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Why does my sweat smell like sweet?

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Critical Care Specialist
Practicing since : 1992
Answered : 1607 Questions
My sweat smells sweet, very sweet, its weird, its been happening for the last week or so, am worried :/ i have been tested for a bunch of stuff recently as of in july, including diabetes and all came negative, my tests were actually pretty good, I am also vegetarian, kinda, i eat fish sometimes but i have been eating deli chicken breast for the past couple of weeks and I also drink fresh fruit juices everyday and have added pineapple to my juice as of last couple of weeks too which i dont normally have. I read on the internet, sweet smelly sweat can be related to an infection, so i am really worried, would i have other symptoms if was an infection? on my tests i done in july, the doctor said there was a bacteria in my vagina canal thing but it was under control an for me not to worry cos my body would take care of it, and as there was no different smell or pain, any other signs of anything thats what i did, am wondering if that cud have progressed? would i noticed if it did? i mean, nothing has changed there is still no sign of anything if still there. i dont know, i just know that this sweet smell is not normal. thanks :)
Posted Fri, 2 Nov 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Sadiq Mughal 2 hours later
Thanks for your question.
Its unlikely that the sweet smell is due to an infection. There are some disorders which can lead to such a smell. The most common one is lactic acidosis.
Lactic Acidosis occurs when the level of lactic acid in blood stream increases faster than it can be removed. Symptoms include nausea and weakness and sweet smell on breath or skin. The most common cause of lactic acidosis is intense and prolonged exercise, this is due to the fact that lactic acid levels increase as oxygen levels decreases.
Other causes are;
Respiratory failure
Kidney failure and
Its unlikely that you have any of the above disorders. We would also like to run some blood tests are done to check electrolyte levels.

Treatment is focused on correcting the underlying cause.

As for as bacteria in your vaginal canal is concerned ,there are many bacteria in vagina and they are normal commensal of the vagina and you don’t have to worry about them.
Hope I answered your question.
Let me know if you have any more questions.
Get well soon

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Why does my sweat smell like sweet? 8 hours later
Hum ok, thanks :) well I am not very active so cannot be long prolonged exercise. Could it be something new in my diet? Well i do know I don't have aids and don't seem to be having respiratory failure, could I have cancer or a kidney problem?? Is there other sysmptoms for those? Am worried
Answered by Dr. Sadiq Mughal 2 hours later

Thanks for follow up.

Yes, there are few other symptoms associated with all those conditions and I am happy to know that you don't have many of disorder. However occasionally they can be asymptomatic and needs battery of test for diagnosis.

1. To rule out any kidney problem, go for investigation like ultra sound of abdomen, blood urea and serum creatinine.
2. Ruling out cancer and metabolic disorder is little difficult and needs complete screening of your body system.

I understand your concern. In your case, metabolic disorders seems more likely than cancers; so do not be worried. You are advised to consult some metabolic disorder specialist, so that he/she can investigate in detail.

As far as diet is concerned, yes, there are some reports that relate food to smell of the body. However we do not have enough scientific evidence to confirm those reports.

Hope I answered your queries.
Please close this discussion if all your queries are answered.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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