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Urine Odor
July 2003

Q. For about the last 2-3 months, my urine has had a very unusual odor. It smells like very strong ammonia. I have tried different experiments with drinking and eating different things and nothing seems to change, even if I drink literally a gallon of water. Do you have any suggestions?

A. This is not a common symptom. Starting with a visit to your family doctor would be worthwhile. An exam and some simple lab tests can check kidney function, check for a urinary tract infection, and look for other metabolic problems such as diabetes. Diet components and medication can affect the odor of the urine, so it was wise to try changes in diet and fluid intake.



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