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Edward Johnson
Edward Johnson, U.S. Army Medic
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10760
Experience:  U.S. Army Medical Services Corps, and Special Forces Med School, Ft. Sam Houstan, Tx; EMT U.AK
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I dont understand why my urine smells. My husband says it smells

Customer Question

I dont understand why my urine smells. My husband says it smells like cheese/cheetos. Gross I know. I have no symptoms. I am tired, but I work alot. Coul it be caffeine? I don't eat asparagus, I dont have burning when peeing and no lower back pain. Please help, it makes me nervous.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Edward Johnson replied 8 years ago.



Thank you for your question.


Many of the foods, beverages, and spices that we take in can often cause an odor in our urine.


For example:

  • Fish and Meats
  • Asparagus (you have already noted)
  • Coffee
  • Curry

and so forth.


When what we consume is digested, it goes through chemical change in our bodies. In some cases, changing to a completely new chemical.


For example, when Asparagus is digested it breaks down to a point where certain enzymes are released and they inturn release a chemcial called methyl mercaptan. The methyl mercaptan is then filtered out of the blood by the kidneys. It is thought that it is this chemical you smell when you eat Asparagus.


The same process is at work when you eat these other items.


Cheese is not a common urine smell that is evident in research.


a number of conditions and diseases can cause urine odor.


You can rule out coffee very easily by not drinking any for 24 hours. If the smelly urine stops, then you know it is the cofee.


You could then start a long process of eliminating food and spices from your food. One way to do it quick is to switch to a very light diet for 24 hours of nothing but clear liquids and broth, jellow and salads with nothing but lemon juice. If the smell goes away, then most likely it is something you consumed.


BUT befoe all of that, any delay in treating a serious medical condition can make it become more serious. So I recommend that you get cleared of a any disease or condition. You could for example have a bladder infection asymptomatically.


The following medical conditions are known to caus a change in urine odor:



Ketoacidosis (not like, this would be a fruity smell)

Cystisis (bladder infection)

Kidney stones (If you had passed as tone, you would know is extremely painful)

Vitamins and other medication you may be taking (especially B6 or foods high in B6)


One other possibility. Your husband says that he smells it, but yuou do not?


I mean have you peed in a glass and smelled it seperately?


Odor from vaginal infections are sometims mistaken for smelly urine, because the smell is noticed when you use the toilet. The area is confined by your undergarmetns until you sit down to pee.


Also, if your husband is the only one who smells it, the problem could be that he may have a sinus infection or deficiency that causes him to experience the smell of odor. Sinus conditions are known to be the cause of some persons smelling phantom odors.