The Diabetes Symptom You Can Smell — And 3 Other Unusual Signs To Look Out For

TYPE 1 diabetes is a common condition in the UK, affecting up to 400,000 Britons.

It can be fatal or cause organ damage if left untreated, but many people remain unaware they have the disease for years.

There is a common symptom of diabetes that you can often smell


There is a common symptom of diabetes that you can often smellPhoto credit: Getty

High blood sugar — when the body isn’t able to make enough working insulin — doesn’t always make you feel unwell.

According to the NHS, the most common signs of diabetes are:

  • Peeing more than usual, especially at night
  • Constant feeling of thirst
  • feeling very tired
  • Lose weight without trying
  • itching around your penis or vagina or repeated occurrences of thrush
  • Cuts or wounds that take longer to heal
  • Blurred vision

But there’s a common symptom of the condition that you can often smell — making it pretty easy to spot.

If you have diabetes, sweet-smelling breath can indicate diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a life-threatening condition that goes untreated.

This is when the body enters ketosis, a state also achieved with the low-carb keto diet, according to the NHS.

When there isn’t enough glucose in the body to burn for energy, the body uses fat instead, which produces a type of chemical called ketones.

DKA affects around four percent of people with type 1 diabetes in the UK each year, according to the UK National Diabetes Audit.

And it can also occur in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Other signs of DKA that can appear within 24 hours when the body is low on glucose include increased thirst and a dry tongue, frequent urination, nausea, and abdominal pain.

There are some other unusual signs of diabetes to look out for…

1. someone is moody

There is growing evidence that blood sugar levels can affect your mood.

Uncontrolled diabetes can leave you feeling confused, anxious, irritable, impatient, or just not acting like yourself.

dr Sneha Kothari, a consultant endocrinologist at Global Hospital in Mumbai, narrated health shots: “Because blood sugar levels rise and fall, some people experience mood swings as an early symptom of diabetes.”

Many common characteristics of high blood sugar, such as Emotions such as fatigue can also make you feel down as a by-product.

2. needles and pins

Diabetes can damage nerves (neuropathy), usually in the feet, and cause tingling or pain.

About 10 to 20 percent of people who are diagnosed with diabetes already have some nerve damage associated with the disease, Health Reports.

dr Ronald Tamler, director of the Mount Sinai Clinical Diabetes Institute, said it was barely noticeable in the early stages.

“You may feel a strange, electrical tingling in your feet or have decreased sensation or balance,” he said.

3. skin problems

Skin disorders are common in diabetics due to high blood sugar levels, which can affect your blood vessels and nerves.

More common in patients before a diagnosis is a condition known as acanthosis nigricans (AN).

It is characterized by a dark band of velvety skin that usually appears on the nape of the neck.

dr Julietta Gusarova, a cosmetology doctor who works with her RainLabsaid: “Acanthosis nigricans can also be detected in many people in different parts of the body where the skin folds lie, such as the palms of the hands, armpits or groin.

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“In addition to the visible coloring associated with the disorder, some people say their skin feels thicker.”

Acanthosis nigricans can be treated by treating the root problem – diabetes.

What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

All types of diabetes cause blood sugar levels to rise above normal, but the two different types do this in different ways.

The difference lies in what causes the lack of insulin – often described as the key that allows glucose to open the door to cells.

In type 1 diabetes, a person’s pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, but in type 2 diabetes, cells in the body become resistant to insulin, requiring a larger amount of insulin to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range.

But doctors believe diabetes could be as many as five different diseases – and say treatment should be tailored to the different forms. The Diabetes Symptom You Can Smell — And 3 Other Unusual Signs To Look Out For

Andrew Schnitker

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