From Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA:
My 14 month old adopted daughter has excessive body odor. I need to bathe her everyday or she smells sweaty. She had a stomach virus a month ago and completely quit eating and drinking, a blood test showed that her glucose level was 40 mg/dl [2.2 mmol/L], and they thought it may be off because she was dehydrated.
The doctor suggested that she have this re-tested at her one year appointment, but a different doctor said that it wasn't necessary. Last night, she was ill again with vomiting and I noticed the sweaty smell even stronger. Should she be tested for a form of diabetes?
Diabetes does not cause a sweaty odor as you describe this in your child. With high sugars and excess fat breakdown, ketones occur which can be detected with a blood or urine test as well as by the presence of a fruity odor from the acetone. (Nail polish remover has acetone.) True sweat excess occurs with early androgen production prior to classical pubertal changes and is a different odor.
I would agree that this is not likely diabetes, but you should consult with your pediatrician once again if this persists or if you have some further questions or doubts. Sometimes a consultation with a pediatric endocrinologist would also be helpful.
[Editor's comment: Ketones can also occur when the body is starving such as after vomiting. SS]
Original posting 10 Oct 2001
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:26
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