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  #1  
Old 12-08-2008, 08:12 AM
C3 C3 is offline
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Vinegar body odor

What causes someone to smell like vinegar when they sweat? My little boy (2) has a very strong vinegar smell - to the point that I have to wash his bedclothes almost daily, because he sweats at night and his sheets smell. We keep him clean - it's just his scent.

I know that certain diseases can cause specific odors. He has a doctor appointment next week (for an asthma work-up - he's had symptoms since he was a few weeks old) and I'm going to ask the doctor about it. Is this an obvious symptom of something?

Or, is there something in his diet that might be causing it? Is there a food that's known for making someone smell vinegary?

Short of bathing him every hour, I'm not sure how to fix this.
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2008, 08:36 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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A doctor's visit is in order. That is not a normal child smell.
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2008, 08:49 AM
C3 C3 is offline
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I agree that this isn't normal and it will be something I speak to the doctor about next week (as I mentioned). I've found, though, that doctors tend to be dismissive of vague symptoms ("Huh, yeah, sounds weird. Give him more baths and see how that goes.") I was sort of hoping there was something out there that one of you knew about that I could ask specifically about.
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2008, 08:53 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Yeast infection
Bacterial infection
Diabetes
Those are ones I can think of.
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2008, 08:59 AM
C3 C3 is offline
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Cool...thank you. That gives me three specific things to ask about and we can go from there. If anyone else knows of others, I'd be interested in hearing them.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2008, 11:50 AM
Verminary Verminary is offline
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Another thing you might want to do is have your son skip his baths for a day or so before the doctor visit, and possibly even bring in a bundle of his vinegary-smelling pajamas or bedclothes so that the doctor can experience the odor directly.
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2008, 04:56 PM
Springtime for Spacers Springtime for Spacers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verminary View Post
Another thing you might want to do is have your son skip his baths for a day or so before the doctor visit, and possibly even bring in a bundle of his vinegary-smelling pajamas or bedclothes so that the doctor can experience the odor directly.

No idea whether it's the same thing, indeed I never knew what it actually was........ A few years ago my feet got really sweaty and vinegary smelling. I puit it down to the hot weather and changed my socks more often. When it got to the point that I was changing my damned socks three times a day the penny dropped that this wasn't actually normal. On a whim I tried soaking my feet in hot salty water and luckily it did the trick. IANAD but it may be worth a shot.
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2008, 05:25 PM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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I don't want to alarm you, but put a liver test on the list for the doctor. A co-worker with hepatitis often smelled like vinegar or ammonia, and sometimes like antifreeze. I don't know if it was his breath or his sweat.

I like Verminary's idea of taking some unwashed clothes or your son's pillow along to the doctor's office.

Hoping for a simple explanation with an easy fix.
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2008, 05:41 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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Another consideration is that YOU arent smelling things right.

Not trying to scare you but, but if its a smell OTHERS can't smell it means one of several things.

Its your imagination.

Its there, but its no big deal and you have a really good sniffer.

Its there and real and the doctor figures out whats "wrong" with the kid.

You smell it, but its not so much in your "imagination" or a really sensitive sense of smell, but a mental processing defect.

One of the classic signs of serious real physical "brain problems" is odd or unusual smells.

A friend of mine had a TIA (brain stroke) and one of the first things she "noticed" was a burning smell that WASNT there.

So, if you say there is a smell there and nobody else can smell it....it might be YOU....and more importantly...it might NOT be your imagination.

Not trying to scare you...just wanting to cover all possible bases here

good luck!
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2008, 05:54 PM
C3 C3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billfish678
Not trying to scare you but, but if its a smell OTHERS can't smell it means one of several things.

Luckily (or maybe not), my husband can smell it, too.

I'm not too freaked out by this, because my son is otherwise (well, except for the respiratory stuff), very healthy. He eats normally, drinks normally, pees normally, and has lots of energy. He's also been tested for cystic fibrosis and a host of other genetic stuff because of the respiratory problems (he was hospitalized three times as a baby, which led to major tests), so I'm sure it's not something like that. He has had yeast infections before, so I think that's probably a big possibility, although he doesn't have any sort of rash or anything. I'm going to throw Harmonious Discord's possibilities out to the doctor, though, and see if anything sticks.

Although, if anyone comes along and says, "Oh, yeah, a diet high in milk and peaches could cause that," that would be very helpful.
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  #11  
Old 12-08-2008, 06:28 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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I'm betting you're smelling propionic acid, which is produced by propionibacteria, and smells a lot like acetic acid.

It's common in adolescents, and not uncommon in some pre-adolescents & adults. It tends to reside in the sebaceous glands, which are in the armpits and groin.

This is one of the few cases where I recommend to my patients that they try an antibacterial soap for a time, such as betasept.

Could be a few staph species too, which produce butyric acid-related breakdown products that can smell vinegary. Betasept would work there too.

Just my two cents; I haven't taken a history or examined your kid, so I am not recommending it for him.
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2008, 11:54 PM
C3 C3 is offline
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Thanks for that, Qadgop. I'll ask the doctor about using anti-bacterial soap on him, too. If he was a little older, I'd probably go and buy some tomorrow and give it a shot.
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  #13  
Old 09-25-2011, 07:13 PM
nanjagayle nanjagayle is offline
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Vinegar body odor

It is not a normal thing for our kids to smell like this and it started with my youngest in 4th grade a few years ago. I did LOTS of research and kept a diary on what she at and years later, I have found that it is when she eats processed or GMO foods (gentically modified). She had not had this problem for a long time and went to a party yesterday and had pepperoni pizza.

Their bodies are trying to rid of the toxins so they will smell really bad. The only way I have found to keep it from happening is to keep her from those kinds of foods. It is not because they are not clean or do not bathe often because my daughter did and I made sure of it.
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  #14  
Old 04-02-2013, 10:39 PM
EJ Masonry EJ Masonry is offline
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Body Odor:

Quote:
Originally Posted by C3 View Post
What causes someone to smell like vinegar when they sweat? My little boy (2) has a very strong vinegar smell - to the point that I have to wash his bedclothes almost daily, because he sweats at night and his sheets smell. We keep him clean - it's just his scent.

I know that certain diseases can cause specific odors. He has a doctor appointment next week (for an asthma work-up - he's had symptoms since he was a few weeks old) and I'm going to ask the doctor about it. Is this an obvious symptom of something?

Or, is there something in his diet that might be causing it? Is there a food that's known for making someone smell vinegary?

Short of bathing him every hour, I'm not sure how to fix this.
I'm sure you must have taken your son to this appointment by now.
I woke up in the middle of the night one night, with a very sharp pain in my leg to find out when I went to the doctors I needed to go to the hospital.

I am 27 years old and the doctors at my age were shocked to see that I have Blood Clots in my leg, and both my lungs.

After taking the medication called Warfarin that thins my blood.
I bargain to sweat a lot and my sweat smelt like vinegar.

I am not 29 years old and every night there is nothing I can do to stop the smell from coming.

I am still doing research on this as no doctor has yet found a solution to prevent this.

Not saying your son has blood clots.... But from my experience it has something to do with the blood flow.

I hope my experience may have helped, or opened a couple more doors for you, and your child.
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  #15  
Old 04-02-2013, 10:47 PM
C3 C3 is offline
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My son is now 7 and the smell eventually went away. I honestly can't remember what his doctor said back then, but I don't think he was very concerned. He has pretty much outgrown his asthma symptoms, too!
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  #16  
Old 04-02-2013, 11:41 PM
April R April R is offline
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thanks for the update. I was wondering what the resolution was.
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