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"Why does my sweat occasionally smell really sweet, almost like maple syrup?"


I'm a 41 year old female and on several occasions in the past six months, I've noticed that I smell really sweet, almost a maple syrupy smell. It seems to last all day, and to be coming from my skin! I googled and I don't think I have maple syrup urine disease, especially since it's not my urine that smells, but my perspiration. I also don't think I have diabetes. Is there anything else that might cause someone to smell sweet? Or are there other symptoms of diabetes that I should look for?


This is an interesting problem, and I am glad that you seem to have decided for yourself that you likely do not have maple syrup urine disease. It is easy to become overwhelmed and unnecessarily concerned when using the internet for answers, and you seem to have realized that it would be very unusual for an otherwise healthy person to have undiagnosed maple syrup urine disease at the age of 41. That being said, you are still having this interesting smell, and it is curious where it might be coming from.

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Before anything else, it is important to note that if you are having any other symptoms at all, you will need to discuss this interesting smell with a physician. If you have had unexplained weight loss, fevers, chills, night sweats, etc, then you should certainly speak to your primary care doctor soon. Otherwise, it is likely that there is something constant in your diet that you have eaten prior to having this interesting smell. Fenugreek, which is found in some Chinese food and artificial maple syrup flavorings, can also cause this unique smell. Consider if you have ever ingested either of these prior to the smell arising. Otherwise, and if the condition continues, please speak with your doctor as needed.

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