The smell of acetone in the urine: the causes and what to do

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 27.11.2021

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If a person does not have health problems, then his urine should not be distinguished by any unpleasant foreign odor. Therefore, the smell of acetone in the urine should always alert. Of course, it is not necessary to immediately assume the presence of the disease: it is necessary to undergo examination - perhaps, the odor of acetone in the urine is related to the nature of nutrition or previously taken medications.


The odor of acetone in the urine is diagnosed more often in women than in men (more than 3%).

Most often, the odor of acetone in urine is found in small patients between the ages of one to four.

The odor of acetone in the urine is considered to be the most common abnormality, which is revealed during the general analysis of urine.

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Causes of the odor of acetone in the urine

The smell of acetone in the urine (in medicine - acetonuria) appears as a result of an increase in the number of ketone bodies in the urinary fluid. Ketone bodies are found massively as a result of insufficient oxidative processes of lipids and proteins.

The presence of the odor of acetone in the urine is far from every person means the presence of the disease. There is even an indicator of the permissible content of ketone bodies - this is 25-50 mg / day.

The development of acetonuria may be affected by such risk factors:

  • malnutrition, with the dominant use of proteins of animal origin;
  • use of insufficient amount of liquid, "dry" starvation;
  • prolonged fever, protracted infectious diseases, dehydration of the body;
  • excessive physical exertion;
  • taking medications that have an indirect effect on the organs of urination and the pancreas.

The odor of acetone in the urine of women is often associated with a variety of diets, which are checked by a representative of the fair sex. For example, prolonged protein and low-carbohydrate diets, as well as "dry" fasting can lead to the predominance of the odor of acetone in the urine.

Additional reasons for detecting the odor of acetone in the urine can be:

  1. an increase in the insulin level in the blood;
  2. fever;
  3. viral diseases;
  4. general anesthesia;
  5. pathology of the thyroid gland (thyrotoxication);
  6. poisoning - for example, alcohol;
  7. comatose and precomatous condition;
  8. extreme exhaustion of the body;
  9. anemia;
  10. serious problems in the digestive system (oncology, stenosis);
  11. conditions associated with periods of indomitable vomiting;
  12. gestosis of pregnant women;
  13. head trauma.
  • The odor of acetone in the urine of a child can be a consequence of an incorrect function of the pancreas. The essence is that the development of the children's digestive system is gradual and slow. Due to certain factors, iron can experience an unbearable load for it, as a result of which enzymes are produced incorrectly, which is manifested by the odor of acetone in the urine. Similar reasons may be:
    • overeating, eating "on dry" or "on the run," frequent use of harmful food with chemical additives and carcinogens;
    • fears, psycho-emotional stress, frequent overexcitation in the child;
    • uncontrolled administration of antibiotics;
    • ARVI, influenza, acute respiratory infections, hypothermia;
    • allergic processes, helminths.
  • The odor of acetone in the urine of an adult male can be caused by malnutrition, or pathological causes:
    • diabetes mellitus;
    • alcohol intoxication, poisoning with phosphorus compounds, lead, etc .;
    • precomatous condition;
    • stenosis of the digestive system, malignant formations in the digestive organs;
    • the influence of chloroform;
    • head injuries.

In all situations, when such a smell appears in the urine, it is necessary to visit a medical specialist and conduct a full diagnostic course.

  • The odor of acetone in the urine of the infant is mainly associated with impaired functional processes in the pancreas. Digestive organs in children are improved up to 12 years of age, therefore in the first months and years of a child's life his digestive tract in most cases is not yet ready for exercise. Early lure, overeating (too frequent or abundant feeding), too rich composition of breast milk from the mother - any of these factors can provoke the appearance of the odor of acetone in the urine. In addition, other possible reasons can not be ruled out:
    • fright, excessive emotionality of the child;
    • overwork;
    • diathesis;
    • helminthic invasions;
    • antibiotic therapy;
    • overheating or overcooling.

If a child smells of acetone in the urine, then in no situation can you delay with a visit to the doctor. The earlier the cause of this condition is found, the more favorable will be the further prognosis for the health of the baby.

  • The odor of acetone in the urine during pregnancy often appears during the period of toxicosis - for example, with frequent vomiting and inability to eat normally or even drink water. The woman's body is dehydrated, accumulation of ketone bodies takes place, which reveals itself with the odor of acetone in the urine. Additional provocative role is played by psycho-emotional loads, weakening of the body's defenses, inaccuracies in nutrition, and pressure of the growing uterus on the digestive organs - in particular, on the pancreas.
  • The odor of acetone in the urine of women in the morning can have a connection with a pronounced impairment of renal filtration function - in particular, with congestive pathology. Such stagnation can occur and through the fault of the woman herself: strict diets, small volume of consumed liquid, starvation. An additional common cause may be the lack of exercise habits of the majority of office workers. To eliminate the odor of acetone in the morning, which is caused by these reasons, it is enough to balance the diet, double the amount of liquid being drunk, and establish sufficient physical activity.
  • The smell of acetone from the mouth and urine in the overwhelming majority of cases indicates the presence of diabetes mellitus - in such a situation, the doctor should be promptly addressed. In diabetes mellitus, the amount of sugar in the blood is steadily increasing, but cells lack it, because sugar can not penetrate into the cellular structures due to insulin deficiency. To solve the imbalance problem, the body begins to break down fats - as a result, the level of acetone rises.

The strong, sharp odor of acetone in the urine in diabetes mellitus can be caused, both by the high content of sugar in the blood, and by its decrease. Therefore, in order to prevent the increase in the concentration of ketone bodies and not to cause the development of coma, patients with diabetes should constantly and carefully monitor the level of glucose.

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In adult patients, the odor of acetone in the urine in most situations is due to Type II diabetes, which is especially often developed in individuals prone to obesity. The walls of the cells have a large number of fats in their composition, and with a general increase in body weight, these walls thicken and lose sensitivity to the action of insulin. As a rule, in such a case, to cure a person from such diabetes, doctors recommend to normalize weight and eat foods with a limited content of simple sugars.

In addition, the odor of acetone in the urine of an adult can also occur for other reasons - for example, when losing weight sharply, with oncology, with thyroid disease, with excessively strict diets, or with fasting.

At the child the smell of acetone in urine can be caused by such condition, as acetonemic syndrome. Many people confuse such a syndrome with diabetes, but these are not at all equivalent concepts. Acetonemic syndrome is a reversible process that occurs with errors in the child's nutrition, with viral and bacterial infections, with fatigue or stress. If you eliminate the cause of such a syndrome, then the smell of urine will soon return to normal.

trusted-source[9], [10], [11]

Symptoms of the odor of acetone in the urine

If the odor of acetone in the urine is associated with a disease such as diabetes, the first signs will indicate a change in the balance of sugar in the blood:

  • there will be thirst, dry mouth;
  • frequent urination will be disturbed, the amount of urine released will increase;
  • the skin will become dry and dehydrated.

Only 2-4 days after the appearance of the first signs (in the absence of necessary treatment), other symptoms are revealed that indicate an increasing ketosis:

  • signs of general intoxication with acetone compounds (attacks of nausea and vomiting, sharp odor of acetone from the mouth and in the urine, frequent shallow breathing);
  • signs of an intoxication load on the CNS (headache, apathy, mood instability, development of precomatous and coma);
  • signs of abdominal pathologies (pain and abdominal pain in the abdominal cavity, dyspepsia, tension of the abdominal wall).

If the odor of acetone in the urine is associated with some other disease and condition other than diabetes, the first signs will match the clinic of the underlying disease.

Complications and consequences

Directly acetone or ketones in the urine are not particularly dangerous for the human body. Normally a certain amount of these substances is necessarily present in the blood and urine. This amount depends on the characteristics of nutrition, on general health indicators, and on the level of psycho-emotional stress.

However, the ever-increasing level of ketoacidosis may result in the development of a coma, during which the blood sugar level exceeds 13 mmol per liter, and ketones reach more than 5 mmol per liter, which can be toxic to the brain. The combination of a high level of acetone with an increased amount of glucose in the blood is considered very dangerous, and requires immediate medical correction.

trusted-source[12], [13], [14], [15]

Diagnostics of the odor of acetone in the urine

In order to objectively assess the presence of acetone in the urine, you need to pass laboratory tests. In the pharmacy chain, you can purchase special test strips, with which you can independently measure the level of ketones. They are sold without a special recipe. Such strips are impregnated with a special compound, which changes its color when it comes into contact with acetone. Two minutes are enough to evaluate the results. The most insecure is the value on the test strip of 15 mmol - if this happens, then visit a doctor as soon as possible.

The most popular test strips are:

  • Uriket;
  • Ketogluk;
  • Ketophane.

It should be noted that the odor of acetone in the urine is not a pathology, but only an indirect sign that can indicate both a disease and a peculiar deficient state of the body. Therefore, different methods may be required for diagnosis, depending on which disease is suspected.

So, the doctor can prescribe additional tests: blood biochemistry, general blood and urine analysis, determination of sugar level, coprogram (for evaluation of pancreas and liver function).

Instrumental diagnosis is limited mainly to ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity, urinary organs, thyroid gland.

trusted-source[16], [17]

Differential diagnosis

Differential diagnosis when there is an odor of acetone in the urine should be performed between all diseases in which this symptom occurs. The doctor should carefully collect the anamnesis, taking into account the nature of the patient's diet, the peculiarities of his lifestyle, etc. First of all, the doctor excludes the presence of diabetes, endocrine system diseases, kidney diseases.

Treatment of the odor of acetone in the urine

Do not prescribe treatment before the final diagnosis is made. To get rid of the odor of acetone in urine, you need to know exactly the cause of this phenomenon.

Often, to normalize the quality of urine and remove the odor of acetone, it is enough to adjust the diet and the regime of the day.

Correction of the regime of the day implies the establishment of a quality and full sleep, the obligatory presence of physical activity - for example, in the form of walking or morning gymnastics. If the odor of acetone in the urine was detected in the baby, it is very important not only to provide the child with normal motor activity, but also to sharply limit the baby's stay in front of the TV and computer. Do not recommend excessive physical and mental stress: for the time being better to exclude additional school activities, training.

Considering the possibility of sports, preference should be given to athletics and swimming.

Correction of the diet should look like this:

Not recommended:


  • Salo, fatty meat.
  • A by-product.
  • Fat broth.
  • Marinated products.
  • Fatty sour cream.
  • Chocolate, coffee, cocoa.
  • Citrus fruits.
  • Vegetables, greens, fruits.
  • A small amount of honey and homemade jam.
  • Kashi.
  • Broth from vegetables.
  • Gallet biscuits, biscuits.
  • Incomplete tea, jelly, compote.

It should be abandoned semi-finished products, carbonated drinks, canned food, chips, as well as from dishes from fast food restaurants. Proper nutrition largely determines the quality of treatment, so do not neglect it.


Adsorbing preparations

Used to eliminate the main symptoms of intoxication: activated charcoal in the amount of 10-30 g at a time, with a lot of water, enterosgel 1 tbsp. L. With a glass of water, three times a day. Caution: with an overdose of these drugs, it may be difficult to defecate.

Substitution solutions for liquids

Apply to restore the acid-base balance: rehydron take 5-10 ml / kg of weight, isotonic sodium chloride solution is injected intravenously from 20 to 100 ml per day / 1 kg of weight.

Antiemetic drugs

Cerucal, Metoclopramide normalize the tone of the digestive organs. Take in tablets of 10 mg to 4 times a day. Antiemetic drugs can affect the course of the menstrual cycle in women, as well as cause changes in blood pressure.


Assign with intoxication, dyspepsia, violations of fat metabolism - 1 st. L. Up to 4 times a day, with water. It is not recommended to take vitamins simultaneously with Polyphepanum, as they may not be enough to digest.


Complex preparations - Alphabet Diabetes, Doppelgerz Active, Gepar Active, Oligim, Bloomax - contribute to the regulation of metabolic processes, strengthen immunity. Take according to the instructions.


Hepatoprotector, which is prescribed for toxic damage to the liver, poisoning (including alcohol). Standard take 0.5-1.5 g for 0.5-1 h before meals. Methionine has a specific smell and taste, which in some patients can cause a vomiting reflex.

Physiotherapeutic treatment

If an odor of acetone in the urine is detected, the use of physiotherapy is possible only when the final diagnosis is made. The purpose of such treatment is to improve metabolic processes, prevent vasoconstriction, accelerate peripheral circulation. At the discretion of the doctor, the following procedures are possible:

  • Intensive thermal action - paraffin and mud applications, solux - accelerate metabolism and improve trophism of tissues.
  • Sincardial massage (synchronous-cardiac massage) - for 10-15 minutes daily, for two weeks.
  • The diadynamic currents with a two-phase fixed modulation are 100 Hz.
  • Electrophoresis of vitamins (nicotinic acid 0.25-0.5%), UHF therapy.
  • Balneotherapy - alkaline, sulphate and hydrogen sulphide baths.

When there is an odor of acetone in the urine, it is undesirable to perform UV irradiation, apply electrophoresis with novocaine, use impulse currents - at least until the underlying disease is identified.

Alternative treatment

  • Prepare an infusion of birch buds: 1 tbsp. L. The kidneys are insisted in 500 ml of boiling water for several hours. Take three times a day for 100 ml.
  • Brew 15 g of bay leaves in 150 ml of boiling water, insist for an hour. Take 50 ml three times a day.
  • Grind in a meat grinder 500 g of lemons with peel, 150 g of garlic and 150 g of parsley greens. The mass is kept in the refrigerator for 14 days, after which it takes 1 tsp. 30 minutes before each meal.
  • They drink compote from blueberries and mulberries - during the day, at least 3 times a day.
  • Daily eat fresh tubers of earthen pears - 1-2 pcs.
  • Incorporated in the diet cooked green buckwheat.

Alternative healers recommend adding garlic, horse-radish, beets, beans to the dishes, as well as drinking more liquid - in addition to simple drinking water, you can prepare herbal teas and decoctions.

trusted-source[18], [19], [20], [21]

Herbal Treatment

As an aid in the appearance of the smell of acetone in the urine, you can use herbal treatment. Medicinal plants are well combined with diet, as well as with many medications that are taken under the supervision of a doctor.

From a huge list of herbal remedies it is recommended to give preference to such herbs and plants:

  • a leaf of a bilberry - accept in the form of the present on 100 ml up to five times a day before meal;
  • a sheet of strawberries - they make and drink instead of tea one cup a day;
  • oats - infusion (100 g of oats per 600 ml of boiling water) are drunk 100 ml four times a day before meals;
  • root of a dandelion, a leaf of a nettle - accept in the form of the present on 100 ml three times a day before meal;
  • a sheet of black elderberry - prepare a decoction and drink 150 ml throughout the day;
  • rhizome burdock - drink in the form of infusion for 1 tbsp. L. Up to 4 times a day;
  • grass horsetail, grass of the bird's hills - take 400 ml of infusion per day.

A normalizing property that regulates metabolic processes in the body is also possessed by other plant components: rhizome of ginseng, leuzea extract, tincture of zamaniha, extract of Eleutherococcus.

With the smell of acetone in the urine will also help fresh juice from potatoes, white cabbage, raspberries, pears and cornel.


Homeopathy helps to normalize blood glucose levels, improve blood quality, purify the urinary system, maintain the body's functional capabilities. Dosages of drugs are prescribed individually, which depends on the constitution, age of the patient, and also on the underlying disease.

  • Aconite - will help if the odor of acetone in the urine is caused by diabetes.
  • Sekale cornutum - is prescribed for vascular pathologies.
  • Kuprum Arsenikosum - relieves the excess in the urine of ketones.
  • Fucus - is used if the odor of acetone in the urine is caused by alimentary reasons.
  • Bryonia - will help if the smell of acetone in the urine is a result of stress and phobia.
  • Argentum nitricum - is prescribed for unbalanced and incorrect nutrition.
  • Iris - used for pathology of the endocrine system.
  • Echinacea - allows you to eliminate ketonuria.
  • Acidum lacticum - used in diseases of the urinary system.
  • Calorie fluoride - prevents the development of diabetic glomerulosclerosis.

Surgical treatment with the appearance of an odor of acetone in the urine, as a rule, is not carried out.


To prevent the appearance of the odor of acetone in the urine, it is very important not to forget about an active and healthy lifestyle.

  • Moderate physical activity will stabilize lipid and carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Contrast shower, swimming contribute to hardening and improving metabolism.
  • A full sleep of 7-8 hours a day will provide the body with sufficient rest and recovery.
  • Walking in the fresh air will strengthen the body, increase immunity and prevent anemia.
  • Proper drinking with sufficient liquid will prevent dehydration and help avoid the appearance of an odor of acetone in the urine.

Avoid stressful situations, do not overcool and do not overheat in the sun. If the smell in the urine appears repeatedly, it should be at least 2 times a year to diagnose the whole organism.

trusted-source[22], [23], [24], [25]


The smell of acetone in the urine always indicates a problem in the body: in order to clarify the cause of this unpleasant phenomenon, it is necessary to conduct a thorough diagnosis. Therefore, a doctor's consultation should become mandatory. If you seek medical help in a timely manner, you can avoid many complications and adverse consequences.

trusted-source[26], [27], [28]

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