The smell of acetone breath in a child: causes of odor, treatment

Parents noticed the smell of acetone breath in a child, should consult a doctor to determine its cause. It can be a symptom of acetonemic syndrome, indicating disruption of some vital organs – the liver, pancreas or thyroid, kidney. Compared with the adult body in a child this symptom is more common and is more pronounced.

The reasons for the formation of acetone in the body

The main source of energy for the body is glucose. Once in the blood vessels of the walls of the digestive tract, it is the blood spreads throughout the body, penetrating into cells. With a significant reduction of glucose levels or the appearance of obstacles for its penetration into cells, the body goes on receiving energy from the other elements, fats and proteins. With them splitting the acetone formed that enter the bloodstream and then are excreted from the body in urine and exhaled air.

The acetone breath of a child is a bit like the aroma of pickled apples. Before the excretion of ketones, including acetone, which is toxic decay products initially oxidized, losing its toxicity. With a significant formation of acetone exceeding the speed of its oxidation and output, there is a risk of cell damage vital organs, particularly the brain.

Factors contributing to the formation of acetone

There are many factors that can be considered as the cause of the smell of acetone:

  • adherence to strict diets, a significant decrease in the concentration of fluid in the body, which leads to lower glucose levels;
  • exacerbation of a chronic disease, presence of intestinal infections;
  • endocrine disorders;
  • stressful situation;
  • diseases leading to kidney failure and liver;
  • the presence of diabetes, diseases of the teeth and gums;
  • significant load;
  • injury;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • surgery.

Ketoacidosis in adults, usually associated with complications of diabetes. In children, this phenomenon may not be due to lack of insulin in the body and usually manifests at the age of 1-13 years.

As for the smell of acetone breath in a child, the reasons for its occurrence most often are:

  • the lack of glycogen, acting as reserve of glucose in the body;
  • high mobility of children, leading to significant energy costs;
  • a low production of enzymes involved in the processing of ketones.

The formation of acetone under the influence of intestinal infections


Caused by infection a chronic disease of the intestine can lead to the smell of an acetone from a mouth of the child, as they are accompanied by an increased protein breakdown, contributing to dehydration. This symptom may also be observed when dysbiosis that triggers intestinal fermentation processes.
Partial breakdown of carbohydrates by the microflora of the digestive tract experiencing cramps, bloating, unable to leave Gaza without a corresponding smell. Appearance acetonemic syndrome with long flowing intestinal dysbiosis has more to do with violation of the liver.

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Another reason for the smell of acetone breath may be a diathesis that occur in adolescence anorexia nervosa, which results in a prolonged starvation of the child. Insufficient intake of nutrients and is accompanied by such diseases of the esophagus, as malignancy or stenosis (narrowing). Smell like acetone allocation of human and when the disease helminthiasis.

Diseases of the liver and kidneys

These bodies are responsible for cleaning the body from toxic substances. Purification occurs through filtration of blood in the liver and kidneys, the formation of toxins with subsequent excretion from the body. In cases of severe chronic disease of these organs fail in their functions, which leads to accumulation of harmful metabolic products, including acetone. In addition to the characteristic odour it is possible to increase the size of the liver, yellowness of the skin, pain in the right hypochondrium and lumbar region.

The impact of SARS on the occurrence acetoneiso syndrome


The appearance of acetone breath in children is often noted in diseases of ENT organs and respiratory. It occurs due to the acceleration of metabolism and a poor appetite that causes increased disintegration of protein and adipose tissue with subsequent increased concentration of ketone particles in the bloodstream. These diseases are often accompanied by such symptoms as vomiting, diarrhea, high body temperature.
This condition usually poses no danger to the child itself takes place after the cure of the disease. Prevention acetonemic syndrome in children with insufficient supplies of glucose is to ensure intake of sufficient amount of glucose and liquids in the form of heavy drinking.

Endocrine disorders

Baby’s breath sometimes smells like acetone when disorders of the thyroid and pancreas glands. Excessive production of hormones in hyperthyroidism speeds up metabolism, accompanied by a sudden increase in body temperature, lethargy, or excessive anxiety. With thyrotoxic crisis may also be marked by abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin, possible aggravation of the state of development of psychosis or hypoglycemic coma.

In these cases require urgent treatment to correct dehydration, edema increased production of hormones, support the liver and kidneys. Disorders in the pancreas also can cause the baby smell of acetone. This occurs as a result of its participation in the processing of ingested food or because of a strong nervous feelings associated with stress.

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Diabetes, dental and other diseases

Diabetes in children is much rarer than in adults. Due to the decrease in the level of insulin in this disease there is a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism. Contained in blood sugar is not supplied to the cells, causing diabetic ketoacidosis.

The symptoms of this condition are the following:

  • weakness;
  • loss of sleep;
  • fatigue;
  • constantly thirsty;
  • the sensation of pruritus;
  • frequent urination.

The condition can be exacerbated by vomiting, abdominal pain, depression of consciousness, perhaps even falling into a coma. If you experience diabetic ketoacidosis need prompt treatment in hospital.

Why the child has a nasty acetone smell in diseases of the teeth and tissues of the oral cavity is clear – it is the result of rapidly reproducing pathogenic bacteria. Do not start inflammatory processes in dental tissues, gums and mucosa of the oral cavity. Timely access to a dentist will help prevent many complications, including to eliminate bad breath.

Rarely (in approximately 2-3% of children), the accumulation of acetone in the body occurs in the development of neuro-arthritic diathesis, violations of metabolism with genetic background. It occurs more frequently in girls, is manifested by abdominal pain, vomiting, pain of the joints. Usually, symptoms are observed until the child reaches the age of 10, and then pass.

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The odor of acetone in infants

The smell of acetone breath in infants is uncommon. Its appearance should really alert parents and requires immediate treatment to the pediatrician to determine the cause of this phenomenon. You need a full examination of the newborn, and in the presence of serious diseases, appointment of adequate treatment.

Why breast baby smells like acetone, can be:

  • stomatitis caused by candidiasis (in this case the baby’s mouth, especially the tongue and gums, covered with bloom white);
  • the peculiarities of nutrition of the mother, leading to content in breast milk substances that encourage the acetone smell;
  • the use of artificial nutrient compounds that the digestive organs of infants are not able to completely digest;
  • application for feeding the baby not clean nipples and bottles.

Diagnosis of acetonemia

To check the presence of acetone in the urine is possible at home. For this purpose, special tests sold in pharmacies. It is most accurate during the testing period in the morning. The diagnostic strip is lowered into the urine for 30 seconds. Staining (purchase a pink or purple hue) indicates the level of acetone in biological fluids.

When in doubt, even in the absence of staining strips better to recheck the results in a medical facility, passing examination – medical and laboratory. It must be remembered that a high concentration of acetone leads to intoxication and dehydration, threatening not only health, but also the child’s life.

Treatment acetonemic syndrome

Therapeutic measures at acetonemia aimed at the replenishment of glucose in the child’s body and bring ketones. It is important to start treatment at the first signs of increasing levels of acetone in the blood. To increase the glucose will allow the use of sufficient amounts of sweet liquids, e.g. juice, tea with honey.
To not have repeated vomiting, you need to drink 1 teaspoon every 5 minutes. An infant or older child in need of fluid intake at night. Additionally you need to give non-carbonated mineral water and rice water.

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If necessary, the treatment is carried out intravenous drip infusion of therapeutic drugs. The first step is to treat high levels of acetone can drugs APSCO, Regidron, Smectite, improves the elimination of toxins from the body and normalizes acid-alkaline balance. Then for recovery, the normalization of the liver and pancreas are appointed Stimol, Betalin, Kreon.

Baby you can’t get there. When you see the appetite, you can feed him vegetable puree, vegetable soup, to give a baked Apple, cookie.

To maintain normal levels of acetone and relapse prevention acetonemic syndrome should follow a diet, avoiding the use of:

  • carbonated beverages;
  • offal;
  • smoked, fried or spicy;
  • fatty foods, including sour cream;
  • chips;
  • and mustard sauces;
  • dishes containing legumes and cauliflower.

The power of the child in the first two to three weeks should prevail vegetable soups, cooked with water, mashed potatoes, rice porridge. In the second week you can enter into the diet of boiled or baked lean meats, crunches. In two week there will be fresh vegetables. In order not to overload the body, new foods are introduced gradually.