Conditions That Cause Foul Smelling Urine

Type 2 Diabetes

 If left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to consistently high blood glucose levels. When your blood sugar stays up for a prolonged period, it will start “rotting”. By rotting, I mean the body will start breaking it into ketones. Again, the body does not need high ketone levels. It will use some to break down glucose into energy and eliminate excess ketones and glucose through urine. This can lead to urine with a sweet or fruity smell.

Liver Damage

If your liver is not working properly, the serum ammonia levels in your blood can become dangerously high. When excess ammonia is eliminated through urine, you can experience foul-smelling urine. Excess ammonia in the bloodstream can also lead to dark urine.


Cystitis occurs when bad bacteria accumulate in the bladder, making it inflamed. When there is little or no good bacteria to maintain balance in your bladder, urine colour and odour might change. In most cases, the urine might smell like sulfur.

Latest posts by Barbara Santini (see all)

Barbara is a freelance writer and a sex and relationships adviser at Dimepiece LA and Peaches and Screams. Barbara is involved in various educational initiatives aimed at making sex advice more accessible to everyone and breaking stigmas around sex across various cultural communities. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys trawling through vintage markets in Brick Lane, exploring new places, painting and reading.

MS, University of Tartu
Sleep specialist

Using the acquired academic and professional experience, I advise patients with various complaints about mental health - depressed mood, nervousness, lack of energy and interest, sleep disorders, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts and anxieties, difficulty concentrating, and stress. In my free time, I love to paint and go on long walks on the beach. One of my latest obsessions is sudoku – a wonderful activity to calm an unease mind.

Anastasia Filipenko is a health and wellness psychologist, dermatolist and a freelance writer. She frequently covers beauty and skincare, food trends and nutrition, health and fitness and relationships. When she's not trying out new skincare products, you'll find her taking a cycling class, doing yoga, reading in the park, or trying a new recipe.

Latest from Ask the Expert