Updated June 8th, 2024 at 17:32 IST

Diabetic Breath Is A Sign of High Blood Sugar - All You Need To Know

Diabetic breath, often described as having a fruity or acetone-like odour, signifies the body's compensation for excessive glucose in the bloodstream.

Bad breath | Image:Unsplash
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For many individuals grappling with diabetes, an unexpected yet telling symptom emerges: the presence of a distinct breath odor, commonly referred to as 'diabetic breath.' This fruity, sweet, or even slightly sour smell emanating from the mouth and exhaled breaths may seem peculiar, but it is the body's way of signaling extremely high levels of blood sugar or hyperglycemia.

What is Diabetic breath?

Diabetic breath, often described as having a fruity or acetone-like odour, signifies the body's compensation for excessive glucose in the bloodstream. The body naturally produces insulin to process glucose and convert it into energy. However, a severe lack of insulin prevents the body from utilizing glucose for energy, leading it to break down fat for fuel, resulting in the production of ketones as a by-product. These ketones accumulate in the blood and are exhaled through the breath, imparting a distinctive smell.

Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash

People living with diabetes may experience reduced saliva production and dry mouth, which diminishes protection against oral conditions, potentially causing bad breath. Additionally, elevated blood sugar levels can increase glucose in saliva, promoting bacterial growth in the mouth, leading to dental plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease, all of which contribute to halitosis.

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Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash

Furthermore, bad breath can signal uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes, as rapid ketone production can lead to dangerous levels if left unchecked.

To manage symptoms such as diabetic breath, individuals should prioritize hydration, adhere to prescribed insulin dosages, and promptly address any infections to prevent ketosis. According to a Healthline report, vigilant monitoring and swift treatment are essential to mitigate the risks associated with diabetic complications.

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Published June 8th, 2024 at 17:32 IST