Scientists have known for a long time that type 2 diabetics are more vulnerable to blindness than their healthy peers due to the damage to the blood vessels in their eyes and the group of eye disease that can result from that.
But an article in the journal Laryngoscope now shows that another sense is even more affected by type 2 diabetes than sight.
A team of scientists examined the medical data of 978 participants in the 2013-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, all of whom were elderly or in their 50’s.
The available health information included all the markers that indicate type 2 diabetes or type 2 diabetes risk and the results of an eight-item self-administered scratch-and-sniff smell test.
Those who were the most insulin resistant were twice as likely as the least resistant to have smell dysfunction.
Blood insulin scores, fasting blood glucose levels, and glycohemoglobin (a test of long-term glucose control) did not have an effect on smell.
This meant that you could start developing smell dysfunction even before having full-blown diabetes, and that it will continue even if your diabetes is well controlled.