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What causes foul body odor while having diabetes?

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Posted on Fri, 22 Sep 2017
Question: My husband is a type 1 diabetic. He is 65 years old. My concern is that there may be something seriously wrong with him because tonight he started emitting a horrible odor from his body. He smells like burnt rubber. What you have to understand is that my husband NEVER has any body odor at all. He doesn't even need to wear deodorant. He never stinks. I noticed a slight odor earlier this evening and then he came from the bathroom saying that the heat must be on because he can smell it. The heat was not on. We both realized the odor was coming from his skin. As the evening progressed, the odor has become so strong that it woke me up and has permeated our bedroom. I have been checking him periodically for fevers or anything out of the ordinary. He said that he feels fine but I am very worried that something is wrong. He has not eaten anything out of the ordinary. He does drink a lot, more than he should so I was concerned that maybe a kidney or liver problem is going on.
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Answered by Dr. Mirjeta Guni (8 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
About Diabetes complications;

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thank you for asking!
I can understand your concern regarding to your husband's health.
As he has type 1 Diabetes, first of all he needs to check the ketones in urine with a dipstick to rule out ketoacidos . Don't forget also to check his feet for diabetic wounds. Often they are painless and the patient is not aware of them.
If ketones are negative and no wounds can be seen, he needs some biochemical tests such as;
- AST, ALT, Bilirubine
-Full blood count
- BUN and creatinine
-Electrolytes
-Urine examination.
Hope i have been helpful and will be a pleasure to help you further.
Best wishes,
Dr.Mirjeta

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Answered by
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Dr. Mirjeta Guni

Endocrinologist

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 2414 Questions

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What causes foul body odor while having diabetes?

Brief Answer: About Diabetes complications; Detailed Answer: Hello and thank you for asking! I can understand your concern regarding to your husband's health. As he has type 1 Diabetes, first of all he needs to check the ketones in urine with a dipstick to rule out ketoacidos . Don't forget also to check his feet for diabetic wounds. Often they are painless and the patient is not aware of them. If ketones are negative and no wounds can be seen, he needs some biochemical tests such as; - AST, ALT, Bilirubine -Full blood count - BUN and creatinine -Electrolytes -Urine examination. Hope i have been helpful and will be a pleasure to help you further. Best wishes, Dr.Mirjeta