Dentist Diagnoses Diabetes

  1. A couple months ago the side/rear of my left canine tooth sort of exploded off for no reason I can think of. I thought at first I must have had a filling in it I'd forgotten about since I can't see back there.

    Anyway, I got to the dentist this morning and after examining it she started asking me over and over if there'd been any changes in my health lately. The first time this question is routine, The second and third time it's fishy, and I asked her what was up.

    She said my breath smelled of acetone and that this was a red flag for diabedes.

    When I got home I googled and the wikipedia confirmed this. However, I don't have any other of the symptoms mentioned. Yet, I'm really bothered by this because, as a dentist, she must be a sort of expert on people's breath and acetone is a pretty distinctive aroma.

    This ticks me off because only fat people are supposed to get diabedes and I've just been on a diet and lost 35 pounds of middle aged gut. I'm very lean and skinny: you can see all my stomach muscles. It's like, the people who pass out diseases ought to keep up with this stuff: I'm not an internet potato anymore. I take a walk every day. No more doughnuts.

    I'm trying to spin this into something positive in my mind. Like: with solvent breath I should be able to breath on a cigarette lighter at will and become a kind of Godzilla for entertainment purposes at parties, but I've had no luck with getting my exhalations to ignite. Haven't been able to strip any paint with it either.

    Anyway, now I guess I have to have this checked by a GP. There's some slim chance the dentist was having olfactory hallucinations but from what I read this smell is pretty much a definitive sign. This is VERY annoying.
  2. jcsd
  3. Type 2 can hit around middle age, any family history of it? And no, it dosent just plague fat people.
  4. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Were you on a low carb diet at the time, or any diet? It can cause ketosis, which gives you acetone breath.

    "Deliberately induced ketosis through a low-carbohydrate diet has been used to treat medical conditions. The ketogenic diet is an approach to treating epilepsy, and the Atkins Nutritional Approach is marketed for treating obesity. The very low calorie, medically supervised Lighter Life diet also uses ketosis for weight loss"

    "Ketones are a normal and efficient source of fuel and energy for the human body. They are produced by the liver from fatty acids, which result from the breakdown of body fat in response to the absence of glucose/sugar. In a ketogenic diet, such as Atkins ... or diets used for treating epilepsy in children, the tiny amounts of glucose required for some select functions can be met by consuming a minimum amount of carbs - or can be manufactured in the liver from PROTEIN. When your body is producing ketones, and using them for fuel, this is called "ketosis".
  5. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
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    The important thing is to get checked out. My neighbor didn't realize that he had a problem until he went blind while driving to work one morning. Luckily he managed to pull over before running off the road, and his sight did eventually return.
  6. There's some hope in this since, yes, I have radically altered what I eat in the past few months. Basically I adopted a no fat diet which means no meat, no breads. No breads means no bread, doughnuts, cookies, muffins, croissants, etc. All those breads are made with alot of shortening, butter, or are deep fried.

    I do eat: alot of fruit, raw vegetables, rice, beans, tuna fish, cottage cheese, and anything that seems low calorie, like say, pickles.

    The ketogenic diet for epilepsy is often called a "high fat" diet, and that can't be causing my acetone breath. All you eat on that diet is full of fats.

    The way I eat now may constitute a low carb diet, though, even though I'm not specifically intending some sort of Atkin's approach.

    I've greatly reduced sugar, too, from how much I used to eat.

    This info makes me feel better. There didn't seem to be any alternative to diabedes causing this acetone breath before this. Thanks Evo.
  7. No family history. I can't think of one relative with diabedes.

    And, although obese people are most often mentioned as being at risk, the very first person I ever met who got the diagnosis was very lean and skinny. He'd fainted suddenly at the office, which is what tipped them off.
    This is what the dentist said: it can be more or less asymptomatic in some people for a while.
  8. turbo

    turbo 7,063
    Gold Member

    Zooby, please get it checked out promptly. Diabetes can have some severe health consequences, and many of them involve your eyesight. I used to maintain the fundus cameras, lasers, etc for a large opthalmic practice and many of the patients with serious problems were diabetics.
  9. Math Is Hard

    Math Is Hard 4,635
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    No way this is possible. Zoobies don't get diabetes. I think you reached for the mouthwash in the dark and accidentally gargled with nail polish remover.
  10. Go to your pharmacy get some ketostix and test your urine for ketosis. That will provide a quick answer to the ketosis question. These are kept behind the pharmacy counter so you will have to ask for them. [​IMG]
  11. I just went and made an appointment. They're going to see me this Tuesday afternoon.

    I'm not sure what to do in the meantime. Should I eat a little sugar everyday, or avoid it all together? Anything else I should or shouldn't eat assuming the worst?
    I may do this out of curiosity.
  12. Just eat as you would do normally, if you plan to eat this way for the rest of your life..which is a good sense diet your following. Don't change anything untill the Dr tells you somethings up.
  13. turbo

    turbo 7,063
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    Good deal! I watched my father in law suffer amputations and other problems - he was a good man!
  14. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Glad that you're going to the doctor, but I wouldn't worry, after that diet you described, it's probably ketosis.

    My mom has had the mild form of diabetes for years, she just watches her diet, doesn't need insulin.

    So don't worry. Worry will kill you.
  15. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
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    I don't think so. I thought the diet he described sounded pretty healthy with fruits and vegetables, rice, and somewhat low in protein. That's not a ketogenic diet. That sort of diet would actually be good for someone with diabetes, which might be why he hasn't noticed other major symptoms yet. He may be keeping his blood sugar somewhat controlled with his diet.

    Zooby, stick with the diet you're on until you see the doctor, and they can tell you if you need to change it.

    In any case, everyone here is talking like diabetes is a death sentence. It's only bad if you don't treat it. If you get to the doctor before you start having any major problems with it, and follow their instructions/take any medications prescribed so that you keep it under control, it need not be anything more than a minor inconvenience. Depending on the type and severity of your case, you may only need to take a pill for it. Be thankful your dentist noticed the symptoms before they got bad enough for you to notice yourself. It's much better than not noticing until you start having vision problems or go into a diabetic coma.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2006
  16. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
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    Diabetes is a real pain in the rear, but if that's it, you will adjust. Just avoid bee hives and sweet berries, and stick with the leaves, nuts, backpackers...

    For me it was a relief to be diagnosed as this explained why I always felt like crap.
  17. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I often develop ketosis from bad eating habits. It's a signal for me to eat normally again.

    But I know I'm healthy otherwise. I agree zoob needs to see a doctor to make sure, but not worry himself to death in the meantime.
  18. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,541
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    I was diagnosed early, and that was a blessing. I've avoided (so far) all the bad things that can happen with undiagnosed Diabetes.

    So I live a completely normal life. No drag for me. Frankly, it has been great.

    The silver lining about (Type II) Diabetes is that the majority of management is actually a matter of good health practices - eat well, exercise, keep your weight in check. If everyone lived their lives as if they had Diabetes, we'd be a much healthier people.

    So I take better care of myself - I eat better and exercise (a little) more. Getting Diabetes may have actually increased my life span.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2006
  19. FredGarvin

    FredGarvin 5,084
    Science Advisor

    If it's any consolation, my father was diagnosed when he was in his early 50's. He is now 75 and is doing wonderfully. He adjusted and manages his diet and blood sugar so the effects have been minimized. No one on my Dad's side had ever been diagnosed with it. He was the first. Of course, it doesn't look good that my older brother was diagnosed with it when he was in the Navy. He was in good shape and was definitely not overweight. Ironically, my brother was at the dentist when he "found out." He ended up passing out in the chair.
  20. selfAdjoint

    selfAdjoint 7,521
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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.
  21. 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.
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