Diabetes symptoms: Six ‘unusual’ signs of high blood sugar

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By knowing the symptoms of diabetes, you can spot the first signs of your body struggling to regulate blood sugar levels. Without a blood sugar reading, it can be tricky to recognise blood sugar spikes and fluctuations. These are six of the more unusual signs of diabetes.

Early diagnosis of diabetes is crucial for the best chances of avoiding serious consequences of the disease, such as needing a foot amputation.

The most common symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Urinating more often
  • Extreme hunger
  • Wounds failing to heal

However, there are some lesser-known signs your blood sugar is too high.

Have you heard of these unusual symptoms of high blood sugar?

1 – Dark patches of skin

High blood sugar can cause areas of your skin to appear darkened, this is a condition called acanthosis nigricans.

This happens as a result of high levels of insulin in your bloodstream causing skin cells to reproduce faster.

These dark patches are most likely to appear on your neck, armpits and groin, and the darkened skin may also feel softer to the touch.

2 – Itching

High levels of blood sugar can cause damage to your nerves, particularly in your hands and feet, making them feel tingly and itchy.

Having unmanaged diabetes and high blood sugar over an extended period of time can cause damage to your blood vessels.

As a result, you can suffer poor circulation to your limbs, leading to dry skin and itching.

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3 – Yeast infections

Yeast feeds on sugar, so if you have unusually high levels of blood sugar, you may be more likely to experience yeast infections.

High blood sugar also makes it harder for white blood cells to travel around your body, meaning your immune system doesn’t fight off infections as fast.

4 – Irritability

Sometimes having low blood sugar can make you feel cranky or ‘hangry’, but high blood sugar can also leave you feeling tense.

Blood sugar has a direct impact on your mood, so if yours is rapidly increasing and decreasing, your mood can be particularly volatile.

5 – Smelling fruity

Having undiagnosed and unmanaged diabetes can tip your body into a state called diabetic ketoacidosis.

When your body is unable to process insulin, it resorts to breaking down fat cells for energy instead, creating an acidic by-product ketones.

Ketones can make your breath smell sweet and fruity.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious condition, if you think you might be in diabetic ketoacidosis you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

6 – Dry mouth

High blood sugar can stop your mouth from producing enough saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry.

This might have you reaching for a drink more often than usual: don’t forget excessive thirst is also a symptom of diabetes.

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