Why Does My Urine Smell Like Sugar Puffs?

Urine that smells sweet like sugar puffs can indicate severe glucosuria from diabetes. If too much glucose is in the blood, large amounts can spill over into the urine, according to Cowart and Stachura in “Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations.”

The kidneys play an important role in glucose homeostasis and process almost 180 grams of it per day, reabsorbing about 90 percent back into the bloodstream. Whatever is not reabsorbed is excreted into the urine in a process called glucosuria, explains Cowart and Stachura.

Glucosuria is a normal finding when the amount is less than 25 milligrams per deciliter. Larger amounts of sugar in the urine ranging between 50 and 300 milligrams per deciliter can indicate too much glucose in the blood, which occurs in diabetes. In this disease, glucose transporters in the kidneys become oversaturated, permitting a lot of glucose to spill into the urine, notes Cowart and Stachura.

Because so much glucose is processed daily by the kidneys, new therapies for Type 2 diabetes target the renal glucose transporters. A new class of medication called SGLT-2 inhibitors block glucose reabsorption in the kidneys, allowing it to spill into the urine, causing glucosuria and a subsequent decrease in the amount of glucose in the blood, states Drugs.com.