What Does Diabetic Poop Smell Like? Unveiling The Aroma


Poop smells. That’s a fact of life. But when your poop has an unusually strong odor, like a sweet or fruity smell, it can be alarming. For people with diabetes, sweet-smelling poop may indicate a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) resulting from very high blood glucose levels. So what does diabetic poop smell like? Read on to learn why you may notice sweet-smelling poop or other odd smells coming from your stool when you have diabetes. We’ll also explore other potential causes of smelly poop like infections, food sensitivities, and more.

Is Sweet-smelling Poop A Sign Of Diabetes?

What Does Diabetic Poop Smell Like

So, we’ve discussed what does diabetic poop smell like. But sweet-smelling urine is another red flag for high blood sugar. When your body has a lot of extra sugar circulating that your cells can’t process properly, it gets excreted through your urine. This causes pee to smell almost like cake frosting or maple syrup.

Along with foul fruity-smelling breath, sweet urine signals that your blood sugar is too high and your body is trying to rid itself of excess glucose. If it smells sweet and sugary too often, see your doctor to get tested for diabetes. Getting on medication and/or changing your diet can help normalize your blood sugar levels.

What Does Diabetic Poop Smell Like?

When you have diabetes and high blood sugar, your poop may smell sweet or fruity, almost like nail polish remover. This sweet smell is caused by increased ketones in your blood and urine. When your body can’t get enough insulin to usher sugar into your cells for energy, it starts burning fat for fuel instead. This process produces acidic ketones as a waste product, which build up in your blood.

Ketones have a sweet, fruity odor that can be detected in your breath, urine, and yes – even your poop. But what does diabetic poop smell like exactly? The sweet scent is often described as fruit-like or similar to nail polish remover or acetone. So if you smell an unusually sweet, strong scent coming from your poop, it could signify diabetes or prediabetes.

Why Does My Poop Smell So Bad?

While sweet-smelling poop can indicate diabetes, foul-smelling poop may be caused by other factors like digestive issues, infections, food sensitivities, or smoking. Here are some reasons why your poop smells bad:

  • C. diff smell – Poop infected with C. diff bacteria often smells particularly foul, with a strong stench that’s been described as like manure or rotting eggs. This is due to gases produced by the bacteria. Other c diff symptoms include watery, frequent stools, cramping, nausea, and fever.
  • Food sensitivities – Eating foods that your body has trouble digesting like dairy, eggs, nuts, cruciferous veggies, or red meat can sometimes lead to really stinky poop. It’s your body’s way of excreting the undigested compounds.
  • Medications – Antibiotics, oral iron supplements, anti-inflammatories, and heart medications can occasionally cause noxious poop odors too.
  • Smoking – Smoking alters gut bacteria proportions in ways that increase foul-smelling poop and gas. Quitting can help normalize your poop smell.

Is Foul-Smelling Poop a Sign Of Cancer?

As aforementioned, sometimes extremely smelly poop can indicate infections, c diff, smoking, medications, or diet issues. But in rare cases, an unusually terrible poop odor, especially if persistent, can be a sign of cancer:

  • Bowel cancer – Also called colorectal cancer, this can cause constipation and the release of excess foul-smelling gas from undigested compounds sitting in your colon.
  • Pancreatic or stomach cancer – Tumors in the pancreas or stomach can block digestion, causing poop to smell extremely foul due to undigested fats and proteins sitting in your intestines.

So if you have other potential cancer symptoms like weight loss, bloody poop, abdominal pain, or fatigue, do not ignore an abnormally horrible poop smell. See your doctor to rule out cancer or get treatment if needed. With early diagnosis, bowel cancer is often curable.


In summary, when you have high blood sugar and diabetes, smelling sweet fruity scents in your poop, pee and breath are common red flags. This sweet smell is from ketones, a byproduct of burning fat for fuel when your body lacks enough insulin to process sugars normally. So what does diabetic poop smell like specifically? Often it smells sugary and fruit-like or resembles the scent of nail polish remover or acetone. Along with sweet urine and stinky breath, sweet poop signals diabetes.

Outside of diabetes, other causes of smelly poop include c diff infections, food intolerances like dairy and gluten, smoking, and certain medications. Symptoms like abdominal pain, vomiting, weight loss, or bloody stool along with extremely foul persistent poop odors should prompt an immediate call to your doctor to assess for bowel cancer. But generally, suddenly smelly poop is tied to more benign causes like diet changes, gut bugs, or stool consistency shifts.

So be aware of what your poop smells like normally. Notice changes in scent, color, and consistency. Sweet smells may mean diabetes while foul odors could indicate infections, intolerances, or very rarely, cancer. Pay attention to the smell – it provides important clues to your health! And if your poop starts smelling off, think back on any recent diet tweaks, illnesses, antibiotics, or new medications.

What might cause smelly poop besides diabetes? And is sweet-smelling pee a sign of high blood sugar? Ask your doctor if you have concerns about what your poop or urine smells like to get their take.


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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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