Ammonia Smelling Sweat
The body normally makes use of carbohydrates for energy, but without enough carbohydrates to fill in the energy requirement, the body will start to break down its amino acids for energy. Ammonia is the by-product of the process and if a person’s sweat smells like ammonia, it can mean that that he does not have enough carbohydrates to fuel the body’s energy requirement.
Many people advocate the low-carbohydrate and high-protein diet. Although this helps shed off a lot of weight, it is not a well-balanced diet and it can cause some health problems.
Ammonia Smelling Sweat Causes
Low carbohydrate level in the body is the main cause of ammonia smelling sweats. The body burns carbohydrates for energy. Without enough carbohydrates in the system, the body can start burning the amino acids and using them for energy.
Ammonia is the by-product of this synthesis and too much of it in the body can spill into the bloodstream and into sweat causing the distinctive odor.
Some of the most common instances where a patient can observed ammonia smelling sweats include:
- Vigorous exercises. It is especially observable when the patient has not had enough carbohydrates pre-exercise.
- Ordinary Sweating. If a patient has more protein than carbohydrate in their system, he can also have ammonia-smelling perspiration.
In addition to diet, metabolic conditions like kidney failure can also cause the symptom.
Ammonia Smelling Sweat Remedies
Having an ammonia smelling sweat is not normal. If it occurs without any valid explanation (e.g. low carbs, high protein diet), patients will need to go to their doctor as it can be a sign of serious metabolic problem.
Treatments for Ammonia Sweat Include the Following:
- Having a well-balanced diet every day. There should be enough amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fats in a person’s diet. It should also come from a wide range of sources in order to make sure that the necessary vitamins and minerals are present.
- Loading on carbohydrates before an exercise. To make sure that the body has enough carbohydrates to burn, patients can eat a high carbohydrate snack before a vigorous exercise in order to provide energy.
- Showering after a workout. This can be done religiously if the ammonia smell still persists even with a high-carbohydrates and controlled protein diet.
If a low-carbohydrate diet is required for some reason, patients can work with a nutritionist to create a meal plan that shifts from high-protein to carbo-loading while maintaining a healthy balance.