Good health is all about maintaining your body’s natural state, or homeostasis (to give it it’s fancy term).
You’ve got to know what’s normal for you and if that changes, you’ll know something’s up.If your pooing habits suddenly change, that can be a cause of concern or at least, investigation.
And the same is true about your pee.
Generally speaking, our pee tends to smell the same.
But if that changes, then it’s worth knowing why that might be – and when to visit your GP about it.
Here are seven factors that might be influencing a sudden change in smell:
1. You ate something funky
We know that asparagus can make urine reek, as can other veg like cabbage, cauliflower and garlic.
It’s believed that asparagus, in particular, contains asparagusic acid which our bodies break down into sulfur compounds.
Other veg that also contains sulfur like garlic also have a powerful pong.
Once we eat asparagus and we create those sulfur molecules, the smell is created almost instantly.
Some of us can smell it, some of us can’t. We don’t yet know if that’s because some people just can’t smell it or they don’t actually produce the smell.
2. You drank coffee
Your morning cup of joe could be affecting your pee as well as your energy levels.
As we replace water with coffee, our urine may well start to smell caffeinated.
3. You’re dehydrated
We know that when we don’t drink enough, our pee becomes darker in colour and as it becomes more concentrated, its smell also becomes more pungent.
For that reason, your urine probably smells strongest first thing in the morning, when you’ve gone eight hours without having a glass of water.
Your best bet is to down a glass of the clear stuff the moment you wake up, to get the body flushed again.
4. You’re on medication
Some meds can affect the way our urine smells.
Antibiotics can fiddle with our internal health, as can treatments for things like epilepsy.
Dr Marc Laniado, a urologist at Doctify, told Women’s Health: “Some drugs in the sulpha class, which are also known as sulphonamides, can make the urine smell bad. Sulphonamides have been used for the treatment of infections and epilepsy.”
5. You’ve got an infection
UTIs can be a real pain in the, well, genitals.
And they can make our pee smell disgusting. Not that you’ll be paying much attention, what with all the stinging sensations.
Go to your GP and get some antibiotics.
Things you should look out for:
- Colour: If it’s dark then you probably need to drink more
- Pain: It shouldn’t hurt to pee but if it does, then you may have an infection
- Blood: Blood is the most serious sign. If you’re not on your period, then blood in urine can be a sign of cancer and you need to get checked out ASAP.
- Frequency: Sure, drinking a couple of litres a day is going to see you going to the loo quite frequently, but you should know what’s normal for you. If you find yourself dashing to the loo a lot more regularly than normal – despite not drinking loads, it could be a sign that you’ve got a sugar control issue.
6. You’ve got a fistula
“Occasionally, an abnormal connection between the bowel and bladder called a fistula can make the urine smell bad as well as cause recurrent urine infections,” Dr Laniado explained.
It’s very rare but again, if your urine smells really bad and you’ve crossed out all of the above, it’s GP time.
7. You have diabetes
There are plenty of other diabetes symptoms to watch out for but sweet-smelling pee is one of them.
Urine can smell sweet because type 2 diabetes is a condition that revolves around uncontrolled blood sugar.
If you also find that you’re constantly thirsty, you’ve got headaches and you need to pee a lot, make an appointment with your GP.