HealthSweet scent and persistent hunger. Subtle diabetes symptoms you should never ignore

Sweet scent and persistent hunger. Subtle diabetes symptoms you should never ignore

What symptoms does diabetes give?
What symptoms does diabetes give?
Images source: © Licensor

10:44 PM EST, January 15, 2024

As one of the most prevalent metabolic disorders, diabetes can cause a change in body odor - in a very specific way. This is due to the onset of ketoacidosis, which arises when the body doesn't have enough insulin to metabolize glucose effectively.

In such a situation, the body starts to tap into fat reserves for energy, producing ketones by the liver. As ketones accumulate in the blood, they give it an acidic nature.

The body odor in this state is often described as sweet and fruity, and it's a noticeable symptom of diabetes, especially when combined with another particular symptom - the smell of acetone on the breath.


Poliphagia is a medical term used to describe a persistent, insatiable hunger. This can lead to consuming food in quantities that greatly exceed the body's energy needs and should not be mistaken for emotional eating. It's a physiological state, not a behavioral one.

It's most commonly associated with uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes, and despite a high food intake, weight loss is typically observed.

The patient feels the urge to eat even shortly after a meal, which stems from glucose not being adequately absorbed by the body's tissues. A key symptom of diabetic polyphagia is difficulty in gaining weight.

Frequent urination

Diabetes can trigger polyuria. On average, an adult urinates between 4 and 8 times a day, expelling about 13.5 fluid ounces each time.

These numbers are estimates — actual figures can vary based on several factors: gender, health status, body temperature, climate, fluid intake, and dietary habits.

However, if you notice a substantial increase in your urination frequency, and you're unsure of what's causing it - this could be a symptom of diabetes.

If you observe any of these symptoms, it's advisable to consult a doctor.

Related content