HomeAnswersEndocrinologydiabetic ketoacidosisDoes alcohol smell from a diabetic a sign of ketosis?

My diabetic husband smells of alcohol. Could he have ketosis?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Shaikh Sadaf

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At October 27, 2017
Reviewed AtJune 2, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

My husband is a type-2 diabetic. He takes Metformin, Januvia, and Zoloft. He smokes marijuana and cigarettes. He has been on the strongest nicotine patch for the past week, but still smoking occasionally. Twice in the past week, he smelled strongly of beer or alcohol and I thought he had been drinking. He swears he was not. I am concerned he has symptoms of diabetic ketosis. He has been acting very angry and irrational. Could this be a result of using the patch and smoking? Is the alcohol smell something to be concerned about? Should he be seeing his doctor? Is it safe for him to be driving with our children in the car? If it is symptoms of ketosis does it just go away or get worse over time?

Answered by Dr. Shaikh Sadaf


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I just read your query and from what you have mentioned, it appears that your husband has diabetes and he is trying to quit smoking.

I would like to answer each one of your questions one by one:

  1. Yes, withdrawal from cigarettes can cause the person to be highly irritable and short tempered.
  2. Regarding the alcohol smell, you must check his blood sugar and urine dipstick to be very sure he does not have high blood sugar levels.
  3. He should be seeing his doctor regarding the tests and if he tests positive for ketones in his urine and blood.
  4. If his blood sugar turns out to be uncontrolled, then he must probably wait till it gets under control to be driving with children. Also, if he is under the influence of alcohol, then it is an absolute no.
  5. The symptoms of ketosis need to be treated immediately. It does not get better on its own.

Hope you find my advice beneficial. Good luck.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Shaikh Sadaf
Dr. Shaikh Sadaf


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