Urine Smells like Ammonia – It is a problem?

Regular waste elimination is a very important aspect of Human body. This waste can be eliminated from body by means of stool, urine or even perspiration mechanism. Of these several waste eliminating mechanisms urination plays a very vital role. It not only detoxifies your body off the waste, harmful and unwanted substances; but also directly reflects your health state. If your body if fit and fine the urine will also be odorless and slightly pale yellow. Whereas foul smelling urine may indicate something being wrong somewhere.

One of the most commonly reported problems is that of urine smelling like ammonia. The ammonia smell is that of very pungent and foul odor. And sometimes when Nitrogen content in urine increases to those of more than normal; urine may begin to smell like ammonia. There can be several reasons that lead to this. Some of them are listed below:

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  • Diet that is high in proteins: Ammonia like smell in urine not always indicates to a disease or bodily disorder. When someone intakes diet that is rich in proteins even that leads to this situation. This is generally observed with people who put themselves on high protein foods with the aim of avoiding weight gain.  Since protein containing food is also rich in nitrogen it leads to pungent smelling urine.
  • Less water intake: Urine all times has some amount of nitrogen compounds in it. The ammonia like smell due to these contents is very insignificant to be observed. But if your water intake isn’t sufficient urine may become concentrated. This leads to increased concentration of nitrogen compounds and hence ammonia like smell becomes noticeable.
  • Infection: Bacterial infection can also be one of the reasons for ammonia like smell in urine. This infection could be of the urinary bladder or urinary tract. The bacterial infections are more commonly observed amongst women than in men. Such situations definitely demand medical assistance and slight carelessness may lead to worsening of condition. Also, a particular kind of bacteria that is usually found in digestive tract may lead to release of large quantities of ammonia in blood which eventually get passed on to urine from the body to be let out.
  • Kidney Diseases: Our kidneys are one of the most efficient organs in human body. Throughout an average human life they process millions of gallons of fluids; they are responsible for filtering blood of all the toxic substances. Even a slight disorder in the functioning of kidneys will be reflected in the smell and odor of urine as well as stool. Ammonia like smell in urine could also be indicative of some serious disorder in kidneys.
  •  Diabetic  patients complain of Pungent smell in urine: If your urine smells pungent, ammonia like and at the same time you have lately observed feelings of dizziness, light-headedness and strong cravings for sweets; then it’s time for you to get yourself tested for Diabetes. It is not the only but one of the very common reasons for the strong nail polish remover like smell in urine. If noticed and acted upon immediately you may identify the disease just in time when it can still be controlled.
  • Liver Disorder: In human body liver has been allotted to the task of breaking down ammonia. When there is a disorder in this organ, ammonia breakdown is stopped and this ammonia gets released to urine leading to the pungent smell. The problem could be as small as slight liver infection to liver damage.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases: The urine can smell of ammonia even when a person is suffering from sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Menopause and pregnancy: Menopause and pregnancy both are associated with high levels of hormonal changes in a female body. In both the conditions urine may become rich in ammonia content and smell foul. During pregnancy the different medicines taken may also lead to pungent smelling urine.

Apart from these above stated reasons, holding urine for too long may also lead to ammonia smelling urine. When you do not pee as soon as the urge is felt and then hold urine for long, urine becomes concentrated with waste products. This also increases the ammonia and nitrogen contents in it and hence the smell.

As, we can see some reasons for the foul smell are very simple and can be easily controlled by maintaining healthy habits, good balanced diet and plenty of water intake, while others may require medical assistance.  It is very important that you are aware of all the possibilities and are vigilant about the changes that take place in your body system. If and when ammonia smelling urine is observed it is very important that water intake be increased, also urine should be constantly monitored. If there is no improvement then it is time to refer a doc.

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