Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Continuing with my learning process. I did not know what this was. OK, I did not even have a clue. But I googled diabetes fruity putrid smell. Why?

About 3 years ago, hubby had this strange smell about him. I thought it was during the period when he was incontinent and I just assumed it was coming from the depends he was wearing. But he got past that, past depends, and still had this strange smell. Sort of fruity. A bit like sweet pickle juice maybe. But it was strong enough that it made me feel sick to my stomach.

Then there was an episode of NCIS where the young guy in the morgue who has diabetes said that he had that order when his sugar was high. And that episode stuck with me.

Today, I walked into our bedroom and definitely smelled that smell again.

Hubby's last A1c was 7.3. That's down from 9.2. He's been high for at least the last 3 years on his A1c.

A fruity odor to the breath occurs as the body attempts to get rid of excess acetone through the breathing. This is a sign of ketoacidosis, which may occur in diabetes It is a potentially life-threatening condition. Usually in type 1, but in rare cases, it can occur in type 2 diabetes. The body is uable to process and use glucose properly. High glucose levels.

The body burns fat for the cells to use for energy. Results in production of harmful acids called ketones. High levels of ketones can poison the body leading to diabetic ketoacidosis.

Hubby's phosphorus levels are normal. As with all of his labs, they tend to be inconsistent with anything required to make a diagnosis of something else.

If the fruity smell remains, I will have him ask his doctor about it.

Once again, today, he said that he just wanted to die. He is tired of being tired. I don't thinkhis anemia is improving at all. And that can't be good. I asked him to call his doctor and ask him to run newlabs. We'll see if he does that or not.


Lynn Barry said...

My thoughts are with you as you wait and see and worry and wonder. HUGS

Michael Hoskins said...

That fruity breath smell often happens when a PWD is high, not necessarily in DKA. But if you're talking about overall body odor that has that odor, it sounds more likely to be DKA and that's something serious that should get a call to the doc ASAP. (acronym heavy here, it seems). Anyhow, good luck.

Diabeteswife said...

Michael, I understand what you are saying. I know that DKA is serious. I also know that my husband is not about to see a doctor about a "fruity odor". I'm hoping you can understand that. It is his decision, not mine. And I consider his refusal to notify his physician of things like this part of his being non-compliant. And when a diabetic person refuses to be compliant, there is little a spouse can do to assist them. A little, but only a little.