Individuals with diabetes are naturally at a much higher risk of developing certain infections than those without diabetes. If your diabetes is uncontrolled and regulated, you are at an even greater risk of developing infections. This is why it’s imperative to your overall health and safety to actively monitor and maintain your diabetes to decrease said risks and live a more comfortable life. Diabetes does suppress the immune system in addition to delaying healing and nerve pain. These complications are just some of the reasons infections can more easily impact people with diabetes.

Now that you’re informed on how diabetes increases your risk of certain infections, read on to learn about what those infections are and how they affect your body.

1. Increased Risk Of Developing Flu or Pneumonia

If your diabetes type is either type 1 or type 2, this likely means that your blood sugar levels are quite high. You can, however, bring this level down to normal numbers with frequent exercise, healthy eating and prescribed medication to keep the blood glucose regulated. However, even if these levels are properly controlled, you are still at a higher risk of developing complications from the flu or pneumonia if you develop it. This is because diabetes negatively impacts the immune system and can be debilitating. Individuals with diabetes should take the same preventative, effective measures as others, including getting the flu vaccination, washing their hands frequently, and avoiding individuals that are ill.

2. Urinary Tract Infections and Kidney Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common complication for individuals with diabetes. The reason is because high blood glucose levels can create sugar in the urine, and sugar is a hotbed for bacteria growth. If your bladder is unable to empty out fully, even after urinating, bacteria is then able to remain in the urinary tract and cause further complications. The urinary tract also includes the bladder and kidneys. Although UTIs commonly form in the bladder, more serious UTIs can develop into kidney infections. Individuals with diabetes can also experience poor circulation in the body, which reduces the opportunity for white blood cells to travel freely in the body and combat infection.

3. Nail and Fungal Skin Infections

Individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing fungal skin infections, such as yeast infections or nail infections. The skin on our bodies are naturally covered in healthy fungi that protects it from unhealthy, dangerous bacteria. However, when an overgrowth of this bacteria forms, especially yeast, it can be quite a problem. The more sugar the body has, the more fungi will feed on it and develop an infection. Candida (yeast cells) can interfere with healthy infection-fighting white blood cells. Common nail and fungal infections diabetes’ patients may also experience include athlete’s foot, ringworm and fungal nail infections.

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