Urine Smells Like Onion: Likely Causes And Solutions

Urine typically does not come off with a strong or extremely weird smell. When such happens, it is most likely in response to overconsumption of certain foods or an indicator of underlying disease.

Here is a detailed article on why your urine may smell like onion, the best way to treat it, and when to see a doctor.

urine smells like onion

Why Does Your Urine Smell Like Onions?

1. Dehydration

Urine is composed of water and waste products. When you do not drink enough water, the H20 component of your urine is reduced. It becomes chiefly composed of waste products and would likely result in an awful smell.

2. Eating Certain Foods Or Fruits In Excess

Foods like onions, garlic, asparagus, salmon, alcohol, when consumed in excess may result in smelly urine. If you are a lover of onions, your urine may begin to smell like onions. 

There is usually no cause for worry because the onion smell should disappear gradually when you reduce the number of onions, asparagus, or garlic you consume.

3. Drinking Coffee

Coffee is a diuretic. It makes you pee frequently, hence, resulting in dehydration. If you take coffee or other dehydrating beverages regularly, do not be worried when your urine smells like coffee or becomes very concentrated. 

This is because the fluid and sodium needed to neutralize your urine has been flushed out by coffee.

4. Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections such as cystitis and pyelonephritis are also major causes of smelly urine. When bacteria get into the urinary system via the urethra and start to multiply in the urinary bladder, they can give your urine a foul smell. 

If urinary tract infection is the driving force behind the smell of your urine, symptoms such as a burning sensation when peeing, cloudy or bloody urine are what to watch out for.

5. Yeast Infection

Yeast naturally exists in various parts of the body. However, when they grow out of control in an area like the vagina, an infection may be triggered.

Unfortunately, the urethra is close to the vagina opening and may result in your urine smelling like the infected area. Other yeast infection symptoms include redness, itching, swelling of the vagina or vulva and the presence of a thick white discharge.

6. Sexually transmitted infection

Sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis may result in the inflammation of the urethra or urethritis. This condition is usually associated with pus and bleeding which can change the smell of your urine.

7. Kidney stones

When the salt and other minerals present in the urine combine to form stones, it is called kidney stones. This medical condition collects bacteria and can lead to infections that cause your urine to smell. Other kidney stone symptoms include back or groin pain, nausea, and frequent urination.

8. Trimethylaminuria

Trimethylaminuria (TMAU) is a rare condition that may be responsible for the unpleasant or fishy smell that accompanies your urine.

The condition can be inherited but has no known cause. It currently has no cure but there are lifestyle choices that can play down its influence.

9. Diabetes

If you are diabetic, it means your body cannot process sugar. This means you can have excess sugar in your blood or urine.

Sugar in urine can give it a fruity or sweet smell. Diabetic patients may also present symptoms such as frequent or increased urgency to pee.

10. Vitamins

Vitamin supplements are capable of changing the smell of urine especially if they are in excess. The body absorbs the right amount it needs and ejects the rest alongside your urine. This may give your urine a weird smell depending on the type of vitamin supplement.

There is nothing to worry about if your vitamins are the cause of the change in how your urine smell.

What to Do to Reduce or End The Smell

Onions are a common ingredient in many dishes and staying away from them alone is not going to stop your urine from smelling. A major and natural way to dilute your urine smell is by drinking water regularly. Cranberry juice also helps.

Please note that our body chemistry differs. The amount of water or cranberry juice you might need to dilute your urine usually depends on the individual.

Living a hygienic life by bathing thoroughly and ensuring your underwear and bedspreads are in great condition can also help.

When To See A Doctor

If after staying hydrated for a few days, your urine still smells like onions, check for symptoms such as:

  • Burning or itching sensation whenever you want to pee
  • Stomach ache
  • Blood in semen or urine
  • Fever
  • Frequent urination
  • Pus or mucus discharge from the penis

If these symptoms present themselves alongside smelly urine, you most likely have an underlying disease. Please seek immediate medical attention.

Conclusion

What goes into our body system usually determines what comes out. If your urine smells like onion or has a very foul smell, you probably have been consuming a high amount of onion or vegetables such as asparagus.

It may be time for you to reduce the number of onions in your diet or stop it completely. If there are no changes, the smell may be linked to a hidden medical condition.

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