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Urine analysis - smell

6 Nov 2016   Shanti Gowans
 
Contrary to what many people might think, urine does not just dump excess water from your body. It serves a far greater purpose, to eliminate your body’s waste products. When blood is filtered through the kidneys, the waste, water, minerals, salts and sugars are removed. After this very important filtration process, the remaining stuff becomes urine.
 
Urine is about 95 percent water. The remainder is urea, uric acid, hormones, bacteria, yeast, ammonia, dead blood cells, salts and minerals, proteins and toxins. 
 
Technically, urine is sterile, but it can also be toxic when you keep the whole process of how and why your body makes urine in mind. Your body is trying to get rid of the things that are not useable and potentially harmful. 
While a healthy person would most likely survive drinking a cup or two of their own urine, it is not something I would recommend doing unless it is properly filtered. You should only drink your urine in a life or death emergency.
 
Know what is your normal
 
It is important to know your normal. What does your urine normally smell like?  What colour is it? These things are important. Changes in the colour and odour can indicate a serious health problem that needs medical attention. 
 
What should your urine smell like?
 
Normal urine has very little odour. If your smell test indicates something different, your body may be trying to tell you something.
 
Benign reasons why your urine smells
 
Coffee: Drinking a lot of coffee can leave your urine smelling. The best thing to do is to stimulate the kidneys by drinking a couple of glasses of water as soon as you can, and lay off the coffee for a while, or forever.
 
Asparagus: If you have ever had a few spears of asparagus and noticed that your urine not only changes colour but also takes on a very strong smell, it is for a very good reason. Some people, not all, have an enzyme that breaks down the asparagus in such a way that it produces the odour.
 
Menopause: In menopause, women may start to notice that their urine smells more like ammonia. Be sure that you are drinking plenty of water, eating a whole food diet, and maintaining a healthy weight. 
 
Medications and supplements: Certain medications and supplements can make your urine smell a bit off. If you notice this happening, talk to your practitioner to be sure that the cause is your medication or supplement.
 
Garlic and onions:  Not only does consuming a lot of garlic and onions leave your breath potent, it can also create smelly urine. 
 
Being dehydrated: If you are not drinking enough water, your urine will have a very strong ammonia odour. When you don’t drink enough, your urine becomes highly concentrated with waste, and turns darker. Drink water and check that your urine is lighter and has a less potent odour.
 
Serious reasons why your urine smells
 
Diabetes: Hundreds of years ago, physicians could know people had diabetes by tasting their urine. If the urine tasted sweet, you were diagnosed with diabetes. Although your doctor probably won’t be tasting your urine today, a sweetish odour may indicate that you do, in fact, have diabetes. Do not take this lightly. If your urine puts off a sweet aroma, it is time to make an appointment with your Ayurvedic doctor.
 
Maple syrup urine disease: This metabolic disease causes urine to smell like maple syrup. It is a very rare, inherited disease that prevents the body from breaking down certain amino acids. If left untreated, this condition can lead to dangerous physical and neurological symptoms.
 
Urinary tract infection: Foul smelling urine could be an indication that you have a urine or bladder infection, or even inflammation of the bladder. 
 
Intestines leaking into your bladder: This is as serious as it sounds. A fistula is an abnormal connection between two body parts that can develop because of injury, inflammation or surgery. When one develops between the bladder and the intestines, it can cause the intestinal contents to mix with the bladder contents. You may see small pieces of faeces in your urine. If this happens, you should see a doctor as quickly as possible, especially if you have an inflammatory bowel condition or have been diagnosed with cancer.
 
Well, here you have it. These are some very good reasons why you might need to take the time to smell your urine, and be intelligent about drinking wholesome, fresh, clean water - not coffee, tea, cola drinks and alcohol and the like.
 
 
 
 

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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography


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