Urinary tract infection: Symptoms include foul-smelling urine – expert


Anything that happens in the loo behind closed doors makes for a rather uncomfortable topic. However, keeping a track of what’s normal for you could help you spot any worrying changes. According to an expert, your pee could break the news of a “painful” condition.

While you might not check the toilet bowl after you just went, the smell of your pee could be a warning sign of a painful health condition.

Mr Tet L Yap, a Consultant specialising in Urology at The Princess Grace Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare UK, said: “Foul or unpleasant smelling urine should not always be a cause for concern.

“However, if it is coupled with symptoms such as a sudden urge to urinate (or more often than normal, or during the night), a burning sensation while urinating, cloudy urine, then you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI).”

UTIs crop up once the urinary tract becomes infected, usually by bacteria. This infection can target any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.

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However, most urinary tract infections involve the lower urinary tract — think bladder and the urethra.

Furthermore, women seem to be at greater risk of this “painful and annoying” condition, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Mr Yap said: “[UTIs] clear up by themselves with plenty of fluids, but in some cases, you may need to be prescribed antibiotics.

“Therefore, it’s important to see a GP who can support with treatment.”


“Pain at the sides of your tummy or groin, severe pain that comes and goes, nausea, vomiting and blood in your urine, could be a sign of kidney stones.

“Dark urine, jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), pain in your tummy, nausea and vomiting can all be indicative or liver failure.”

According to the expert, these warning signs usually require “urgent medical attention”.

To put your mind at peace, the expert shared that foul-smelling urine is often a result of lifestyle factors and doesn’t represent a medical problem.

Mr Yap said: “Often foul-smelling urine isn’t caused by a condition, but instead it can be due to lifestyle factors.

“Certain types of food and drink, like asparagus or coffee; not drinking enough fluids; certain medication and vitamin B6 supplements [could cause this sign].”

Furthermore, eating large amounts of onions or garlic could also stir up the unpleasant odour.

The good news is that avoiding these foods and drinking plenty of water could resolve smelly urine triggered this way.

If this symptom is persisting or accompanied by other signs, you should see a GP.



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