From Denver, Colorado, USA:
My daughter is two years and two weeks old. Twice during the last few weeks she has awakened with her breath smelling strongly of acetone (not "fruity" but more like nail polish remover). Both times I have taken her to her pediatrician, and by the time we arrived in the afternoon, the smell was gone. The second time, they did a urinalysis and it was negative for glucose and ketones. I was told that she was fine, but to watch for other symptoms (she doesn't appear to have any). Diabetes runs in our family (no first degree relatives, but maternal grandfather has Type 2, along with several other family members). Could this be the beginning symptoms of diabetes and/or should more testing be done? Also, if this is the beginning, is there anything to prevent this from getting worse?
This does not sound like diabetes. "Fruity" odor to the breath can be from ketones. If ketones are from diabetes, there should be sugar in the urine. Some young children spill ketones in the urine in the morning as they break down fat during the night when they are sleeping. The first urine in the morning shows ketones which clear after the child eats food. Usually this causes no problem as long as the child does not go a long time without eating (especially if sick). Rarely, these children can have low blood sugars with ketones (ketotic hypoglycemia) if they go a long time without eating when they are sick. The way to avoid this is to encourage intake of fluid with sugar frequently when sick.
Original posting 24 Mar 1998
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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