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Foul body odor, type 2 diabetes, heart attack, broken hip, hip replacement, shifted from crestor to lipitor. Cause?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
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my wife claims that I have developed a terrible smell, so bad that she cannot sleep in the same room. It started in late April 2011. All I can think of is that a month or so earlier I switched from one statin (Crestor) to another (Lipitor). Am also Type II diabetes but am under good control. Help! Am 73 years old, am 5-8 and weigh 183. had a heart attack in 2008 and by bass surgery then. Suffered a broken hip in 2009 which led to hip replacement this past month.
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 53 minutes later

Sometimes people with diabetes and body odor. It is like a fruity body smell.

Full blown and not treated diabetes may lead to a condition called ketoacidosis. When this happens, the patient’s skin will taste sweet and produce an instantly recognizable pungent odor. Diabetes may also cause the patient to smell like acetone. This is because of the insulin taken to cure the disease.

Long term diabetes and persistant hyperglycemia in the tissues can predispose a individual to develop serious infections in the nose , ears and the sinuses of the nose, foot infections, skin related infections, etc.

Some other conditions that need to be ruled out in a diabetes patient, that can cause severe intolerable odor include - the following:-
1. atrophic necrotising rhinitis,
2. pseudomonal infection of the ear and nose ,
3. Acute renal failure,
4. Bronchiectasis ,
5. Chronic renal failure
6. Lung abscess and
7. Zenker's diverticulum

To manage your odor, you could practice the ABC’s of any type of body odor action.
1. First, maintain a good hygiene and use soap with antibacterial agents when you wash.
2. Apply body powder or any antiperspirant to keep your body dry.
3. Keeping the body dry will reduce the amount of sweat produced and lessens production of bacteria on the skin, thereby alleviating body odor.
4. You could as well use deodorants for excessive underarm sweating and rubbing alcohol to kill bacteria on your skin’s surface.

In case these measures mentioned do not help, consulting your treating doctor for a examination and proper assessment to rule out the above medical conditions might be helpful to resolve your symptoms.

Change of medication as suggested in the history is not associated with such abnormal change in body smell.

I hope the information here, is helpful for a proper diagnosis.

I shall be available to answer any follow up questions, or any doubts that you might be having.

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