How’s your blood sugar been doing? It might sound like a strange question, it’s definitely something to consider. In 2012, over 2.2 million deaths worldwide were linked to high blood glucose.
Fast forward to 2016, over 1.6 million people died from diabetes. Given the amount of sugary food people eat, it’s only going to get worse.
Let’s talk about 9 signs your blood sugar is too high.
1. Fruity Breath
Have you been noticing a weird, fruity odor coming from your breath? Have your friends been noticing? Well, this could be a sign of high blood sugar. Your breath in general often provides clues as to the state of your health.
This is actually one of the more serious signs. One that points towards diabetes. When your body cannot produce insulin, it won’t receive the glucose it needs. Instead, it will become desperate and begin to burn fat. This fat-burning creates ketones, which will build up in your blood and urine.
When your ketones rise to an unsafe level, it brings you to further risk of diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a condition that occurs when the body starts breaking down fat a little too quickly. Along with high glucose, shortness of breath, and confusion, one of the main symptoms of DKA is fruity breath. But wait, there’s more.
Diabetes can also cause your breath to reek. When a person has diabetes, their blood vessels become damaged. This reduces your blood flow throughout your body, including the gums. If blood isn’t getting to your gums, they can become infected. At the same time, your glucose levels are rising.
This promotes bacterial growth, which will lead to your breath stinking. If you are noticing a strange odor in your breath, head to the doctor and ask about your blood sugar levels. An offensive smell coming from your mouth is only the tip of the iceberg.
2. Increased Thirst
When your blood sugar is high, you’re going to feel thirsty. Let’s take a second to talk about glucose. This is the type of sugar you get from your food.
The kind your body uses for energy. When excess glucose builds up in the blood, your kidneys are forced to work overtime to filter all of it out. After a while, the organs will get tired.
As a result, any glucose that can’t be absorbed will leave your body through your urine. Problem solved? Not exactly. The urine will drag other fluids out with it. Eventually, you will become dehydrated and feel thirsty. What’s worse? Even if you do drink water to quench your thirst, you’ll simply urinate it out afterward.
Again, if you’ve been noticing yourself getting progressively more thirsty, even after drinking water, make sure you get to a doctor.
If your blood sugar has shot through the roof, prepare to feel exhausted. This is one of the more confusing symptoms, considering that fatigue is caused by countless other things.
High amounts of glucose in your blood will stop you from properly using it to make energy. At the same time, the dehydration you go through also contributes to your tiredness. If you have diabetes, your pancreas won’t be able to produce insulin like it usually does.
The insulin is needed to absorb glucose for the cells. If the glucose isn’t distributed to the cells, it will build up and BAM! This is where the fatigue kicks in.
If you’re overwhelmed with exhaustion, try drinking some water and getting some rest. If this doesn’t help over time, get your blood checked.
When it comes to high blood sugar, one of the main symptoms is an extreme sense of nausea. You’ll even want to vomit. I’m serious, your stomach just can’t handle it.
Nausea also includes feelings of disorientation as well as weakness. This can lead to fainting. As if puking your guts out wasn’t bad enough. A person with high blood sugar can also feel nauseous with certain medications.
This is especially possible if you’re taking the meds on an empty stomach. If you have high glucose levels and you’re on some sort of medicine, be sure you are taking it the right way.
5. Blurred Vision
Along with nausea, you will also experience blurred vision. If your blood glucose is getting excessive, you may not be able to see properly. While it is said to be only temporary, blurred vision in the case of diabetes can get really bad really quickly.
High blood sugar will damage blood vessels in your retina. This causes your eye lens to swell up, making it difficult to see objects in front of you. You may also see blind spots.
This is why eye exams are important. People who have Type 2 diabetes need to get their eyes checked right after their diagnosis.
6. Dry Mouth
This symptom is specific to people with diabetes. A dry mouth happens when there is no saliva left in your mouth. Not only is a decent amount of saliva good, it’s essential to your mouth’s health. It controls the level of bacteria and cleans away acid. But this one’s actually kind of tricky.
While other signs are pretty straight forward, there is actually no clear evidence for what exactly makes your mouth dry. In the case of diabetes, most experts blame your high glucose levels.
If your blood sugar has seen an increase, your mouth will probably feel like a desert. It’s only made worse by the dehydration you go through due to your lack of fluids.
People with high levels of blood sugar can also get thrush. This is a type of yeast infection. Yuck! All the more reason to keep control of your blood sugar.
7. Stomach Pain
Have you been feeling unbearable abdominal pains? High blood sugar will affect the way your gastrointestinal tract works. These are the organs responsible for the digestion of food as well as getting rid of waste.
Along with a sore throat, heartburn, and trouble swallowing, you will also feel extreme discomfort in your stomach area. I’m not just talking about overwhelming pain. I mean bloating, constipation, and eventual diarrhea.
Since your liver and pancreas aren’t functioning properly either, it only adds to the discomfort. If you’re feeling discomfort that is out of the norm, it may be a sign that your glucose levels are a little too high.
8. Shortness of Breath
High blood sugar and diabetes will do damage to the respiratory system. Remember ketoacidosis from a few minutes ago? Well, he’s back! I told you bad breath was just the tip of the iceberg.
If you’re having trouble breathing, this can be another symptom of ketoacidosis. Shortness of breath brought on by this condition is known as Kussmaul breathing. It happens when your breath is either rapid or extremely heavy.
Full-on diabetes only makes this worse. Studies show that people with both Type 1 and Type 2 are likely to have asthma and pulmonary fibrosis. And you want to hear something really scary?
They are twice as likely to be hospitalized with pneumonia. If you have high blood sugar, and your breathing isn’t right, get your lungs checked out.
9. Rapid Heartbeat
If there’s too much sugar in your system, it’s quite obvious your heart will eventually be affected. We’ve all had moments where our heart is beating a little faster than it usually does.
In the case of high blood sugar, your heart will be thrown off its rhythm. When a person is startled by something, their heart sometimes skips a beat. Well, in this case, it’s the other way around.
If we feel our heart acting in a way that’s abnormal, it can be terrifying. It feels like the ghost of a really bad beatboxer is living inside your chest. Diabetics are much more vulnerable to heart disease than healthy people.
Research shows that around 65% of people with diabetes will suffer from either a heart attack or stroke. If your heart has been acting up lately, get a doctor to check it out.