Why Does Ketoacidosis Cause Fruity Breath

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Ketoacidosis is a metabolic state associated with high concentrations of ketone bodies, formed by the breakdown of fatty acids and the deamination of amino acids. The two common ketones produced in humans are acetoacetic acid and β-hydroxybutyrate. Ketoacidosis is a pathological metabolic state marked by extreme and uncontrolled ketosis. In ketoacidosis, the body fails to adequately regulate ketone production causing such a severe accumulation of keto acids that the pH of the blood is substantially decreased. In extreme cases ketoacidosis can be fatal.[1] Ketoacidosis is most common in untreated type 1 diabetes mellitus, when the liver breaks down fat and proteins in response to a perceived need for respiratory substrate. Prolonged alcoholism may lead to alcoholic ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis can be smelled on a person's breath. This is due to acetone, a direct by-product of the spontaneous decomposition of acetoacetic acid. It is often described as smelling like fruit or nail polish remover.[2] Ketosis may also give off an odor, but the odor is usually more subtle due to lower concentrations of acetone. Treatment consists most simply of correcting blood sugar and insulin levels, wh Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. yjen44

    Is mouth odor one of the symptoms for diabetics?

    Are there other symptoms other than thirst for diabetics? Someone said the many diabetics also have bad mouth odor. Is this true? If so, what is the remedy?


    It is true but it is more of a fruity type smell. Let sugar free life savers be your freind.

  3. drsoosie

    For about a year before the official diagnosis I would get this weird odor I could smell in the back of my throat. Sometimes a taste would accompany it, but mostly it was a sort of smell. I am a dentist so I really did not know what it could be. I thought maybe I had a post-nasal drip, or something was wrong with my stomach. Nobody could give me an answer..and it did not happen all the time. Since being diagnosed last year and being properly treated, I have not had that odor once! I also would get a dry cough..which I also attribute to my Diabetes..maybe from dehydration...not really sure.

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