Breath that smells of ammonia may indicate kidney disease.
One of the products removed from the blood by the kidneys is urea.
Urea is a waste product that is produced in the liver as a result of burning proteins. This urea is usually filtered out of the blood by the kidneys and then expelled through the urine.
In cases where this filtration process does not work correctly, urea can be ejected via the breath. When it mixes with saliva in the mouth, urea is converted into ammonia.
This produces what is scientifically known as ‘uremic fetor’ or ‘ammonia breath’ and can be accompanied by a bitter or metallic taste in the mouth.
However, ammonia breath is not only caused by kidney problems, but can also be the result of other conditions related to the kidneys.
Low blood pressure is one example. With low blood pressure, blood flows more slowly through the kidneys and toxins can build up faster because they are not filtered out. Dehydration is another example.
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