Type 2 diabetes symptoms: Does your breath smell like this? Seek medical attention now

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Type 2 diabetes happens when the pancreas inside the body is unable to make sufficient or working levels of the hormone insulin. As a result, cells are unable to absorb sugar thereby leading to an increase of sugar in the bloodstream. Smelly breath could indicate your blood sugar levels are out of control, but what would it smell like?

Health Guide and Self-Care Checker Your.MD state high blood sugar levels is medically termed hyperglycaemia.

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels becomes a medical emergency when someone begins to show symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a dangerous complication of diabetes caused by a lack of insulin in the body.

Following this, the body begins to break down fat as energy (instead of sugar).

This happens because cells aren’t able to absorb sugar as energy, so it looks for an alternative source.

As a result, a build-up of ketones takes place which can easily disrupt bodily functions.

Left untreated, potentially fatal consequences can occur, such as a coma and swelling of the brain.

READ MORE: Apple cider vinegar: How much apple cider vinegar should you drink a day?

Type 2 diabetes symptoms: Does your breath smell like this? Seek medical attention now

Type 2 diabetes: The complication revealed by the smell of your breath (Image: Getty)

What are the symptoms of DKA?

One symptom of DKA is have a fruity smell on your breath, which may smell like pear drops or nail varnish.

Another symptom, according to Your.MD, is drowsiness or confusion.

As is nausea or vomiting, stomach pain, hyperventilation (rapid breathing) and dehydration.

Unconsciousness could also be a telling sign of DKA.


To get type 2 diabetes under control more quickly, it’s important to check your blood sugar levels at least once a day.

The number of times you need to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels will depend on the status of your health and daily demands.

A discussion with your GP about your diabetes should answer this question for you individually.

It may also be useful to be aware of symptoms that highlight high blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes symptoms: Does your breath smell like this? Seek medical attention now

Type 2 diabetes: Testing blood sugar levels is vital (Image: Getty)

The NHS states symptoms of hyperglycemia tends to develop slowly over a few days or weeks.

Symptoms of hyperglycemia can include:

  • Needing to pee frequently
  • Tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Recurrent infections, such as thrush, bladder infections (cystitis) and skin infections

A variety of things can trigger an increase in blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

These can include stress, the common cold, a lack of exercise and missing a dose of your diabetes medicine.

The NHS recommends the following tips to prevent hyperglycemia.

Firstly, the national health body advises you to stick to your diabetes treatment plan.

Secondly, it adds to “be careful what you eat”, particularly paying attention to how “sugary foods or carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar levels”.

Thirdly, it states to “be as active as possible” by doing “regular exercise”.

Lastly, the NHS suggests to take extra care when you’re ill.

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