Conditions and Diseases
Diabetes
Urinary System

What causes different sweet smelling urine?

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Wiki User
2009-03-05 00:34:02

There are various causes of sweet smell in the urine. Most are

transient and due to metabolizing various foods. Sometimes strong

odor is due to highly concentrated urine when one hasn't consumed

enough water, easily fixed. Another cause is sweet smell due to

uncontrolled diabetes melitus, which can be determined through

urinalysis evaluated by a physician.

There is a rare metabolic disease called Mapple Syrup Urine

Disease , as the smell is like slightly burnt sugar - or for people

who have actually smelt mapple syrup, that is apparently what the

urine smell is similar to. The incidence of this illness is around

one in 200.000 births, with the exception of a small intermarrying

community of Northern European descent in the USA where the

incidence is much higher. This neurological condition effects

infants and children and would not present in adults.

MSUD, as it is known, is a condition where the body can't deal

with substances called branched aminoacids. One of these, called

leucine is toxic, in particular to the brain. There are various

types of the disease, symptoms range from brain disfunction and

death in the newborn period to very mild indeed. Many children will

have mental retardation, even if their MSUD is discovered early and

the metabolic doctors that care for them put them on the special

protective diet at a very young age.

Some very fortunate children are known to have normal

intelligence, this requires very good metabolic control throughout

their lifetime.

Other causes of sweet smell in the urine are very rare indeed.

One should have a talk with a doctor who specialises in metabolic

medicine if one is concerned that urine smells very different to

the usual. The tests to find out what is wrong and the methods to

fix the problem are very complex.


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