You Have Bad Breath And Dry Mouth
An unusual smell when you breathe in through your mouth might indicate that something is wrong with the way glucose moves throughout your system. This can cause a buildup in ketone levels within your blood, giving off an unpleasant odor, much like nail polish remover or acetone.
Sometimes people mistake this for regular bad breath, but if it happens frequently and seems to have no other cause, it could be a sign that your insulin balance is out of whack, so make sure to see a doctor as soon as possible if you notice this happening.
Gum disease is also a frequent problem for people with diabetes, so if you notice that your gums are inflamed or swollen, it might be a sign that blood sugar is starting to rise. The dry mouth associated with this problem can lead to the development of cavities and other dental issues, so make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day as well as brushing after meals if necessary.
How To Prevent It
If you work to keep your blood sugar under control — follow your meal plan, exercise program, and medicine schedule — you shouldnât have to worry about hyperglycemia. You can also:
- Know your diet — count the total amounts of carbs in each meal and snack.
- Test your blood sugar regularly.
- Tell your doctor if you have repeated abnormal blood sugar readings.
- Wear medical identification to let people know you have diabetes in case of an emergency.
Youre Feeling Thirsty Quite Often
As you head out to the bathroom more often than you should, you will also feel the need to drink more water. People can feel thirsty all the time, which is why they will end up in the never-ending cycle between their 8-10 glasses of water, and the bathroom. Usually, two liters of water is more than enough for the entire day for most people. How much water are you drinking at the moment? Is it more or less than two liters, and do you work out at the gym? All of these are some questions that you should have answers to.
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The Importance Of Watching For Diabetes Symptoms:
As the CDC points out, theres no cure yet for diabetes, so its important to make the healthy moves that can help stave it off, like keeping your weight in check, getting your move on daily, and eating healthy food. Says Dr. Kalyani, Its important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of diabetes, especially if you have any risk factors. By following up with your health care provider regularly, the complications of diabetes may be preventable.
Your Legs And Feet Are Swollen
When there’s too much sugar in the system, it can pull water into cells, which will swell up over time if you don’t get these fluids moving through your body regularly.
The American Diabetes Association claims that people who have diabetes tend to have legs and feet up to five times larger than they should be, which can lead to complications within the circulatory system, including infections and reduced blood flow.
If you notice your feet and ankles begin to swell up, make sure to keep them elevated when possible. It’s important to treat swelling as soon as possible by elevating your legs higher.
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Treating And Managing Hyperglycaemia
If your blood sugar level is slightly high for a short time, emergency treatment wont be necessary. But if it continues to rise you may need to act fast to avoid developing diabetic ketoacidosis .
If your blood sugar level is 15 mmol/l or more, you should check your blood or urine for ketones. If ketones are present, it is likely that you do not have enough insulin in your body. This means you may need to increase your dose or give yourself an extra dose. Talk to your diabetes team about how to do this if you are unsure.
You should also try to drink plenty of sugar-free fluids to prevent dehydration. And if you are feeling unwell, especially if you are vomiting, you should follow any sick day rules you have been given and contact your diabetes healthcare team for advice.
Go Easy On Your Feet With Low
People with diabetes benefit from exercise, but what is the best kind? While exercise for diabetes certainly isn’t one-size-fits all, be mindful that many fitness classes and aerobics programs include bouncing, jumping, and leaping, which may not be good for your feet. This is especially true if you have neuropathy. Instead, look into programs, such as walking or swimming, that dont put too much pressure on your feet. Just make sure you have the right shoe for whatever activity you choose.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes
The CDC and the Mayo Clinic list the following common symptoms of diabetes:
- Youre very thirsty
- You have sores that are slow to heal
- You have frequent infections, such as in your gums, skin, or vaginal area
- Your hands or feet feel numb or tingly
- Your skin is very dry
For type 1 diabetes, the symptoms may also include nausea, stomach pains, or vomiting.
According to the CDC, because type 2 diabetes symptoms can develop over time and be hard to spot , its important to know if you’re at higher risk . Dr. Kalyani adds: Some of the symptoms of diabetes can be non-specific, but in general, if an individual has the typical constellation of symptoms of high blood glucose such as feeling thirsty or urinating a lot, blurry vision, unexplained weight loss along with other risk factors for diabetes, they should likely get tested.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia
Its especially important to know the early signs of hyperglycemia if you have type 1 diabetes. If hyperglycemia is left untreated in people with type 1 diabetes, it can develop into ketoacidosis, where ketones, which are toxic acids, build up in the blood. This condition is an emergency situation that can lead to coma or death.
Early symptoms of hyperglycemia include:
- High blood sugar.
- Unusual fruity smell on the breath.
- Deep labored breathing or hyperventilation.
- Rapid heartbeat.
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What Are Low Blood Sugar Levels
Insulin levels primarily influence your blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone that helps blood sugar enter your cells from your bloodstream. Too much insulin can cause low blood sugar.
A normal blood sugar range is between 70 and 140 mg/dL. It can become problematic if your blood glucose level consistently falls above or below this range.
A low blood sugar level is defined as being less than 70 mg/dL. Having low blood sugar is called hypoglycemia. You might not feel symptoms of a low blood sugar level until it falls below that threshold, or you might feel symptoms at a slightly higher blood sugar level.
When you feel low blood sugar symptoms will depend on several factors such as how long youve had diabetes, your normal blood glucose level, history of low blood glucose, and more.
You Notice Tingling And Numbness In Your Hands Or Feet
As mentioned, uncontrolled blood sugar can cause nerve damage, also known as diabetic neuropathy. What you may notice is a tingling sensation or even numbness in your hands and feet. Some people experience pain in their hands and feet as well. Though neuropathy is most common in people who have had diabetes for a long time, it can occur in anyone with poorly controlled diabetes.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar Levels
Signs of high blood sugar levels include:
- Peeing a lot: The kidneys respond by flushing out the extra glucose in urine. People with high blood sugar need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
- Drinking a lot: Someone losing so much fluid from peeing that often can get very thirsty.
- Losing weight even though your appetite has stayed the same: If there isn’t enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body breaks down muscle and stored fat instead in an attempt to provide fuel to hungry cells.
- Feeling tired: Because the body can’t use glucose for energy properly, a person may feel unusually tired.
Who Can Develop Hyperglycemia
The classic symptom of being hungry frequently stems from the fact that a person with diabetes cannot utilize glucose well as an energy source within cells. The glucose is circulating in the blood, but the cells can’t absorb it to use it as a fuel. The excess blood sugar molecules also “spill” into the urine, meaning that as the blood filters through the kidneys, some of the sugar comes out of the blood and is not reabsorbed. The extra sugar which is now in the urine causes water molecules to follow and therefore the person with diabetes urinates frequently . This obviously leads to the third classic symptom, which is frequently being thirsty. The body can sense that excess water is being lost because of the frequent urinating and the normal response is to become thirsty.
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You’re Feeling Anxious And Irritable
This typically shows up as a result of changes in hormone levels within your body which the extra glucose in your body can cause.
Low serotonin levels are often responsible for feelings like this, so if you notice yourself becoming more emotional than usual, it could also mean something is wrong with your insulin balance even though it’s not always easy to tell what these changes will lead to at first because they happen gradually over time.
People who have diabetes tend to experience mood disorders such as depression and anxiety much more frequently than those who do not and other mental health issues, including memory loss and further cognitive declines.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you don’t feel like your usual self and think your blood sugar is elevated, test it to confirm. If your blood sugar happens to be elevated and it’s an isolated event, odds are that you can probably get it back to normal on your own. Go for a walk or do some light exercise, drink extra water, and take your medicine as prescribed.
On the other hand, if you are experiencing elevated blood sugars for several consecutive days, give your medical team a call, as you may need to tweak your treatment plan.
If you don’t have diabetes and notice any of these signs or symptoms, and are overweight or obese or have a family history of diabetes, you should schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to be screened. Both Macro and microvascular complications of diabetes can occur prior to diagnosis, so the sooner you receive treatment, the better.
For Parents of Children Without Diabetes
If you’ve noticed that your child is drinking, eating, and urinating more often than usual, a trip to the healthcare provider is a good idea, especially if you’ve seen a quick change in weight. If the symptoms appear to be more severe and resemble those of DKA , go to the emergency room right away.
For Parents of Children How Have Diabetes
If your child has symptoms of hyperglycemia and their blood sugar is greater than 240 mg/dL, they should be tested for ketones. If the event of a positive test, depending on the severity of the ketones, you may be advised to go to the emergency room.
How To Stay Hydrated If Youre Managing Type 2 Diabetes
Even if scientists still have questions about how dehydration affects the body, staying hydrated is clearly important for good health especially if you have type 2 diabetes.
So how can you make sure youre getting enough water to manage diabetes? Rizza and Simos offer the following tips.
Have some salt but not too much. Too much salt can be bad for blood pressure, Rizza says, but you do need some to maintain proper hydration. When you eat salt, notes the U.S. National Library of Medicine, you help stabilize your electrolytes, which are charged substances that regulate essential functions in your body, helping you stay hydrated. If you already have high blood pressure, talk with your doctor about how much salt to consume.
Check your blood glucose levels in extreme heat, and drink water if they are elevated. When its hot, its easier to become dehydrated, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Staying well hydrated can help reduce your blood glucose levels, which helps you manage the hormone insulin, Simos explains. And make sure that your blood glucose test strips and insulin are stored in a cool, dry place, she says, so that they dont lose their potency and accuracy.
Reach for hydrating snacks if youre hungry. For example, choose a cold piece of melon or a few frozen grapes, Simos says. Drinking a glass of water isnt the only way to get your fix.
Controlled Means Different Things To Different People
Theres no one-size-fits-all recommendation for blood sugar control.
The ADA says that a reasonable goal for many nonpregnant adults is to aim for an A1C level of less than 7. Yet some patients may be given a more stringent goal by their healthcare providers, such as 6.5, if thats reachable without harmful side effects, including hypoglycemia.
On the other hand, if you are elderly, managing other health complications, or reliant on insulin, you may be given less stringent goals. It really becomes more important to just keep in the same place, says Rahil Bandukwala, DO, an endocrinologist at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California. Keeping A1C between 7.5 and 8.5 may be very reasonable for such a patient, Dr. Bandukwala adds, echoing the ADAs recommendations.
Because elderly people are more likely to have blood sugar that swings too far downward, with fewer warning signs, managing their glucose too tightly can put them at greater risk for hypoglycemia, says Bandukwala. When you have low blood sugar, youre at a higher risk for becoming dizzy and falling or passing out, notes the ADA.
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Elevated Blood Sugar Levels And Cardiovascular Disease
Evidence suggests that type 2 diabetes confers a stronger excess risk of cardiovascular diseases in women than in men with women having a 27% higher relative risk of stroke and a 44% higher relative risk of coronary heart disease compared with men.
Women are also at higher risk of other diabetes-related complications such as blindness and kidney disease.
What Causes Hyperglycemia
The best thing to do when your blood sugar levels are too high is to eat low carb and high protein meals and drink a high amount of water. Did you forget to take your insulin? You can do a correction bolus or take your medication before you eat. If the high blood sugar continues, contact your doctor and ask them to review your current dosages of insulin or if they need to prescribe another type of medicine for diabetes that will help keep blood glucose levels within the normal range.
Keep testing your blood sugar levels at regular intervals to make sure your high blood sugar is dropping, and if so, not dropping too fast and too much.
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What Is High Blood Sugar
High blood sugar occurs when theres a buildup of excess glucose in the bloodstream. This is more often a concern for someone with diabetes than it is for someone without it. Our bodies are typically pretty great at keeping our blood sugar in perfect balance, Deena Adimoolam, M.D., assistant professor of endocrinology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells SELF. But in some situations, like when a person has diabetes, high blood sugar can happen.
Blood sugar is measured in milligrams per deciliter , and a fasting blood sugar of greater than 125 mg/dL is considered hyperglycemic, the Cleveland Clinic says. A person can also be considered to have hyperglycemia if their blood glucose level is higher than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after eating, the Cleveland Clinic says.
Can Dehydration Affect Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Although dehydration can lead to serious health issues, not much research has looked at whether chronic dehydration and the associated higher blood sugar may increase the risk of prediabetes and full-blown type 2 diabetes.
There have been a variety of things dehydration has been suggested to contribute to, but not diabetes, Rizza says.
But there may be a connection, says Anna Simos, MPH, a certified diabetes care and education specialist with the Stanford Health Care Diabetes Education and Prevention Program in Palo Alto, California. Indeed, according to a previous study, which monitored healthy adults over nine years, peoples self-reported water intake was inversely associated with a risk of developing high blood sugar. This means that people who reported drinking less than ½ a liter of water per day were more at risk of elevated blood sugar than people who reported more than 1 liter.
Scientists theorize that dehydration can lead to an increase in the hormone vasopressin, which prompts the kidneys to retain water and the liver to produce blood sugar, potentially affecting the bodys ability to regulate insulin over time.
The bottom line: More research is needed to fully understand the relationship between dehydration and diabetes, but hydration likely keeps blood glucose levels a little more stable, Simos says.
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