Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsDiabetes · 4 weeks ago

Do people with diabetes always smell sweet, someone with knowledge help me please? Could she have been referring to anything else?

Okay so I was around my friends house and her mum was watching some crime program and on the drama they had someone on it who was described as 'having a funny smell coming off them'.

And the mum said 'diabetes gives off a sweet smell so it could be that'.

I have diabetes and I found what she said quite hurtful and it really humiliated me.

I always thought 'a sweet smell' with diabetes only occurred when blood sugars were extremely raised, then the breath may give of a sweet like smell, others nothing.

And call me pathetic but all I keep thinking is great now they think people with my health problem stink of sugar

Could she have been referring to when the blood sugars are raised?

3 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago
    Best Answer

    The smell that your friend's mum was referring to is actually from the breakdown of fat, which occurs when a diabetic doesn't have sufficient insulin available.  (The breakdown of fats occurs because you need insulin in order to be present so that glucose can be 'transported' from the bloodstream into the body's cells, where it is used to create energy, thereby keeping you alive.)

    The breakdown of fats results in a process called ketoacidosis.  The smell is similar to acetone/nail polish remover, and once a diabetic gets to this stage they are in urgent need of emergency medical attention or they could very quickly begin to suffer from Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) which is a life-threatening situation.  (The sufferer would need to be admitted to hospital for intravenous insulin AND fluids (saline solution) as things can very rapidly deteriorate.

    Ketoacidosis DOES only occur when blood sugar (glucose) levels are raised very high.

  • 4 weeks ago

    That can only happen when sugars are running very high or high levels of ketones, if the diabetes is controlled good ie (blood sugars are normal) then there is nothing. She may have been referring to that.

    Otherwise, the ignorance is 10/10.

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Load of nonsense, the Mother does not know what she is talking about.

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