Pee Smells Like Ammonia

Cloudhands

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So since i started upping my protein, my urine has a strong cleaning product smell. Should I be worried? Has anyone else experienced this?
 

Jam

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It happens when getting more protein than one is used to. My sweat smelled like cat litter (ammonia) one morning shoveling snow for 3 hours straight after eating a ton of protein (huge steak, etc.) at dinner the night before.
 

Cloudhands

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Its been going on for over a week now. When i pee my girlfriend can smell it from outside of the bathroom hahaha
 

tankasnowgod

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Well, urine should smell a bit like ammonia, as that's the way we eliminate it. But if it's really strong and not transient, that could signal some issues.

You could lower protein intake, or try adding taurine. There's other methods to lower ammonia discussed on the forum (like biotin, B1, ceylon cinnamon, ornithine, etc)

If it's a really strong scent and consistent, it probably means you are wasting a lot of protein/amino acids.
 

Cloudhands

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Well, urine should smell a bit like ammonia, as that's the way we eliminate it. But if it's really strong and not transient, that could signal some issues.

You could lower protein intake, or try adding taurine. There's other methods to lower ammonia discussed on the forum (like biotin, B1, ceylon cinnamon, ornithine, etc)

If it's a really strong scent and consistent, it probably means you are wasting a lot of protein/amino acids.
Ill try adding taurine. I also want to mention, i pee a lot, like once an hour and it smells very strongly. Ill have to look more into it.
 

yerrag

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To start with, I think that the more urine one excretes, the more it will smell from the quantity. But it's not just the quantity, but urinating a lot comes from the immune system either fighting an infection (low-level, internal meaning not in the gut but in the blood and in the ecf, or even intracellular, and not tested for as tests don't ID all pathogens) or itself dealing with itself in producing inflammation as it protects the body from toxins. Toxins could be heavy metals, LPS, immune complexes etc.

In my own experience, which I won't say applies to everyone, it's more likely due to infection that one urinates a lot. I would take antibiotics and then see if the urination rate would lower. I've been in a condition where I would urinate every 45 minutes, and came from a "no side-effect" proteolytic enzyme. I took it to lyse plaque from my blood vessels, but it released a lot of bacteria from the lysed plaque. As well as immune complexes.

The immune system would do its job of killing the bacteria, and a lot of water would be produced from this process which involves phagocytosis and with it producing ROS for the respiratory burst. I would check my CBC and look at my Wbc and neutrophils and monocytes to see if the values indicate a high degree of low-level Infection (low level means no fever involved).

I've also used chlorine dioxide recently, and found iit effective although it raised inflammation because I used too high a dose (90 ppm instead of 30ppm at 1ltr/day) and also because I have an immune complex condition in my kidneys which would be sensitive to the inflammatory effects of chlorine dioxide).

Usually though, to make things more conventional, I'd take antibiotics and see what happens. If the infection is a recurring issue, the you'd have to find a more natural form of antibiotic that doesn't confer resistance on the bacteria.

p.s. I think also that resolving the infection, or maybe the infection itself, causes acid to be produced, and if there's a lack of alkaline minerals in your system, the kidneys have to convert glutamate to make ammonium, which is needed to pair with an acidic anion to excrete acid through urine. So this may be why your urine smells a lot of ammonia. If you had more potassium stores, and potassium were used instead of ammonium, then your urine may not smell so much.
 
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Cloudhands

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To start with, I think that the more urine one excretes, the more it will smell from the quantity. But it's not just the quantity, but urinating a lot comes from the immune system either fighting an infection (low-level, internal meaning not in the gut but in the blood and in the ecf, or even intracellular, and not tested for as tests don't ID all pathogens) or itself dealing with itself in producing inflammation as it protects the body from toxins. Toxins could be heavy metals, LPS, immune complexes etc.

In my own experience, which I won't say applies to everyone, it's more likely due to infection that one urinates a lot. I would take antibiotics and then see if the urination rate would lower. I've been in a condition where I would urinate every 45 minutes, and came from a "no side-effect" proteolytic enzyme. I took it to lyse plaque from my blood vessels, but it released a lot of bacteria from the lysed plaque. As well as immune complexes.

The immune system would do its job of killing the bacteria, and a lot of water would be produced from this process which involves phagocytosis and with it producing ROS for the respiratory burst. I would check my CBC and look at my Wbc and neutrophils and monocytes to see if the values indicate a high degree of low-level Infection (low level means no fever involved).

I've also used chlorine dioxide recently, and found iit effective although it raised inflammation because I used too high a dose (90 ppm instead of 30ppm at 1ltr/day) and also because I have an immune complex condition in my kidneys which would be sensitive to the inflammatory effects of chlorine dioxide).

Usually though, to make things more conventional, I'd take antibiotics and see what happens. If the infection is a recurring issue, the you'd have to find a more natural form of antibiotic that doesn't confer resistance on the bacteria.

p.s. I think also that resolving the infection, or maybe the infection itself, causes acid to be produced, and if there's a lack of alkaline minerals in your system, the kidneys have to convert glutamate to make ammonium, which is needed to pair with an acidic anion to excrete acid through urine. So this may be why your urine smells a lot of ammonia. If you had more potassium stores, and potassium were used instead of ammonium, then your urine may not smell so much.
Do u think that instead of infection causing a rise in acid it could be the increase of protein could cause a positive nitrogen balance increasing acid, causing the kidneys to increase urine to excrete it?
 

yerrag

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Do u think that instead of infection causing a rise in acid it could be the increase of protein could cause a positive nitrogen balance increasing acid, causing the kidneys to increase urine to excrete it?
I'm not familiar with an increase in protein causing a positive nitrogen balance. Care to explain the mechanism further?
 

Cloudhands

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Well i just googled it and it seems to be a thing, heres what its says "Large amounts of protein have a diuretic effect. Nitrogen is a bi-product of protein metabolism and is toxic. So, the body responds by pulling water from the tissues to flush it out. This is what leads to frequent urination and excessive thirst." @yerrag
 

yerrag

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Well i just googled it and it seems to be a thing, heres what its says "Large amounts of protein have a diuretic effect. Nitrogen is a bi-product of protein metabolism and is toxic. So, the body responds by pulling water from the tissues to flush it out. This is what leads to frequent urination and excessive thirst." @yerrag
It's a very broad statement though. If it applies to all, then those consuming plenty of protein would have to pee a lot. But the problem with googling, is the information is not so usable. You can start experimenting based on that and reduce your protein intake and see what you arrive at. There may be a chance it reduces your urination, but you'd also have to consider the long term effect of doing that. I don't rely on Google for the top answers that show up, but still rely on it to dig through piles of mountain garbage to find gold though.
 
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I think positive nitrogen balance just means you're ingesting more nitrogen than you're excreting.

The sulfur containing aminos, methionine and cysteine, do increase acid load in the body, but if you're ingesting a lot of potassium, like yerrag suggested, it shouldn't be a problem.

Maybe your urea cycle isn't handling the ammonia from the increased protein intake. I believe every whole protein( as in from food) releases some ammonia when it's being broken down. Ornithine, like tanka mentioned, is good at lowering ammonia. Another substance that does that is manganese, which, like ornithine, is present in the urea cycle.
 

Cloudhands

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I think positive nitrogen balance just means you're ingesting more nitrogen than you're excreting.

The sulfur containing aminos, methionine and cysteine, do increase acid load in the body, but if you're ingesting a lot of potassium, like yerrag suggested, it shouldn't be a problem.

Maybe your urea cycle isn't handling the ammonia from the increased protein intake. I believe every whole protein( as in from food) releases some ammonia when it's being broken down. Ornithine, like tanka mentioned, is good at lowering ammonia. Another substance that does that is manganese, which, like ornithine, is present in the urea cycle.
Would lowered ammonia cause it to be excreted via urine? I eat lots of pineapple and this has tons of manganese in it. Heres a picture of the diet for context of what high protein means for me
 

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Would lowered ammonia cause it to be excreted via urine? I eat lots of pineapple and this has tons of manganese in it. Heres a picture of the diet for context of what high protein means for me
Your manganese intake should be good then.

In terms of lowering ammonia, some substances cause it to be eliminated in the urine, while others don't. Ceylon cinnamon, I think, just chelates the it( through benzoic acid) and then excretes it. On the other hand, if the ammonia goes through the urea cycle( which things like ornithine, manganese, biotin, etc. boost), then it won't actually be excreted unchanged, because it will be turned into urea( which, unlike ammonia, is pretty much non- toxic.), and then it will be eliminated in the urine.

I actually just remembered that bicarbonate is also very important for neutralizing ammonia, so taking some baking soda or potassium bicarbonate( away from protein- containing meals) could help.
 

Jam

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Yeah. Since I find the ammonia smell highly repulsive, especially if I'm the one smelling like a cat litter box, I've gotten into the habit of taking 1/4 tsp of potassium bicarbonate + 1/4 tsp of sodium bicarbonate the morning after a high-protein dinner. Has not happened since. Another thing that can help wrt getting rid of ammonia is Yucca Schidigera root.
 

Blaze

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So since i started upping my protein, my urine has a strong cleaning product smell. Should I be worried? Has anyone else experienced this?
I would not suspect an underlying medical condition or infection based on what you describe. Ammonia, is a waste product made by your body during the digestion of protein. Normally, ammonia is processed in the liver, where it is changed into another waste product called urea. Urea is passed through the body in urine.
If you have increased your protein intake (which is very dehydrating) your urine has now become a lot more concentrated - you will probably be successful in reducing or eliminating that odor just by substantially increasing your water intake. Or lower protein intake. Excess protein is something Peat speaks against and is a burden on the body's metabolism as any excess makes the body work harder eliminating excess ammonia which the liver must labor to convert to urea.
 
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mostlylurking

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Would lowered ammonia cause it to be excreted via urine? I eat lots of pineapple and this has tons of manganese in it. Heres a picture of the diet for context of what high protein means for me
Pineapple is high serotonin. Bananas are high serotonin. Whey is a waste by product from the cheese industry and contains a lot of tryptophan which = high serotonin if it isn't converted properly to niacin. Muscle meat is high in tryptophan which = high serotonin (same as the whey). Romaine lettuce increases endotoxin which increases serotonin. There's a theme running through this you might consider.

A Ray Peat quote: ...ammonia molecule mimics the effects of serotonin, especially in fatigue, this could be involved in lithium’s antiserotonergic effects. Ammonia, like serotonin, impairs mitochondrial energy production (at a minimum, it uses energy in being converted to urea), so anti-ammonia, anti-serotonin agents make more energy available for adaptation. from here: Thyroid, insomnia, and the insanities: Commonalities in disease

search engine that's helpful: PeatSearch: a Ray Peat-specific search engine - Toxinless

Thiamine helps clear ammonia too.
 
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Cloudhands

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Pineapple is high serotonin. Bananas are high serotonin. Whey is a waste by product from the cheese industry and contains a lot of tryptophan which = high serotonin if it isn't converted properly to niacin. Muscle meat is high in tryptophan which = high serotonin (same as the whey). Romaine lettuce increases endotoxin which increases serotonin. There's a theme running through this you might consider.

A Ray Peat quote: ...ammonia molecule mimics the effects of serotonin, especially in fatigue, this could be involved in lithium’s antiserotonergic effects. Ammonia, like serotonin, impairs mitochondrial energy production (at a minimum, it uses energy in being converted to urea), so anti-ammonia, anti-serotonin agents make more energy available for adaptation. from here: Thyroid, insomnia, and the insanities: Commonalities in disease

search engine that's helpful: PeatSearch: a Ray Peat-specific search engine - Toxinless

Thiamine helps clear ammonia too.
Just curious, what do you eat? I balance my whey with enough collagen and dont eat purely muscle meat (ground beef). I dont believe the seritonin in bananas and pineapple are really an issue. Pineapples have actually be found to be extremely pro-thyroid! You could be right, but none of this ammonia smell happened until i increased my protein intake, and until then i was still eating romaine, pineapple and banana.
 

Atma

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I recently noticed a strong smell from my urine after eating dinner which includes plenty of seafood. I sensed it was probably due to the large amount of protein after relatively low protein/fruit eating during the day time. I'm going to try smaller amounts and see if it helps, then once I run out of seafood move to milk as my main protein source as even seafood is starting to become off putting, will update...
 

S-VV

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Ammonia due to protein excess is handled primarily by the liver and rapidly converted to urea.

The kidneys on the other hand, locally generate and expell ammonia in the urine to regenerate blood bicarbonate. So the greater the acid load in your body, the more bicarbonate will be needed, and as a result, more ammonia will appear in the urine.
 
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