Before digging into “How Diabetes Type 2 Affects Urine Odor?” we’d like to first cover normal urine odor.
What’s considered normal urine odor?
Your urine or pee is a way for your body to get rid of extra water. In addition, your body tries to flush out a lot of unnecessary materials through your urine.
The urine contains a chemical called ammonia, which sometimes gives your urine a strong odor (smell). Urine is a way for the body to get rid of things that might be harmful to it or might be building up in excess within the body.
Normally, your urine is yellowish in color and has no specific or somewhat strong odor.
What happens to urine odor in diabetes?
Something strange happens to the urine odor for type 2 diabetes. The urine starts smelling “sweet or fruity”. Why does the smell change?
Your body needs sugar to accomplish all your daily activities. This sugar comes from the food you eat. To turn this sugar into energy, your body relies on a hormone called “insulin”. Think of insulin as a messenger that signals your cells to convert sugar into energy.
But in diabetes type 2, your body stops responding to the insulin in your body. Your insulin is still there but it does not work the way it is supposed to. It’s the same as getting a key stuck in a door lock. The key is there but it’s not functioning the way it should. This is what happens in diabetes type 2 as well.
As already mentioned, the main function of insulin is to decrease blood sugar levels by signaling body cells and turning them into energy.
Once your bodies insulin fails to perform its function, your cells do not get the signal to turn blood sugar into energy and your blood levels of sugar start to rise.
Once your blood sugar levels are high enough, your body cells start breaking sugar into another chemical called “ketones”. Think of it as if you forgot that you left a fruit in your kitchen cabinet, it will rot. Similarly, your blood sugar starts to rot and ketones are produced as a result. When this happens, the body tries to get rid of all the extra sugar and ketones. One way for your body to do that is to eliminate them via urine.
Something to note about ketones, their chemicals have a sweet fruity smell. So when sugar and ketones appear in urine, they give urine an abnormally sweet or fruit like smell.