Type 2 diabetes symptoms: What can you taste? Sign you could have the chronic condition

Type 2 diabetes can reveal itself in symptoms such as feeling very thirsty, extreme fatigue and frequent urination. But you could also be at risk of high blood sugar if you develop a certain taste in your mouth. What can diabetes taste like?

Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications. One such complication is kidney disease.

This is because consistent high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood – a tell-tale sign of type 2 diabetes – damages blood vessels.

Damaged blood vessels make the kidneys work less efficiently, as the organs can’t clean your blood properly.


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According to the National Kidney Foundation, up to 40 percent of those with type 2 diabetes will eventually suffer from kidney failure.

Medical News Today notes: “Waste build-up in the kidneys can result in bad breath or loss of appetite, causing a metallic taste.”

It adds: “A metallic taste is also fairly common in people with diabetes.”

How do the kidneys function?

The National Kidney Foundation explains that kidneys remove waste products and excess fluid from the body. Waste products are then expelled from the body through urine.

The kidneys are also responsible for the regulation of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content.

The voluntary health organisation lists the functions of the kidneys, which are to:

  • Remove waste products from the body
  • Remove drugs from the body
  • Balance the body’s fluids
  • Release hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • Produce an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
  • Control the production of red blood cells

There are two kidneys, each about the size of a fist, located on either side of the spine at the lowest level of the rib cage.

Kidneys perform their life-sustaining job of filtering around 200 quarts of fluid every day.

Diabetic nephtopathy (kidney disease) can happen to anyone, but is more common in those with diabetes.

Kidney disease develops over many years, with swelling of the ankles and feet one of the first symptoms of type 2 diabetes complication.

Try to recognise early symptoms of type 2 diabetes to avoid the risk of kidney disease.

Diabetes UK lists seven common symptoms of type 2 diabetes. These are:

  • Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night
  • Being really thirsty
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Genital itching or thrush
  • Cuts and wounds take longer to heal
  • Blurred vision


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Worryingly, the charity reports that six out of 10 people have no symptoms when they’re diagnosed with the condition.

This is why people aged between 40 to 74 years old should attend their NHS Health Check.

Not only will the NHS Health Check screen for type 2 diabetes, it’s also a great way to assess your risk of the following conditions: heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and dementia.

The NHS Health Check involves a quick questionnaire, blood pressure check, height and weight measurements and a blood test.

Diabetes UK report that it is possible to put type 2 diabetes into remission.

This is when blood sugar levels are below the diabetes range, removing the need to take diabetes medication.

The strongest evidence for reaching type 2 diabetes remission points towards weight loss in those classified as overweight.

Remission does mean that the health condition, unfortunately, can come back.

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