An odor can be one of the greatest sensory tools for doctors, as it can help them determine a patient’s diagnosis. Of course, doctors visually examine all patients and use their hearing to listen to heartbeats, but the ability to smell a diagnosis is at the top of the list of important senses that physicians use and can be extremely useful in identifying certain diseases.
On this list, you will find that there are some diseases that release interesting smells that can be more pleasant than others. Nevertheless, the prospect of using scent as a criterion for a diagnosis is a promising one.
10. Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Unmanaged diabetes can lead to a low level of insulin production that cannot store the glucose consumed from food in the tissues. Since cells cannot use the glucose, there is no ability to create energy, which forces the body to break down fat to make energy instead of sugar. The breakdown process of fats is known as ketone.
You may be familiar with acetone, as it is widely used at nail salons, but what you may be unfamiliar with is that our bodies are capable of producing acetone through the breakdown of fats and the development of ketone. When sugar levels become high and ketone levels rise to an unsafe amount, diabetics enter a state called diabetic ketoacidosis.
The acetone created emits a fruity smell in the patient’s breath and can be detected by anyone, especially doctors. Dogs can also be trained to pick up the smell and alert the patient of high blood sugar.
9. Maple Syrup Urine Disease
Can you imagine smelling the sweet scent of maple syrup every time you use the restroom? For people who have diabetes, this smell can be experienced due to the disorder called maple syrup urine disease. The disease is an autosomal recessive metabolic disorder that affects the way patients break down amino acids.
Patients who have this disease are unable to correctly break down amino acids. The amino acids exit the body through the urine and cause this distinct odor. Currently, there is no cure for this disease, but measures can be taken to control the symptoms.