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This Morning: Type 2 diabetes can be 'devastating' says expert

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Sweet-smelling urine can be a sign of type 2 diabetes, confirmed the NHS. However, there are other possible reasons why pee could be more smelly than usual – what are they? Smelly pee could be linked to the foods and drinks you’ve been consuming lately. For instance, coffee, asparagus and garlic are known to make urine smell more strongly.

It could also be a sign of dehydration, especially if the colour is a dark yellow – this can be remedied by drinking more water.

Vitamin B6 supplements have also been linked to more smelly urine, buying citalopram as well as other medications.

“Smelly pee on its own is not usually a cause for concern,” said the NHS, but there are times when it warrants medical attention.

For example, if you have smelly pee and:

  • There’s blood in your pee;
  • you have lower tummy pain;
  • you have pain in your back, under the ribs;
  • you feel tired and unwell;
  • you feel confused or agitated;
  • your temperature is very high, or you feel hot and shivery;
  • your temperature is very low;

then the NHS advise you to call 111 or to request a doctor’s appointment.

If, however, you have sweet-smelling pee and it’s accompanied by an increased need to go to the toilet more often, it could be due to high blood sugar.

The only way to get an accurate diabetes diagnosis is to get a blood test booked by your doctor.

Your doctor (i.e. GP) will be able to make sure the blood test monitors blood sugar levels if you ask them to check for diabetes.

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can develop gradually, so people might not realise that something is off.

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For example, high blood sugar can lead to feelings of excessive thirst, frequent urination and fatigue.

However, if you’ve been feeling this way for a long while, you may mistake it as your “normal”.

It’s very important to get a diabetes diagnosis if needs be, otherwise the condition can lead to further health complications.

Untreated high blood sugar can lead to heart disease, a stroke, nerve damage or blindness.

It can also lead to foot infections and sores, kidney troubles, and sexual dysfunction.

To help prevent such health complications, diet and exercise are two key areas to focus on.


“There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods,” said the NHS.

It’s best to reduce the consumption of sugar, fat and salt and to eat more fruit and vegetables.

The NHS might be able to cover the costs of a dietician if you’d like extra support in this area.


Physical activity directly helps to lower blood sugar levels, and people should aim for 2.5 hours of exercise every week.

In order for the activity to count, you must do things that get you slightly out of breath.

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