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Research 27 Nov 2014

Sweet smell in the breath of kids indicate onset of diabetes: Research study

As per the recent findings of Professor Gus Hancock from the University of Oxford in Britain and his team, Diabetes in kids could be diagnosed at early stage with a simple breath test.

Growing cases of diabetes in kids is a matter of concern for parents. As per recent findings, around 1 in 4 kids suffering from type-1 diabetes are unaware of their condition until they develop a potentially life-threatening complication, diabetic ketoacidosis.

 

However, a new research by Professor Gus Hancock from the University of Oxford in Britain and his team claim to have identified a chemical marker for type 1 diabetes in the breath of children, paving the way for a breath test that allows early diagnosis.

 

The research says, if a sweet-smelling chemical marker acetone is found in the breath of kids, then it is linked with a build-up of a potentially harmful chemical known as ketones in the blood that accumulates when insulin levels are low.

 

Prof. Hancock said, "Current testing for diabetes requires a blood test which can be traumatic for children. An increased level of breath acetone with increased levels of harmful ketones in the blood could lead to the development of a diagnostic device to identify children with new diabetes before the onset of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)."

 

DKA occurs when the body cannot use glucose for energy and starts to break down into fat instead.

 

Organic compounds called ketones are the by-product of the breakdown of fat, and if left unchecked, they may cause the body to become acidic.

 

Acetone, which is the simplest ketone, is one of the by-products produced in the development of DKA and is usually disposed of through the breath.

 

Reportedly, in their study, the researchers collected the breath samples from 113 children and adolescents.

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