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Dentist Diagnoses Diabetes

by zoobyshoe
Tags: dentist, diabetes, diagnoses
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selfAdjoint
#19
Aug12-06, 02:07 PM
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It's now now ttwenty years since I was diagnosed with type II diabetes (Fall 1986). I am in excellent health, my blood sugar runs between 80 and 130, and the only "symptoms" I have are some neuropathy effects in my toes. But many nondiabetic men my age have that too.

Type II diabetes is NOT like type I diabetes; it is in no way a sentence of early death. Diet and excercise can control it. My doctor told me that if push came to shove, my lifestyle would control my blood sugar even without medication.
zoobyshoe
#20
Aug12-06, 02:40 PM
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Thanks everyone for the stories of how you're dealing with it and still doing well, and for the encouragement to make sure and get to a doctor about it. I think there is a good chance Evo is right since I am still on the diet and still losing fat. That is: my calorie intake is still less than maintainance level.

If the worst turns out to be the case, though, I may be consulting with you for tips and such.
zoobyshoe
#21
Aug14-06, 04:58 AM
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According to this, and other sites, ketoacidosis the state in which one's breath has a fruity and/or acetone smell, is an emergent condition requiring immediate medical attention:

Ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis (key-toe-***-i-DOE-sis) is a serious condition that can lead to diabetic coma (passing out for a long time) or even death. Ketoacidosis may happen to people with type 1 diabetes.

Ketoacidosis occurs rarely in people with type 2 diabetes. But some people -- especially older people -- with type 2 diabetes may experience a different serious condition. It's called hyperosmolar nonketotic coma (hi-per-oz-MOE-lar non- key-TOT-ick KO-ma).

Ketocidosis means dangerously high levels of ketones. Ketones are acids that build up in the blood. They appear in the urine when your body doesn't have enough insulin. Ketones can poison the body. They are a warning sign that your diabetes is out of control or that you are getting sick.

Treatment for ketoacidosis usually takes place in the hospital. But you can help prevent ketoacidosis by learning the warning signs and checking your urine and blood regularly.
What are the warning signs of ketoacidosis?


Ketoacidosis usually develops slowly. But when vomiting occurs, this life-threatening condition can develop in a few hours. The first symptoms are:

* Thirst or a very dry mouth
* Frequent urination
* High blood glucose (sugar) levels
* High levels of ketones in the urine
* Next, other symptoms appear
* Constantly feeling tired
* Dry or flushed skin
* Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain (Vomiting can be caused by many illnesses, not just ketoacidosis. If vomiting continues for more than 2 hours, contact your health care provider.)
* A hard time breathing (short, deep breaths)
* Fruity odor on breath
* A hard time paying attention, or confusion

Ketoacidosis is dangerous and serious. If you have any of the above symptoms, contact your health care provider IMMEDIATELY, or go to the nearest emergency room of your local hospital.
Is this correct or not? Do all of you with diabetes frequently have fruity/acetone breath in non-emergency situations?
Moonbear
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Aug14-06, 09:20 AM
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Do you have any of those other symptoms, such as frequent urination or insatiable thirst, or vomiting, or generally feeling very tired? You may not have even noticed something like drinking more frequently if you're just thinking it's a hot summer and you're thirsty from the heat. And when you called your doctor, did you mention that the dentist noticed acetone odor on your breath?

If any of the other symptoms start to appear, call your doctor again and see if you can get your appointment moved earlier. Maybe you can schedule a nurse's appointment sooner just to have a finger stick blood test done to check where your glucose levels are and if they are high enough to need immediate treatment, and to reassure yourself a bit until the appointment with your doctor arrives (if it's really high, they won't let you leave once there until you see the doctor anyway, so you won't have to sit around several days wondering and worrying if it's too high).

I've never actually heard of the acetone breath odor as a first symptom before, but maybe those with more personal experience with diabetes know otherwise. I've usually heard of it more in the context of someone who is staggering around in an altered mental state and then collapses to identify when giving first aid that they are likely diabetic in need of insulin, not drunk and passed out.

Do you have a relative or friend or neighbor nearby who you can check in with once or twice a day and who can keep an eye out for you in case you get to a stage where you're not able to call or drive yourself before your doctor's appointment? When my step-father was diagnosed, it got to that point...the symptoms came on pretty suddenly, or at least the ones they recognized as symptoms...overnight he suddenly started with the unquenchable thirst, and since he started drinking milk and juice instead of water, he really drove up his glucose levels quickly, so that by morning, he was already showing signs of confusion, and my mom got him to a doctor immediately...at that point, he would not have been able to call for a doctor himself or to get there without someone else driving. It'll be a good idea to have someone else around who knows you well to check in for the first few weeks you're treating the diabetes too, if that's what it turns out to be, just in case your blood sugar levels fluctuate too much as you're adjusting to your medication doses and schedules.
zoobyshoe
#23
Aug14-06, 04:20 PM
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So, Ivan, Dave, SelfAdjoint, and others with relatives who have it: do you see acetone breath as a normal, non-critical part of this disease?

I'm not going to cancel my appointment to have it checked, but this is seeming more and more like a false alarm, since I was, and have continued, to feel perfectly normal and the acetone breath of ketoacidosis seems to be exclusively a part of a diabetic crisis from the sites I've checked.
selfAdjoint
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Aug14-06, 05:11 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe
So, Ivan, Dave, SelfAdjoint, and others with relatives who have it: do you see acetone breath as a normal, non-critical part of this disease?

I'm not going to cancel my appointment to have it checked, but this is seeming more and more like a false alarm, since I was, and have continued, to feel perfectly normal and the acetone breath of ketoacidosis seems to be exclusively a part of a diabetic crisis from the sites I've checked.

What do you suppose a diabetic "feels like"? There is no feeling that will tell you you're a diabetic any more than there's one to signal high blood pressure. Get the damn test! Bad ketone metabolism is NOT A GOOD SIGN in a diabetic. Not panic time but time to have your blood checked professionally and an internist to look you over.
DaveC426913
#25
Aug14-06, 09:54 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe
So, Ivan, Dave, SelfAdjoint, and others with relatives who have it: do you see acetone breath as a normal, non-critical part of this disease?
Ah OK, in the context of Diabetes, acetone breath is bad. It is an indication that your body is past the stage of ridding sugar through your urine and starting to break down muscle (ketones are from the proteins). I'm no doctor, but I've never heard of acetone breath being non-critical in regards to diabetics.

Now, truth be told, that does NOT mean there aren't false positives. There can be other reasons for this symptom that have nothing to do with diabetes.

Acetone breath is only an indicator. There are lots of other symptoms you might be experiencing:
intermittent blurry vision
unexplained weight loss
frequent urination
excessive thirst
tingling in the feet
numbness in the feet
confusion, inability to concentrate
plus the usual irritability, fatigue, etc.

Before being diagnosed, I experienced all but the foot problems - and I was only an undiagnosed Diabetic for a mere year (meaning the symptoms showed up rapidly).
Ivan Seeking
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Aug14-06, 10:49 PM
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Hey Zooby, your pm box is full.

This wouldn't apply to me. Mine is a variant much like hypoglycemia but worse. Once I start making insulin I make too much. This is why I could tell that something was wrong. My blood sugar can drop as low as 20...right after a large meal filled with carbs.

If you know someone who has diabetes, maybe they would let you use their blood tester. It only takes a minute.
zoobyshoe
#27
Aug15-06, 05:18 AM
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Quote Quote by DaveC426913
Ah OK, in the context of Diabetes, acetone breath is bad. It is an indication that your body is past the stage of ridding sugar through your urine and starting to break down muscle (ketones are from the proteins). I'm no doctor, but I've never heard of acetone breath being non-critical in regards to diabetics.
I haven't found anything to this effect either. However, I'm not taking a few brief summaries I've read as complete. I know from reading about seizures that some medical summaries leave gaps that just about constitute misinformation. It could be that some subset of diabetics get this breath without it being associated with a critical state.

Now, truth be told, that does NOT mean there aren't false positives. There can be other reasons for this symptom that have nothing to do with diabetes.

Acetone breath is only an indicator. There are lots of other symptoms you might be experiencing:
intermittent blurry vision
unexplained weight loss
frequent urination
excessive thirst
tingling in the feet
numbness in the feet
confusion, inability to concentrate
plus the usual irritability, fatigue, etc.

Before being diagnosed, I experienced all but the foot problems - and I was only an undiagnosed Diabetic for a mere year (meaning the symptoms showed up rapidly).
I don't have any of those except the irritability. That's part of being a zoobie.

Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking
Hey Zooby, your pm box is full.
That's because I refuse to delete one precious word of the tender PM's I've recieved from Lisa!.

However, There should be some room now if you still need to reply.

This wouldn't apply to me. Mine is a variant much like hypoglycemia but worse. Once I start making insulin I make too much.
So, it seems obvious you don't treat this type by taking insulin. Do you get away with just a tablet of some sort?

If you know someone who has diabetes, maybe they would let you use their blood tester. It only takes a minute.
I actually met a girl, only 18, with a full blown case a few months ago. She wears a kind of permanent installation: an insulin delivery device that is plugged into her belly. That is: there is a line from the device to a circular piece of plastic with a small needle on the back. The needle goes just through her skin and the circular piece that holds the needle is taped in place.

I'm not sure what prompts the delivery of insulin from the device, though, whether it be a timer or if she checks her level and pushes a button. I haven't been to the cafe where I met her in a few weeks. My initial appointment is this afternoon, anyway, and I'm sure they'll check everything they can.
Moonbear
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Aug15-06, 08:49 AM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe
I actually met a girl, only 18, with a full blown case a few months ago. She wears a kind of permanent installation: an insulin delivery device that is plugged into her belly. That is: there is a line from the device to a circular piece of plastic with a small needle on the back. The needle goes just through her skin and the circular piece that holds the needle is taped in place.

I'm not sure what prompts the delivery of insulin from the device, though, whether it be a timer or if she checks her level and pushes a button.
It's both. I knew someone who had one of those too, and it had a regular infusion of insulin to keep his levels steady during the day, but then if he ate certain foods (pizza was one that he said caused particular trouble for diabetics for some reason...that was actually how I learned about the pump, when we were at a meeting with pizza being served) he could push a button and adjust the program to compensate for the different insulin levels needed for that food. That's a pretty drastic step, and something that would only be done if you absolutely could not keep the diabetes under control with regular monitoring and insulin injections. A lot of adult-onset type diabetes can be treated with just a daily pill rather than having to resort to insulin injections, especially if you have mild symptoms to suggest you do have some function of the cells involved in regulating your sugar levels, just not full function anymore. The medication gets the functioning cells to function better.
DaveC426913
#29
Aug15-06, 10:31 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking
This wouldn't apply to me. Mine is a variant much like hypoglycemia but worse. Once I start making insulin I make too much.
1] I have never heard of such an ailment. Can you point me at some literature?

2] I wish to meet with you over coffee to discuss the viability of having yourself and myself grafted together at the hip so as to share blood systems. Our two ailments will nicely cancel each other out and we can live normal happy full lives. I hope you like brunettes. And are a heavy sleeper.
DaveC426913
#30
Aug15-06, 10:32 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo
I often develop ketosis from bad eating habits. It's a signal for me to eat normally again.
Well, I guess I've learned something today.
zoobyshoe
#31
Aug15-06, 11:23 PM
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The GP I saw today listened to my report that the dentist had warned me of an acetone on my breath and the possibility this meant diabetes. She (the GP) said, "We'll have a look at your blood sugar". This took about 10 seconds. She said my blood sugar was 79 and that that was perfectly alright.

"O.K." she said, "We've completely eliminated that possibility."

!!!!!!

I said "What could the dentist have been smelling on my breath?"

"Oh, she was probably just being hypervigilant."

I wanted to ask her more questions but, of course, she had a bunch of other patients waiting.

So, the whole thing was over just like that. They have no plans to put me through the more extensive tests.
Cyrus
#32
Aug15-06, 11:29 PM
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Good to hear, zoob.

Hey, check out my art teachers work. What cha think about it? His work is at a local CC right now.

http://www.howardcc.edu/arts_and_hum...rrent_Show.htm

....I like it.
Math Is Hard
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Aug15-06, 11:29 PM
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glad to hear you are OK!
Evo
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Aug15-06, 11:55 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe
The GP I saw today listened to my report that the dentist had warned me of an acetone on my breath and the possibility this meant diabetes. She (the GP) said, "We'll have a look at your blood sugar". This took about 10 seconds. She said my blood sugar was 79 and that that was perfectly alright.

"O.K." she said, "We've completely eliminated that possibility."

!!!!!!

I said "What could the dentist have been smelling on my breath?"

"Oh, she was probably just being hypervigilant."

I wanted to ask her more questions but, of course, she had a bunch of other patients waiting.

So, the whole thing was over just like that. They have no plans to put me through the more extensive tests.
I KNEW IT!

As soon as I saw your diet, I was sure that was the cause.
Moonbear
#35
Aug16-06, 12:02 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo
As soon as I saw your diet, I was sure that was the cause.
I'm still failing to see a connection with his diet here. The diet sounds like one you would put a diabetic on to control it, which is generally a healthy diet anyway, not something that would cause ketosis. And, since they didn't seem to be worrying about that when he saw the doctor, how could it be the diet? It sounds more like it was nothing, or just some odor that wafted the way of his chair that wasn't his breath at all.

Anyway, I'm glad it all worked out to be a false alarm. Not that all that stress is good for you with the worry it put you through, but at least it turned out to be nothing in the end. Too bad you couldn't have gone in sooner just for the 10 second test and put your mind at ease a couple days ago. Maybe MIH was right, you just grabbed the nailpolish remover instead of mouthwash that day.
Ivan Seeking
#36
Aug16-06, 12:14 AM
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Good news Zooby, diabetes is not the end of the world but it is no fun.

Quote Quote by zoobyshoe
So, it seems obvious you don't treat this type by taking insulin. Do you get away with just a tablet of some sort?
At this point I am managing by watching what I eat. I was on Precose for about a year but that stuff is really hard to tolerate. Luckily, after taking it for a time I was able to back off, but how long I can keep this up, I don't know. It is a constant struggle and I don't feel well much of the time.

DaveC426913, when I was diagnosed [edit: cripes, it has been over eight years now! ] it was simply called "adult diabetic syndrome". Beyond that I don't know what else it might be called. I ended up having to go to one of the nations leading specialists before it was diagnosed. At the time there was no literature available.

Another interesting side note: When I finally landed in the office of a true expert, the difference was like night and day. Not only did he nail it withing a few minutes, he also explained all sorts of things that I had never understood. For example, I thought that I was allergic to alcohol. It affected me differently than everyone else, and eventually I realized that I just can't drink. Even one beer was enough to make me feel absolutely terrible. But it was the blood sugar all along.


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