Diabetes archives

Ketone? odor

Posted by Helen David on February 07, 1999 at 23:10:27:

Hi Walt-
My husband has an odor that seems to be a ketone smell, sort of like acetone, but not quite. It sort of smells like the odor from a rubber pad I have to rest my iron on when it is hot. He has always had this odor off and on since I have known him, but recently it has become much stronger. If I enter the bedroom after he has been there for awhile, the odor is very strong. His breath has the odor but his clothes also retain it. My kids would never borrow his clothes because of this. (good for him, I guess).

I am trying to think of any changes in his lifestyle in the past little while and the only thing I can think of is he started taking Lipitor a few weeks ago for high cholesterol.
He also started a part time job at the beginning of January where he does a lot of walking outdoors. But as I said, he has has this weird smell for at least the past 18 years, but now it is even stronger.

I assume it is an abnormal product of metabolism and that something is not quite right. Any ideas.

Thanks for any info. Helen

Follow Ups:

Re: Ketone? odor

Posted by Karel on February 08, 1999 at 06:23:23:

In Reply to: Ketone? odor posted by Helen David on February 07, 1999 at 23:10:27:

The ketone odor normally occurs with diabetics. Did he check his blood/urine sugar?

Diabetes or Low-Carb eating?

Posted by RocketHealer Jim++ on February 08, 1999 at 07:50:55:

In Reply to: Ketone? odor posted by Helen David on February 07, 1999 at 23:10:27:

Diabetes was mentioned below. There are two kinds of ketosis that I've heard of. I'm not a doctor. And I don't play on on TV.

In diabetics, there is a dangerous form of ketosis. Possibly called keto-acidocis. It involves not only ketones in urine and the breath, but it also messes up the blood pH, and can be life-threatening.

In otherwise "normal" folks, there is a "desirable" form of ketosis achieved only by eating a very low-carbohydrate diet. See the many books by Dr. Atkins for how to do this.

In the diet-induced ketosis, there is often a disagreeable attitude that goes along with it. I guess the extremely low-carb diet really gets to folk's psychie :-) And/or operating the brain on ketones instead of sugars affects it's programming/operation toward the ugly side.

My understanding/opinions, of course.

Re: Ketone? odor

Posted by Walt Stoll on February 08, 1999 at 11:04:17:

In Reply to: Ketone? odor posted by Helen David on February 07, 1999 at 23:10:27:

Hi, Helen.

Jim & Karel have a point. However, it would be easy to check it out. You can get little strips at the pharmacy (no prescription) that will alow you to test his urine for ketones. If they are high, he needs to be worked up for diabetes.

Also it is likely that his medication (Lipitor) is triggering something in his genetic constitution that could be causing this whereas it would not in someone else.

If you both have not read the package insert for this drug (shame on you) do so at once. It is likely that something like this is mentioned there. If THAT is the cause, he must stop it at once.

Of course, there are MUCH better ways to get his cholesterol down to normal than "cutting the wires to his doorbell" with some symptom relieving drug.

Let us know what you find out.


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