Diabetes symptoms: The most ‘obscure’ sign of high blood sugar explained by Dr Sara

Diabetes affects about five million people in the UK, although the actual figure is most likely to be higher. Huge numbers of people in the UK are living with diabetes without even knowing it, because the symptoms can be very subtle.

About 90 percent of all diabetes cases are caused by type 2 diabetes.

The condition is caused by the body struggling to produce enough of the hormone insulin, or the body not reacting to insulin.

Insulin helps to convert sugar in the blood into useable energy.

But it’s incredibly difficult to know if you’re at risk of the condition.

READ MORE: Diabetes type 2 prevention: How the condition can be prevented

“You can develop ketones with diabetes if it’s not well controlled,” Dr Sara told Express.co.uk.

“Ketones cause a smelly breath, so that is a slightly more obscure symptom, but certainly it’s there.”

Bad breath could also be caused by high blood sugar levels in saliva.

It provides an ideal feeding ground for bacteria in the mouth, which subsequently leads to a build-up of dental plaque.

Untreated plaque can cause gum disease, which is a common cause of bad breath.

But just because you have bad breath, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have diabetes.

It could also be caused by eating spicy foods or strong-smelling drinks.

Tonsillitis, acid reflux or smoking could all contribute to smelly breath, warned the NHS.

Speak to a dentist if you have bad breath for a few weeks, or if it’s accompanied by painful, bleeding gums.

More common diabetes symptoms include having an unquenchable thirst, passing more urine than normal, or feeling unusually tired.

Speak to a doctor if you’re worried about the signs of diabetes.

Diagnosing the condition early is crucial, because it can lead to some deadly complications, including heart disease and strokes.

You could lower your chances of developing diabetes by eating a healthy, balanced diet, and by doing regular exercise.

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