’s happening inside your body.The remainder amounts mostly to waste products — calcium, nitrogen, potassium and more — filtered by your kidneys.Now if you’re dehydrated, the percentage of water in your pee drops and the filtered waste takes a more prominent role.Asparagus is infamous for giving urine a pretty stinky sulfur smell, for instance.Fast fact: Your body converts an acid in asparagus into sulfur-containing compounds, which creates that pungent result.Sometimes, that malodourous stream serves as a warning sign of an underlying health issue that deserves attention, says Dr. Bajic.If you detect a hint of ammonia in your urine, it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection.The odor suggests that bacteria may be swimming around in your urinary system, most likely in your urethra, kidneys or bladder.UTIs are pretty common, sending approximately 10 million Americans to the doctor every year for antibiotic treatment, says Dr. Bajic.Pee with a sugary or fruity fragrance can serve as a warning sign of diabetes or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), says Dr. Bajic.This rare, life-threatening metabolic disorder prevents the body from breaking down specific amino acids found in food. .
13 Causes of Smelly Urine And What To Do About Them
“Urine is the substance that is created when the kidneys filter and remove waste products from the blood," says Stephanie Pannell , MD, MPH, a urologist at UCLA Health.One of the most common reasons for strong-smelling urine is dehydration, according to Daniel Garvey , MD, an assistant professor and the residency program director of the department of urology at the University of Illinois at Chicago."When dehydrated, urinary waste products, such as ammonia, are more concentrated and result in stronger smelling urine,” he explains.A rule of thumb: “Medical evaluation of smelly urine is warranted if the urine odor persists for several days while maintaining adequate hydration or if symptoms or signs of illness develop, such as fever, general malaise, pain in the back or lower abdomen, nausea, and vomiting,” says Dr. Garvey."When your body is dehydrated, the urine has a strong odor and appears dark in color,” says Sherry Ross , MD, an ob-gyn at Providence St.
John’s Health Center in Santa Monica.What to do about it: Don't wait until your toilet water turns a shade of mustard yellow to start adding some extra H2O to your diet.If you’ve done a good job hydrating, your pee will be the color of pale straw or a more transparent yellow (think: fresh-made lemonade), according to the Cleveland Clinic."Certain foods like Brussels sprouts, onions, some spices, garlic, curry, salmon, and alcohol can change the smell," notes Dr. Ross.Some people "may notice an interesting odor when they've consumed coffee," says Adam Ramin, MD, a urologist and the medical director of Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles.Try sipping a glass of water before or after your morning (and afternoon, and maybe even night—hey, we don’t judge) cup of coffee, just to avoid dehydration.The most common medically concerning reason for smelly pee is a urinary tract infection (UTI), according to Dr. Ross.That bacteria is also what makes your urine appear cloudy or bloody and gives you that telltale burning while peeing sensation, according to OWH.One of the first ways diabetes manifests is in the bathroom, causing you to have to urinate more frequently, says Muhammad Shamim Khan, MD, a urologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital.Certain populations have higher rates of diabetes and prediabetes, including Black, Latinx, Native American, and some Asian American communities, in part because of disparities in health care access, as well as access to exercise and nutrition resources, research has found.That scent, coupled with needing to run to the toilet more than usual, means you may want to get your blood sugar levels checked, says Dr. Khan.the environment of healthy bacteria) of your entire genital area, worsening bad smells rather than improving them, says Dr. Ross.If you're practicing good hygiene (washing the outside bits of your vulva with fragrance-free soap and warm water only) and there's nothing else going on with your vag, you totally don't need to douche anyway.While a kidney stone tries to make its way out of your body, it causes a backup of urine (and possibly a urinary tract infection).What to do about it: If your pee is smelly and is accompanied by cloudy urine and pain in your back or side, see a doctor to get that kidney stone out of there ASAP.Itchy yeast infections happen when a naturally occurring fungus that lives in your vagina gets a chance to grow wild.Every person has a different vaginal microbiome, but some ways yeast gets the hint that it’s party time are when you take antibiotics, you’re pregnant, you have uncontrolled diabetes, you have an impaired immune system, or you start taking either hormonal birth control or hormones prescribed for menopause, according to the Mayo Clinic .What to do about it: OTC creams and suppositories (like Monistat) can get your microbiome back to normal, and if those aren't getting rid of the itch or increased discharge, talk to your doc.If your pee smells foul, sour, or fishy, you might have a medical condition called trimethylaminuria, which gives you terrible body odor no matter how much you brush your teeth, shower, or bathe.They may also suggest certain supplements, as well as taking low doses of antibiotics to reduce the amount of bacteria in your gut.The same hormones that gestate a baby (again, estrogen and progesterone) are also at work during your regular cycle, albeit on a smaller scale, according to Dr. Ross.Both often show no or very mild symptoms at their onset (which is why it’s so important to regularly get tested for STIs)—wait too long and they could progress, making smelly pee the least of your problems.When you do show symptoms, chlamydia can cause abnormal vaginal discharge and a burning sensation when you pee, while trichomoniasis can also cause a change in vaginal discharge and uncomfortable urination as well as itching, burning, redness, or soreness in your genital area, according to the CDC .It's not particularly worrisome, says Dr.
Ross, but be sure to mention your urine odor to your doctor if you're concerned about it, if it changes suddenly, or if you experience other negative side effects along with the smell. .
What makes my urine smell? 12 foods that can give it an odour
Taking vitamin supplements or certain medications can have a similar effect – or even turn your urine a fluorescent yellow or green colour.Most people associate asparagus with foul smelling urine, but the odour is actually a metabolite, which is a substance produced during metabolism.Typically eaten as a breakfast cereal, puffed wheat can cause urine that gives off an odour like malt – which is similar to the way it smells in your bowl.(Picture: Getty) Usually you only need to consider getting medical advice if you’re having additional symptoms alongside urine with an odour.For example, if you have a burning sensation while urinating or feel the need to go more than usual, you could have a urinary tract infection, or UTI.If your urine smells abnormally sweet, you’re thirstier than normal and feel tired, there could be a chance you have diabetes, so it’s best to seek the advice of a healthcare professional. .
Why Does Asparagus Make Your Pee Smell?
If you've ever sat down to tinkle after eating an asparagus tartine and thought you'd just opened a container of rotten cabbage, you're not alone.One of the most common causes of an abnormal urine odor is asparagus," says Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, medical toxicologist and co-medical director of the National Capital Poison Center in Washington D.C. "After eating asparagus, many people report having a sulfur-like odor to their urine."The cause of this is unknown but may be related to the presence of [volatile organic compounds], including dimethyl sulfoxide, methanethiol, or carbon disulfide, which are present in the urine of people who eat asparagus," Johnson-Arbor adds.While aspargusic acid is only found in asparagus, other foods produce similar sulfur-rich compounds.However, it is possible some people think asparagus spears spare them the pungent problem, when in fact they just can't smell the odor."Interestingly, some individuals are unable to smell the pungent urine odor associated with asparagus consumption," according to Johnson-Arbor.Each person may describe the odor differently, but most will use words like cabbage, Brussel sprouts, or rotten eggs.Also, asparagus is a healthy and tasty ingredient for soups, salads, quiches, and more, so you wouldn't want to skip it just because of the pee problem.
Foul-Smelling Urine but No Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Here, we’ll explore why your urine’s smell can change without accompanying pain.If you’re in the 40 percent of people who can smell a distinct odor in your pee after eating asparagus, you likely know how food can impact urine.Brussels sprouts, fish like salmon, and certain spices can change your urine’s scent, too.If you suspect foods are responsible for the odor, try cutting them out of your diet for a few days to see if the smell goes away.Changes in the smell of your urine may be the first sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI).The bacteria can grow and spread into other parts of your urinary tract, like your bladder or kidneys.That increases the odds of bacteria finding their way into the urinary tract and causing an infection.Several sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including chlamydia and trichomoniasis, can cause vaginal discharge.Some drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, infections, and diabetes are known to impact the waste’s smell, too.B vitamins, like thiamine and choline, may impact the balance of chemicals in your urine.Your body works to maintain balance between different bacteria, preventing specific types from growing out of control.But a person’s sense of smell may be heightened at this point in the cycle, and that might make you more aware of the urine’s scent.As with ovulation, hormonal changes may make your nose more sensitive to smells if you’re pregnant.These include sulfonylurea drugs like glyburide, which is sold under the brand names Diabeta and Glynase PresTab.Specifically, the body cannot process trimethylamine, which is a compound found in meat, fish, and seafood.That can make the urine smell fishy or foul, and it can even cause a strong body odor. .
Why Does My Pee Smell? 9 Reasons for Smelly Urine in Men
It's not surprising that it can be affected by what you eat and drink—or what you don't drink (being dehydrated can make your pee smell bad; more on that below).Your pee can also reek from meds or supplements you're taking, or from a particular diet regimen you're on. .