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June 29, 1999

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Question from America On-Line:

I have just recently been diagnosed with diabetes. I am curious about a possible side effect that is occurring with me and I hope you can answer this question or lead me in the direction of finding it myself. Can diabetes cause certain odors in the urine, such as a burnt rubber smell? I have never heard of such a symptom, but this is happening with me.

Answer:

Diabetes per se is not associated with any particular smell in the urine unless there is heavy ketonuria (ketones in the urine) when there may be an acetone smell. Many foodstuffs give the urine a characteristic odour, e.g. asparagus.

KJR