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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
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Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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Sometimes my urine smells like metal. What could this be?

Customer Question

Couple of times a month my urine smells like metal. Should I be  concerned?

Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Deborah replied 10 years ago.

Are you eating asparagus?
Urine normally has a strong smell first thing in the morning, as at this time it is very concentrated. If you are at all dehydrated, as you may well be after being in a warm bed for several hours, there can be the distinctive smell of ketones in the urine as well as by-products from certain foods that you may have eaten the night before. Asparagus is a typical example of a substance that is passed through the kidneys into the urine that gives a powerful odour, but even medication such as penicillin may do this too. In addition there are many other substances such as nitrates and phosphates in the urine that can colour it and give it a distinctive odour. The more dilute your urine is and the blander your diet, the less you will notice these smells and this simply means drinking lots more water: up to eight glasses a day if necessary.

If the problem persists, make an appointment with a urologist for a urinalysis, especially if you have pain, burning or difficulty urinating.