Infections with Diabetes
People with diabetes are more prone to certain infections. It may be due to:
- Elevated blood sugar levels –Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can depress the immune system of the body and thus make the body more susceptible to infections.
- Nerve injury – Longstanding diabetes can cause significant nerve damage. For example, if a person suffers from neuropathy he may not experience any pain in his feet even if a sharp object has pierced the skin. This wound can get infected if not treated immediately.
- Injury to blood vessels– depending upon the duration of diabetes, blood vessels may get damaged and delay the healing of any infection. Diabetic people may get a condition called Diabetic ketoacidosis if their infection is not treated on time.
Type of infections in people with diabetes
Commonly seen infections are: Infections in the mouth (thrush),Lung infections ,Skin infections, Bladder or kidney infections ,Vaginal infections ,Infections on the feet, Post surgical wound infections.
Symptoms of infections —you need to visit your doctor if you suffer from certain symptoms like:
White patches on the tongue/mouth, Cough, Fever, Chills and body aches , Rash, Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea ,Redness, swelling or increased pain or pus around an injury ,Increased urination/Pain during urinating or a foul smelling urine, Vaginal itching or discharge .
Prevention of infections —Blood sugar monitoring regularly and adequate control is the most important step to prevent infections.
Other important steps are:
- Wash your hands often when around a sick person.
- Eat healthy and nutritious diet.
- Brush your teeth twice daily and go for regular dental checkups.
- If injured with any cut, wash and clean the wound. If not healing, meet your doctor.
- Keep your skin clean and dry.
- Pass urine at normal intervals. Do not hold it.
- Stop Smoking.
- Take care of your feet. Keep them clean and dry. Wear proper footwear. If any signs of redness, swelling cuts or blisters get the treatment soon.
Take prescribed course of antibiotics when required.