Diabetes and Yeast Infections: How Can Diabetic Patients Get Rid of Yeast Infections?

Diabetes occurs when the body does not generate insulin or does not produce it in the necessary amount. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas; insulin passes into the blood after leaving the pancreas. It allows glucose (sugar formed after the digestion of food) to penetrate the cells, where it will be transformed into energy necessary for our body. Read this blog to know about diabetes and yeast infections causes, treatment

The body of the person with diabetes has difficulties in the use and control of glucose. When glucose cannot penetrate cells, it accumulates in the blood, and the symptoms of diabetes occur. High blood glucose levels can be responsible for the so-called chronic complications of diabetes. The best way to fight against them is an early diagnosis and reasonable care and control of our diabetes.

Diabetes is not considered a disease but a group of disorders of different etiologies and pathogenic mechanisms. It is characterized by chronic hyperglycemia so that it can lead to the appearance of acute complications (ketoacidosis, hyperosmolarity) and chronic (micro and macroangiopathy: ocular, renal, nervous, dermatological, cardiovascular).

Diabetes and Yeast Infections

You probably already know that high blood glucose (sugar) levels can impact your eyes, your fingers, toes, and your kidney, but there are other parts of the body that we don’t talk about as much. Diabetes can also have an effect on the health of your genital areas.

Many people ask the question, can too much sugar cause yeast infection? Yes, high blood sugar levels can cause yeast infections. It’s unpleasant, uncomfortable, and sometimes very painful – here’s what you should know about yeast infection as a person with diabetes.

diabetes and yeast infections

What is Yeast Infection?

Summary

A yeast infection is an abundance of yeast or presence of high yeast in blood. Yeast is technically a fungus, which implies they are also “fungal infections.”

candidiasis and diabetes is a common problem for people with diabetes because high blood sugar levels can efficiently fuel fungal growth. Due to excess sugar in the blood, there will inevitably be extra sugar in the urine, leading to yeast overgrowth.

(You can also develop a yeast infection of the mouth, throat, and tongue).

The abundance of this otherwise healthy fungus can lead to extremely uncomfortable symptoms that are impossible to ignore.

Yeast infection around the genitals can occur in women and men, but it is more common in women.

diabetes and yeast infections

Candidiasis in Women With Diabetes

Summary

It is also known as “vulvovaginal candidiasis” in women and is a yeast infection that affects the vagina, vulva and around the opening of the vagina. It can be extremely uncomfortable and difficult to remove.

The vagina depends on yeast at all times to maintain the complex environmental balance that keeps this part of your body healthy.

Candidiasis in Men with Diabetes

Summary

They are also known as “jock itch”. Yeast infection in men is often caused by wearing sweaty jockstraps for too long. Particularly when connected with high blood sugar levels, a sweaty jockstrap formulates the ideal environment for yeast overgrowth.

Infections can occur around the inner thighs, testicles, and buttocks. It can also happen in and around the head of the penis in uncircumcised people.

Signs and Symptoms of Yeast Infections

The early signs and symptoms of yeast infection are subtle and easy to ignore, but these symptoms become extremely uncomfortable over time.

  • Intense itching
  • Stinging or burning sensation
  • Burning and pain when urinating
  • Slight odour
  • Creamy white discharge (early stage)
  • White, sometimes lumpy discharge (late-stage)
  • Flushing
  • Swelling
  • Pain or burning in the vagina during intercourse
  • Itching on the inside and outside of the vagina

If you experience any of these more severe symptoms, call your doctor immediately as they could indicate a more urgent health problem:

  • Yellow discharge
  • Bloody discharge
  • Strong smell
  • Pain in the back or stomach
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Need to urinate frequently

If you’ve never experienced a yeast infection, contact your healthcare team to help ascertain what it is before buying any over-the-counter prescriptions. Untreated yeast infections can convert into an extremely uncomfortable and painful problem.

Common Causes of Yeast Infections

Summary

Many people ask what causes high yeast levels in the body? There are a variety of factors that can cause yeast infection. People with diabetes are even more susceptible because combining these variables with even slightly high blood sugar levels creates a comfortable environment for yeast overgrowth.

  1. High Blood Sugar Levels: Not all high blood sugar levels will cause a yeast infection, but how often and for how long your blood sugar exceeds 250 mg / dL will make yeast grow more efficiently. Yeast infection is also a common early sign of undiagnosed diabetes. If your blood sugar levels do not drop to safer levels, you will likely develop yeast infections.
  2. Certain Diabetes Medications: Read on to learn more about which diabetes medications can cause yeast infections and what you can do about it.
  3. Antibiotics: Especially for people with diabetes, watch out for the first signs of yeast infection when taking antibiotics. The earlier you detect it, the faster you can treat it and prevent the disease from getting worse. But keep taking your antibiotics as directed by your doctor!
  4. Severe stress: Severe stress causes many aspects of our overall health to change. This can also alter the vaginal health environment, especially when pressure is combined with other causes.
  5. Specific Types of Tampons and Sanitary Napkins: Whether it’s scented tampons or just a brand in general, your body may be trying to tell you loud and clear that it’s time to try something else. Wearing damp protectors all day can also lead to yeast infections, which means you need to change them more often.
  6. Wet bathing suits, wet underwear, or sweaty jockstraps: Don’t go through the day in a wet bathing suit or sweaty jockstrap. Moisture creates an ideal environment for yeast overgrowth! If you have a hard time getting through the day without your wet underwear, get into the habit of swapping it out for a new pair in the middle of the day.
  7. Sexual chemistry or your partner’s semen: It’s simple chemistry; sometimes, the balance that keeps it healthy is not ideal for your body. Many people ask, can sperm cause yeast infection? The answer is yes. This means that it is essential to prevent your partner’s semen from being present in your vagina.

Medications for Diabetes that Can Cause Yeast Infections

Summary

The category of diabetes medications called “SGLT-2 inhibitors” can easily cause yeast infections in women because these medications stimulate your body to excrete excess glucose from the food you eat through your urine. This means that glucose (sugar) never enters your bloodstream. Instead, your body passes it through your urine and potentially fuels yeast growth.

Diabetes medications that can cause yeast infection include:

Recommended strategies to prevent yeast infection while taking one of these diabetes medications are:

  • Drink lots of water during the day. Since your body is using your urine to flush sugar out of your system, you need to stay well hydrated!
  • Eat fewer carbohydrates. If you eat a high carbohydrate diet (more than 250 to 300 grams per day), you will eliminate more sugar through urine. Reducing carbohydrates in your diet, even up to 150 grams per day, can help prevent yeast overgrowth because there will be less sugar from your diet in your urine.
  • Talk to your doctor about adding another diabetes medication to your regimen to lower blood sugar levels so that less sugar is excreted through the urine.
  • Talk to your doctor as soon as possible if you think one of these medications is causing frequent yeast infections. You don’t need to stop taking the medication, but you need to make other changes to lower your risk of yeast infection.

Other Causes of Yeast Infection

  • Hormonal contraceptives
  • Chemotherapy
  • HIV or AIDS treatments
  • Long-term urinary catheter use
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Cortisone injections
  • Getting a yeast infection from a woman (usually only from sex between two women)
  • A man may also get a yeast infection from an infected woman, but this is very rare

Treatment Option For Yeast Infection

Summary

Treating a yeast infection can be very frustrating because some types of over-the-counter (OTC) “antifungal” treatments are not cheap. Also, one type of antifungal treatment may not help, while another option from the same drugstore shelf might help. It may take a bit of trial and error to determine the best treatment for your body.

  1. Start by improving your blood sugar levels: If your yeast infections are frequent and recurring, speak with your health care team to help you address the causes of the conditions. Adjusting your diabetes medications can work wonders! No antifungal treatment will help a yeast infection by lowering your blood sugar levels to a healthy range. Recurrent yeast infection means that something in your daily life or general health needs attention.
  2. Over-the-counter antifungal creams: The four types of over-the-counter products that you can buy at your local pharmacy are butoconazole, clotrimazole, miconazole, and terconazole. These are all creams or small pill-shaped capsules that are inserted into the vagina or affected skin area. Remember that if one type doesn’t work, you should try a different one. Don’t just switch brands – read the fine print to determine which type you’ve already tried.
  3. More potent Prescription Drugs: The drug fluconazole and nystatin can be taken by mouth for certain types of long-term infections.
  4. Male circumcision: In severe cases, a man with recurrent yeast infections might need to consider circumcision to stop the infection from spreading further.

While yeast infections usually are considered harmless, they can become serious if left untreated. Consult a doctor if you experience recurring yeast infection diabetes that does not go away after a week of using over-the-counter treatment options.

Clinical Manifestations – Symptoms

  1. Cardinal symptoms: polyuria, polyphagia/anorexia, asthenia and weight loss.
  2. General symptoms: itching, recurrent skin infections, delayed wound healing, drowsiness or postprandial lethargy.
  3. Symptoms due to appliances: they are due to the presence of chronic complications. It can be a way of discovering the disease (impaired kidney function, retinopathy, etc.).

Classifications of Diabetes 

Type 1 Diabetes 

Summary

Diabetes or Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) occurs when the pancreas stops producing the necessary insulin.

Most commonly, people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes are under thirty years of age and generally thin.

Young children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes may even start to wet their beds (bedwetting). The loss of sugar in the urine, combined with dehydration and the inability to use blood sugar, will cause the body to seek alternative energy sources. It will begin to break down fat and muscle, leading to weight loss despite increased appetite (polyphagia). As symptoms develop, children often feel tired, exhausted, and weak.

In girls, yeast infections, which may cause vaginal discharge or itching, could develop due to the high amount of sugar in the urine.

Type 2 Diabetes

Summary

Type 2 diabetes is an extremely dangerous disease in which the body cannot produce enough insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it makes. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows the body to use the glucose it gets from carbohydrates. The body uses this glucose for energy or stores it for later use. If the body cannot produce or use the insulin it makes, glucose remains in the blood and is not used for energy. The body is then forced to get rid of the glucose in your body through urine. If it is not detected or treated, diabetes can gradually get worse.

People with type 2 diabetes are more prone to yeast infection. Having excess sugar in your urine and blood is the ideal breeding environment for yeast. An overgrowth of yeasts can lead to a yeast infection. Yeast infection in type 2 diabetic persons includes itching, burning during urination, redness, etc.

FAQs:

Can diabetes cause blood infection?

Diabetic patients are highly susceptible to bacterial blood infections, especially if the patients suffer from bacterial infections.

Can diabetes cause thrush in the mouth?

High glucose level in saliva causes poor resistance to infection and dry mouth leads to oral thrus in diabetic patients.

Can drinking a lot of water flush out a yeast infection?

Drinking water is one of the best and natural way to control yeast infection.

How do I stop itching caused by diabetes?

Use of moisturizers can help in prevent the skin from becoming dry, therefore prevents itching. Calamine lotion is an effective way to moisturize the skin.

Are yeast infections common in diabetic patients?

In case of women, yeast infections may return frequently and recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) is one of them.

References:

  1. https://www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health/yeast-infection/chronic-yeast-infections-11-common-causes-solutions/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/understanding-vaginal-yeast-infection-basics
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317824
  4. https://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/yeast-infections/
  5. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/5019-yeast-infections
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/vaginal-yeast-infection
  7. https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/yeast-infections-common-causes
  8. https://www.medicinenet.com/what_is_the_main_cause_of_a_yeast_infection/article.htm
  9. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050128220844.htm

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