Here is what a urologist has to say about sudden-onset, foul-smelling urine.

“The most common cause of sudden onset, foul-smelling urine is food related,” says Kenneth Peters, MD, chief of urology for Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI.

Dr. Peters explains, “Ingestion of asparagus in particular will lead to a very strong odor to the urine; this will resolve after several hours and multiple voids.”


Medications, too, can leave your urine smelling bad. Dr. Peters notes that multivitamins can also have this effect, not just causing bad odor but also a dark discoloration.

Take note of any new medications or nutraceuticals you’ve been taking lately.

Don’t stop taking any prescription drugs without first consulting with the prescribing physician, but see if stopping the multivitamin resolves the problem.

“The first thing to do is increase hydration to dilute the urine, and most of the time the odor will resolve.

“Of course a bacterial infection of the urine or UTI needs to be ruled out if the odor persists; in which case individuals should see a clinician.”

Dr. Peters, in practice for 30+ years, is board certified by the American Board of Urology. One of his specialties is treating bladder pain.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.


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