What Can Urine Smell Tell You About Your Body

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 06/03/2024

Urine can tell a person a lot about their health and well-being. Understanding what urine smells mean can help you

Learn about urine and what certain smells may indicate so that you can manage your health efficiently.

Decoding Urine Odor

Have you ever wondered why your urine sometimes smells like you've been smuggling rotten eggs? This could be due to asparagus, due to sulfur-based compounds.

But it's not just about foul food fallout; sweet-smelling urine might indicate high sugar levels in the body.

If you catch a whiff of strange, it could be more than last night’s dinner talking back—it may signal dehydration or even an infection brewing.

Asparagus and Sulfuric Compounds

We know asparagus is healthy, but after munching on these greens, some folks' urine takes on a distinctive scent—thanks to sulfuric compounds leaving our system.

The Sweet Scent of High Sugar Levels

Sweet-smelling pee hints at excess sugar consumption. This could even be a sign of prediabetes, which means that you should seek professional medical advice.

Infection and Dehydration Signals

Foul odors are often signs of dehydration or an infection and should not be taken lightly. Make sure you are drinking enough water and consuming enough electrolytes for your body to be able to function properly.

The Presence of Ketones in Urine

When your pee smells like fruit, it might be more than just what you ate. That fruity scent could mean your body is no longer using carbs as fuel and is now burning fat for fuel—a state known as ketosis.

This metabolic switch happens when you're low on glucose, making your liver break down fat into ketones for energy.

But strong-smelling urine isn't always a good sign. Ketones in your urine are one thing—signaling anything from diet changes to diabetes—but if they’re off the charts, we’re talking about something more serious like diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

It is important to get your blood tested by a medical professional if you notice sweet-smelling urine.

Musty Odors Pointing to Liver Concerns

Take note if you're catching whiffs of something akin to old books or damp basements coming from your pee. A musty or mildew-like smell could potentially indicate liver damage.

The culprit often lies with issues such as cirrhosis or hepatitis interrupting normal detoxification processes.

The connection between these scents and liver concerns is the result of our bodies trying their best under challenging circumstances.

When to Seek Medical Advice

If you smell anything unusual in your urine, it is time to get a urinalysis.

A urinalysis can help pinpoint what’s beneath the surface by assessing various substances in your urine.

A lab test will tell you exactly what steps you need to take to protect your health.

Urine test chart

High pH in Urine and Decoding Body Signals Through Urine Odor

High pH in urine prompts an investigation into potential health indicators associated with this imbalance. Simultaneously, we decode the subtle signals embedded in urine odor, unraveling a nuanced narrative that adds depth to our understanding of overall body health.

This exploration invites individuals to pay attention to these subtle cues, fostering a holistic approach to health monitoring through the dual lenses of urine pH and odor.


Understanding the significance of urine odor can provide valuable insights into your health and well-being. By learning what different smells may indicate, you can take proactive steps to manage your health more effectively.

Unusual odors in urine can signal dietary factors, dehydration, infections, or more serious conditions like diabetes or liver disease. Paying attention to these signs and seeking medical advice when necessary can help you maintain optimal health.

Regular monitoring and understanding of urine odor, alongside professional medical guidance, form a comprehensive approach to health management.

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