TYPE 2 diabetes symptoms aren’t always obvious and may only be discovered during a routine medical check-up, but recognising symptoms when they occur can help avoid health complications developing. One sign to look out for is if your breath smells a certain way.
Type 2 diabetes symptoms don’t necessarily make people feel unwell, which is why many people with the condition may have it without realising. The condition can trigger a range of different symptoms, from increased thirst to feeling very tired.
A lesser known symptom of type 2 diabetes can be identified in a person’s breath. But what exactly should you be looking out for?
Halitosis, better known as ‘bad breath’, is sometimes associated with diabetes.
Causes of bad breath are often linked to poor dental plaque removal.
Plaque bacteria, which live in-between the teeth and on the surface of the tongue, digest glucose or food particles then release bad-smelling gasses.
But there are some medical conditions, including diabetes, which can make people more susceptible to halitosis.
Diabetes.co.uk explains: “In people with diabetes, high blood sugar levels increase glucose levels in saliva. This provides food for bacteria in the mouth and leads to the build-up of dental plaque.
“If plaque is not removed effectively tooth decay and gum disease may occur which also causes halitosis.”
The diabetes expert adds: “Diabetes can cause ketoacidosis, which is where the body burns fat instead of glucose if there is too little insulin in the blood, or if insulin resistance is too high.
“Ketones then form as a waste product which cause an unusual smell on the breath sometimes compared to pear drops.
“If you notice you have bad breath, it could be a side effect of your regular medications.
“Some people report having bad breath as a result of taking metformin.
“If you take metformin and think it is causing you to have bad breath, contact your diabetes healthcare team for advice on alternative medications which may be available.”