HIGH blood sugar warnings come in many forms for people with diabetes – with two serious signs found in the mouth.
Suffering with a dry mouth or “fruity” breath can be an indication you need medical treatment.
Noticing different breath and needing to drink a lot is a sign something could need urgent attention
Both are signs of hyperglycaemia – when blood sugar levels have spiked.
More specifically it’s a symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be caused by hyperglycaemia and high levels of ketones.
This happens in diabetics when the body starts to run out of insulin, and harmful substances called ketones build up as fat levels are broken down for energy.
It is more likely to affect type 1 diabetics, and can be life-threatening if not found and treated quickly.
Symptoms also include needing to pee more than usual, tummy pain, confusion and feeling sleepy.
The NHS describes the “fruity” breath as smelling like pear drop sweets, or nail varnish.
Symptoms usually start over a 24-hour period, but they can happen faster.
If you have diabetes, certain things can make diabetic ketoacidosis more likely to happen, including:
- having an infection, such as flu or a urinary tract infection (UTI)
- not following your treatment plan, such as missing doses of insulin
- an injury or surgery
- taking certain medicines, such as steroids
- binge drinking
- using illegal drugs
- having your period
Hyperglycaemia is the medical term for a high blood sugar (glucose) level. It’s a common problem for people with diabetes.
It can affect people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as pregnant women with gestational diabetes.
It can occasionally affect people who do not have diabetes, but usually only people who are seriously ill, such as those who have recently had a stroke or heart attack, or have a severe infection.
Hyperglycaemia should not be confused with hypoglycaemia, which is when a person’s blood sugar level drops too low.
Diabetes is a condition caused by high levels of glucose – or sugar – in the blood.
Glucose levels are so high because the body is unable to properly use it.
In people diagnosed with diabetes, their pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, or not enough insulin.
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