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"What causes urine to smell like garlic?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat causes urine to smell like garlic?


I'm the father of a 7-year-old girl, and I've noticed that after she uses the bathroom it smells like garlic. I think the odor is coming from her urine. Could there be something wrong with her that's giving her urine a garlic smell?


Changes in our urine's appearance, frequency, and smell can often alert us to an infection, disease, or some other process going on in the body. It can also be a source of anxiety as it often gets us worried that we have something that may be dangerous. Urine problems in children are most often evaluated by their pediatricians. Unfortunately, urine smelling like garlic is not a sensitive sign for anything specific. Urine can change it smell when you have a urinary tract infection (fowl) or if the patient has developed diabetes (sweet). Changes in the appearance of the patient's urine is also helpful. If the urine is red it can mean blood in the urinary track, a blood disorder, muscle damage, or even eating beats. Urine that is black can be due to liver damage and urine that is frothy is due to protein being dumped. The good news is that urinalysis is a very simple test that you pediatrician can do very easily in office with fast results that may be able to give you an answer. If nothing is found, and your daughter's kidneys are okay, she might just need routine follow up. Only her pediatrician can determine for sure. Good luck.

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