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Diabetes symptoms/bad breath

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I don't want to pursue this idea. I REALLY don't.

For months now Mark has had sweet smelling bad breath and it JUST TODAY occured to me that sweet breath is often a diabetes symptom. He has nearly every OTHER potential on the list, including dry skin, constant thirst, mood swings, behavioral outbursts, strange hunger patterns, etc. I've long said that I feel a lot of his behavioral issues are blood sugar related, but I've never asked for or pursued the idea of actual hypoglycemia simply b/c it really wasn't something that seemed to fit for him.

He sucks a pacifier at night, and I boil them periodically. At first I thought it was the rubber pacis that were causing it but we've recently replaced all them with all new ones, and he often has this bad breath in the middle of the day or right before bed, when he's not had a pacifier for many hours.

Should I wait for his 4 year old well visit in late May, or should I try to at least fingerstick him myself somehow? I don't want to to a full dr. visit if I can avoid. it.
post #2 of 21
I absolutely would NOT wait until May and a finger stick may give you a false sense of security. He needs to be seen.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Even with no other acute symptoms? The behavioral stuff has been going on since he was18 months old, he's almost 4 now. I guess I'm asking if it's possible for a child/person to be diabetic and not present with major life-threatening symptoms in an emergent fashion. Would he really be "ok" for months and months and still test for it?

I'll add also that he eats nearly all the time. He eats non-stop, which I've always attributed to his oral sensory needs b/c when he's not eating he has something else in his mouth. His oral needs are pretty obvious. But he eats carbs like they're going out of style.

Damn damn.
post #4 of 21
My friend's grandson had no symptoms but sweet breath and thirst. Grandma(an RN) checked his blood sugar a few times throughout the week and he checked out ok. She apparently wasn't catching him at the "right" time. He was taken to ER one morning for a completely unrelated reason (which escapes me now), the triage nurse noticed his breath, checked his sugar and it was over 600.
I'm not trying to be dramatic and scare you but kids are sometimes not classical in their presentations.
post #5 of 21
When in doubt, you should get checked. It's really so much better to be seen and to know.

For us, the symptoms/signs began about 2 months before diagnosis - we just didn't know that they were symptoms. It was the thirst/peeing issues that made me call the doctor, and we noticed those later. And by excessive, I mean that our 2 year old would pee 3 times in 15 minutes, have no idea she was going, and literally huge amounts of pee would just pour out of her. And then she'd be fine for a few hours. It was a cycle that came and went. And her thirst would amount to drinking 3 12-ounce glasses of water in 2 minutes and still be begging for more. Again, a cycle. Same with hunger...it came and went. Some signs are highs and some are for lows, so it was her body responding to each one. At the doctor's office, she was 496. A few hours later, at the hospital, she was 60. We caught her early (meaning before she was in DKA) and she honeymooned for about 6 months. There is no way she could have gone on like this for 2 1/2 years without DKA.

If you think it's diabetes, collect a urine sample and run him in for a finger poke. It's 10 minutes. And it's well worth it.

ETA: I've never noticed DD's breath smelling odd. Her pee, yes...her breath, no. No one's ever commented on it either - goes to show how different kids can be!
post #6 of 21
I'd have the kid checked IMMEDIATELY. Every day his blood sugar is too high (it's HYPERglycemia, btw) will only cause more serious health problems in the long run.

Get some Ketostix from the pharmacy and check him for urine ketones. If he's spilling moderate to large ketones, it's a pretty good indication he's dumping sugar in his urine and will need a blood test.

I implore you not to put this off. Denying it won't make it go away, and the possibility of ketoacidocis is nothing to mess around with. Please do this for your kid, now.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
He drinks tons and tons of liquid, yes. He's always been thirsty, even as a very young toddler. And he holds his pee for hours. He still tells me every.single.time he pees, and usually wants me to accompany him, so I see that it's not more than I would consider normal. He's never had any weight/growth problems, in fact he's above the 75% and still growing. He's put on an inch or more and a few pounds since Thanksgiving.

Spero, thanks for the info about the ketostix. Is first morning pee the best for that?

He's never lethargic in fact he's the polar opposite of that. With the exception of a few weeks ago when he had the flu (103 temp, respiratory problems, etc) he's never still long enough to even take a picture of him that isn't blurry!

Naturally, tonight at bedtime when I gave him a goodnight kiss he has the freshest, best breath ever.
post #8 of 21
You can test his urine anytime.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
So I picked up some ketone strips and tested his urine after school. It came out negative. I'll do a few more randomly, today and tomorrow. His breath, after weeks of stinking and nasty, is find the last few days. If the strips show nothing worrisome, that's good, right?
post #10 of 21
Can babies have diabetes? I have noticed a sweet stinky smell to Juju's breath sometimes, but no body else seems to detect it. I didn't know that was a sign of diabetes.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yes. My friend's daughter was dx'ed at age 18 months.
post #12 of 21
I've read of babies as young as 9 months being dx'd Type 1.

I've never heard of the stinky breath being a symptom, either. OP, is it possible that your son has a sinus infection? That can cause horrible breath, too.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Sweet breath is on the list on the JDF website. My friend's daugher, now 14, had a few different symptoms but not the sweet breath. I spoke with her at length last night and feel ok about doing the test strips randomly for a week or so and then going from there.

I doubt he has a sinus infection - he's had this sweet bad breath for months now off and on.
post #14 of 21
OK, I see. "Fruity" breath odor is a sign of diabetic ketoacidocis. If you're smelling that don't let that go! DKA can be fatal within days or even hours if not treated.

However, since your son is testing negative for urine ketones that's not likely the issue.
post #15 of 21
nothing shoved up his nose or anything like that?
The ribbon from a baby dolls hair, shoved up the nostril can make the mouth and nose start to smell pretty bad after a couple of weeks. My aunt still gets woozy and watery-eyed when she tell the story of the doctor pulling that out of her daughter's nose after it had been up there awhile. The smell was enough but the buckets of pus that came with it...:Puke
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking now it's more a digestive issue than anything else. I probably need to do another round of Oil of Oregano and probiotics and perhaps watch how much dairy he's getting again.

He put raisins up his nose one day and completely freaked out until I retrieved them. Then did the same with a craft bead the next day, same freak out reaction. That was last summer, I believe. I'll check after his nap, I'm pretty sure there's nothing in there though. Good thought!

b/c the sweet breath is often am emergency issue and he's been having it off an on for such a long time now, I'm not as concerned as I was last night after I spent several hours researching and reading.
post #17 of 21
hmm, yeah, I worry sometimes that Juju is too backed up, and that is why I smell something odd about his breath. If I smell it again though, I'm going to test his urine.
post #18 of 21
B, you'd know if he was in ketoacidosis, because he would be in a coma.

CC often has weird smelling breath, for about the last year, I'd say, but it's because of her smaller passageways. I spray her with saline and that usually does it. And sometimes, she just needs a good brushing.

Anyway, again I find myself wishing we were closer, because I have two glucose monitors and a new pack of pee strips. Damn.
post #19 of 21
my son gets an odor on his breath with bacterial infection - it's not fruity sweet, more sour, but kinda like a corn smell.

it goes away with antibiotics. seems to be more associated with respiratory bacterial illness - ear infections, chest stuff, etc.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Why, Miss J, do you have such equipment? I think he's ok. I've checked him twice daily for 3 or 4 days now and he's always showing no ketones at all. I'm doing a yeast thing with OOO and we're on day 3. DIE-OFF day, it's not much fun really but it proves he was yeast-ed up again.
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