Diabetes symptoms: A dry mouth may indicate the condition – what else to spot

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Diabetes.co.uk explains that a dry mouth, clinically known as xerostomia, is the term used to describe a lack of saliva in the mouth. It explains: “People with diabetes are more susceptible to dry mouth and yeast infections such as thrush because of high glucose levels in their blood and saliva.”

The organisation says there are several ways to treat and reduce the effect of dry mouth.

These include keeping your blood sugars within the recommended range, and keeping yourself hydrated.

Indeed, the Cleveland Clinic notes: “Dry mouth is a common symptom in people with diabetes who have high blood sugar. Long-term dry mouth with diabetes can cause health problems, such as gum disease and infections.

“It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms and to maintain good oral hygiene.”

It notes that as a dry mouth might be an early symptom of diabetes, if you experience dry mouth, you should mention it to a healthcare provider at your next appointment.

The origination advises people make an appointment sooner if they have diabetes and any of the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding from your teeth or mouth.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Mouth pain.
  • Sores in your mouth.
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing or talking.

It is important to spot symptoms as early as possible, however. The Mayo clinic explains understanding possible diabetes symptoms can lead to early diagnosis and treatment, which can help you prevent the complications of diabetes and lead to a lifetime of better health.

The NHS says that you should see a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

It notes: “A GP can diagnose diabetes. You’ll need a blood test, which you may have to go to your local health centre for if it cannot be done at your GP surgery.”

The Mayo Clinic notes that diabetes symptoms are “often subtle” though there are a number of early signs to look out for.

The health body adds that excessive thirst and increased urination are common diabetes signs and symptoms.

It continues: “When you have diabetes, excess glucose — a type of sugar — builds up in your blood. Your kidneys are forced to work overtime to filter and absorb the excess glucose.

“When your kidneys can’t keep up, the excess glucose is excreted into your urine, dragging along fluids from your tissues, which makes you dehydrated.

“This will usually leave you feeling thirsty. As you drink more fluids to quench your thirst, you’ll urinate even more.”

The NHS outlines several other possible signs. These include:

  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision.

NHS Inform adds: “It’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as soon as possible as it will get progressively worse if left untreated.”

The health body explains type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. This means glucose stays in the blood and isn’t used as fuel for energy.

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