Olfactory function in diabetes mellitus.

Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Wroclaw Medical University, ul. Borowska 211a, 50-556 Wrocław, Poland. Smell and Taste Clinic, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Technical University Dresden, Fetscherstr. 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany.

Journal of clinical & translational endocrinology. 2024;:100342
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Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an increasingly common disease in both children and adults. In addition to neuronal and/or vascular disorders, it can cause chemosensory abnormalities including olfactory deterioration. The purpose of this article is to summarize current knowledge on olfactory function in DM, highlighting the impact of co-morbidities, especially obesity, thyroid dysfunction, chronic kidney disease and COVID-19 on olfactory outcomes. Research to date mostly shows that olfactory impairment is more common in people with diabetes than in the general population. In addition, the presence of concomitant diseases is a factor increasing olfactory impairment. Such a correlation was shown for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. At the same time, not only chronic diseases, but also DM in acute conditions such as COVID-19 leads to a higher prevalence of olfactory disorders during infection. Analyzing the existing literature, it is important to be aware of the limitations of published studies. These include the small number of patients studied, the lack of uniformity in the methods used to assess the sense of smell, frequently relying on rated olfactory function only, and the simultaneous analysis of patients with different types of diabetes, often without a clear indication of diabetes type. In addition, the number of available publications is small. Certainly, further research in this area is needed. From a practical point of view decreased olfactory performance may be an indicator for central neuropathy and an indication for assessing the patient's nutritional status, examining cognitive function, especially in older patients and performing additional diagnostic tests, such as checking thyroid function, because all those changes were correlated with smell deterioration.

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Publication Type : Review