What Does It Mean When Your Urine Smells Like Fish?

Have you ever noticed a fishy smell coming from your urine and wondered what’s up with that? You’re not alone. This isn’t just a random oddity; it actually can be a clue about what’s going on in your body.

Why Does My Urine Smell Fishy?

It Could Be Something You Ate

First things first, let’s consider your diet. Foods like seafood, asparagus, and even coffee can influence the odor of your urine. If you’ve had a seafood-heavy meal recently, this might just be your answer. However, if the smell persists or you haven’t indulged in anything out of the ordinary, there might be more to the story.


When you don’t drink enough water, your urine becomes more concentrated. This can lead to a stronger, sometimes fishy smell. It’s your body’s way of telling you to drink more fluids.

Possible Medical Reasons

  1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): UTIs are notorious for causing your urine to have a strong, unpleasant odor. They occur when bacteria, often from the skin or rectum, enter the urethra and infect your urinary tract. You might also experience burning during urination, frequent urges to urinate, and cloudy or bloody urine.
  2. Trimethylaminuria (Fish Odor Syndrome): This rare genetic condition causes a defect in the body’s ability to break down trimethylamine, a chemical compound derived from certain foods. As a result, the compound builds up and is released in your sweat, urine, and breath, leading to a strong fishy smell.
  3. Diabetes: Sometimes, poorly controlled diabetes can cause your urine to have a sweet or fruity odor, but if there are other issues like a concurrent infection, it might also appear fishy.
  4. Liver or Kidney Problems: Liver or kidney issues can also affect the smell of your urine. If these organs aren’t working properly, toxins can build up in your body and lead to a change in urine odor.

How to Address Fishy-Smelling Urine

So, what should you do if you notice this change? Firstly, consider increasing your water intake to see if the smell diminishes. If the problem persists or if you have other symptoms like pain, fever, or changes in urine color, talk to your healthcare provider. They might recommend urine tests to check for infections or other conditions.

FAQs on Urine Odor

1. Can medications change the smell of my urine?
Yes, certain medications, vitamins, and supplements can cause changes in urine odor. If you’ve started a new medication and noticed a change, it could be related.

2. How much water should I drink to help with urine odor?
It’s generally recommended to drink about eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

3. Are there any home remedies for a fishy urine smell?
While increasing fluid intake can help, especially if the smell is due to foods you’ve eaten or mild dehydration, it’s important to use home remedies with caution. If the condition is due to an infection or other health issues, medical treatment will be necessary.

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