The breath may smell of acetone. This is mainly seen in children who are ill, but also in adults. There are several causes for this. Some are harmless, but sometimes there is more going on, such as diabetes. People who are losing weight sometimes also suffer from a nasty acetone smell from their mouth.
Breath smells like acetone
Acetone is a solvent that we know from, among other things, nail polish remover, contact glue and disinfectant. Acetone can also be formed in the body, which is sometimes poisonous. The breath smells like acetone. Parents immediately recognize their sick child by that smell, and diabetes patients are familiar with it.
Child sick: breath smells like acetone
A sick child or a child who is about to become ill is often easily recognized by the breath that smells like acetone. The child himself does not notice much of it, but parents notice the sharp smell. How does this happen? First, there may be an infection with a bacteria or virus. Bacteria in particular can spread a nasty odor that comes out through the breath. Depending on the type of bacteria, the breath may smell like acetone. In addition, sick children often drink less and do not want to eat properly. These two can also cause an acetone odor. The bad smell will disappear automatically as soon as the child is better. The message is to take good care of yourself. It is not always necessary
to keep a child who smells of acetone at home. Some children may smell like acetone but otherwise feel fine. It is important that the child drinks enough, because dehydration can also cause the smell of acetone. If the child goes to school, give him/her enough to drink and discuss with the teacher that he or she may ensure that the child drinks (for young children).
To fall off
Dieters also sometimes produce an acetone odor from their mouths. This is especially common among people who follow the Atkins diet. This is caused by ketosis. The body needs carbohydrates to break down fat. When too few carbohydrates are eaten, the body will switch to fat burning. Because there are too few carbohydrates (= glucose, therefore energy) available for fat burning, ketones are released from fat molecules. Ketones can provide the brain with energy, while fatty acids cannot. The entire process is called ketosis and causes an odor of acetone in the urine and in the breath.
Ketosis also occurs during heavy physical exertion, when there is too little glucose available to provide all cells with energy. That is why it is always recommended to eat some carbohydrate-rich food before exercising.
There are quite a few pros and cons of a low-carb diet. Some claim that this diet is bad, while its proponents run away with it. It is important not to follow a low-carbohydrate diet for too long. The liver may have difficulty with ketosis. Moreover, it is not good to follow a low-carbohydrate diet for a longer period of time. The body needs a good balance between carbohydrates, proteins and fats. A good ratio is 50 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent proteins and 20 percent fats.
In addition, an acetone odor can also occur due to dehydration. People who lose weight are often also inclined to drink less. This is good if you leave out the soft drinks. The body needs an average of 2 liters of water per day. So keep drinking enough.
Ketosis also occurs with diabetes and is accompanied by an increased blood glucose level (hyperglycemia). The glucose level has become so high that the body is no longer able to counteract this increased value due to a shortage of insulin. The body cells cannot absorb glucose even though they do need energy. The body switches to burning fats, which releases ketones. This gives an acetone smell from the mouth. Many diabetes patients regularly smell of acetone.
Ketoacidosis is a combination of dehydration and highly elevated blood sugar levels. The patient can fall into a coma and even die. It is important that diabetes patients are under the supervision of a doctor and receive insulin when necessary. People who suspect diabetes should have this checked by a doctor. Diabetes is a disease that is becoming increasingly common.