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Can Diabetes Cause Urinary Tract Infection

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How Does Diabetes Cause Infections

Urinary Tract Infection, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it means that your blood sugar levels are too high. Fortunately, its possible to bring your blood sugar down to normal levels by exercising regularly, eating well, and taking any prescribed diabetes medications consistently. But if your blood sugar levels remain uncontrolled, they can keep your bodys immune system from working the way that it should.

Your immune system consists of white blood cells that protect your body from unknown substances like germs. Since white blood cells are a part of your blood, they rely on your blood vessels to transport blood throughout the body to get where they need to go. But because diabetes can cause blood vessel disease, your white blood cells cant always get where they need to be to fight off germs. This allows germs like bacteria, viruses, and fungi to invade your body and cause infections that make you sick.

In addition to suppressing your bodys immune system, diabetes also makes it more likely that you will have slow-healing wounds and nerve pain . Neuropathy makes it harder to notice open cuts and sores. Together, both of these complications can increase the risk of infection.

Now that you understand how diabetes can increase your risk of certain infections, lets learn what some of those infections are.

What If The Infection Does Not Clear Up With Treatment

Most infections clear up with treatment. However, if an infection does not clear up, or if you have repeated infections, you may be given some special tests such as:

  • a type of x-ray called an intravenous pyleogram , which involves injecting a dye into a vein and taking pictures of your kidney and bladder

  • an ultrasound exam, which gives a picture of your kidneys and bladder using sound waves

  • a cytoscopic exam, which uses a hollow tube with special lenses to look inside the bladder.

What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection

While the most common cause of a urinary tract infection is bacteria, it can also be caused by a fungal infection.

There are other several causes to urinary tract infections and for you, there could even be two things at once causing an infection! Unfortunately, improper hygiene can be the leading cause of urinary tract infections. Another leading cause, especially in people with diabetes and the elderly is urinary stasis or the bladder not fully emptying. Fungal urinary tract infections are an additional cause in people with diabetes, but happen less frequently.

If you have diabetes, chances are you have heard of neuropathy. Neuropathy is the damage that is caused to the nerves in your body from high blood sugars over time. Damage from neuropathy normally starts in your fingers and toes, and then moves to your hands and feet, on an upward spiral. This is called peripheral neuropathy it continues moving upward until it reaches all of your body if you do not get your blood sugars under control while the damage is occurring.

For people with diabetes, autonomic neuropathy is a late complication of diabetes resulting in issues with the bladder and tracts within the bladder emptying properly. This leads to what is called urinary stasis, when urine is left in the bladder after you urinate. If the bladder does not empty fully, urine remains in the bladder causing bacteria to form, leading to the urinary tract infections.

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Diabetes And Its Impact On Your Urinary And Sexual Health

Diabetes and urological health issues are closely connected. Diabetics are prone to urinary tract infections , bladder issues and sexual dysfunction. Diabetes can often make your urologic conditions even worse because it can impact blood flow, nerves and sensory function in the body. Roughly 29.1 million people or 9.3 % of Americans have diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose levels are too high. Glucose is the body’s main source of fuel and comes from the foods you eat.

After your body breaks down food, glucose enters the bloodstream. The cells in your body need this sugar for energy, but a hormone called insulin must be present for the glucose to enter the cells. Your pancreas, a large gland that sits behind the stomach, is what makes the insulin.

In people without diabetes, the pancreas makes the right amount of insulin to move the sugar from the blood into the cells. But, in people with type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t make insulin at all. In people with type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make or use insulin the right way. This is called insulin resistance. Without enough insulin, glucose stays in the blood. Having too much of this in the bloodstream can harm your kidneys, eyes and other organs.

The A1C test is used by doctors to see how well you’re taking care of your diabetes. This blood test gives facts about a person’s blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. The American Diabetes Association suggests an A1C of 7 percent or below.

Diabetes And Urinary Tract Infections

Diabetes and Urinary Tract Infections  Things You Need To ...

To avoid urinary tract infections, consult your doctor if symptoms occur.

People whose diabetes is not properly controlled have twice the risk of developing infections.

In addition to diabetes, you could be more susceptible to urinary tract infections if:

  • Your blood glucose levels are not properly controlled.
  • Sugar in the urine promotes bacterial growth.
  • Your nervous system is already affected by diabetes .
  • You could have a lazy bladder that does not empty completely.
  • You are a woman.
  • Certain anatomical traits, such as having a shorter urethra, increase the risk of bacterial contamination.
  • You already have diabetes complications in your kidneys or blood vessels.
  • This could be a sign that your diabetes is not properly controlled.
  • You have had a urinary tract infection within the last year.
  • People who have had infections within the last year are more at risk of a recurrence.

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Food To Improve Your Sex Drive

Medical Author: Betty Kovacs, MS, RDMedical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

Viewer Question: Is there anything I can eat to improve my sex drive?

Doctor’s Response: If the recipe for a better sex drive was found in food, grocery shopping would take on a whole new meaning! This is a great question that has some compelling and some controversial answers.

Before deciding which to foods to try, you will need to figure out if there is an underlying cause for lack of sex drive. And the best person to help you with this would be your doctor. The compelling answers are based on research and often revolve around uncontrolled medical conditions. Fortunately, your diet is a key factor in controlling many of these conditions. Here are some examples:


  • Men who have diabetes are three times more likely to have erectile dysfunction as men who do not have diabetes.
  • As many as 35% of women with diabetes may experience decreased or absent sexual response.
  • Keeping your blood sugar under control is the key. A diet rich in vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and fresh fruit and with limited quantities of sugar, refined grains, and processed foods is one of the keys to this.

What Causes A Uti

A UTI is caused by bacteria, usually from the bowels. Normally, the urinary tract system has safeguards to protect against infection. For example, the ureters, which are the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, have one-way valves to prevent urine from backing up into the kidneys. The process of emptying your bladder also helps to flush out bacteria and other microbes. And a healthy immune system helps protect against infection, as well.

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Pathogenesis Of Uti In Diabetics

The chance of occurrence of UTIs in diabetic patients used to increase many folds due to several factors. Multiple potential mechanisms unique to diabetes may cause increased risk of UTI in diabetic patients. Elevated renal parenchymal glucose levels create a positive environment for the growth and multiplication of microorganisms, which is one of the precipitating factors of pyelonephritis and renal problem such as emphysematous pyelonephritis. Several problems in the immune system, including humoral, cellular, and innate immunity, may help in the pathogenesis of UTI in diabetic patients . Lower urinary interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 levels were found in diabetic patients with UTI. An outline of process involved in pathogenesis of urinary tract infection in diabetic patients is mentioned in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Process involved in pathogenesis of UTI in patients with diabetes.

Some suggested host related mechanisms include :

Presence of glycosuria

  • Increased adherence to uroepithelial cells

  • Immune dysfunction

  • Geerlings et al. in their study reported that urine samples with glucose concentrations between 100 and 1000 mg/dL, which comes in the range of moderate to severe glucosuria, were responsible for enhanced bacterial growth after 6 h, compared with normal urine.

    Youve Got A Cold The Flu Or Allergies

    Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors

    You may be tempted to curse your seasonal sneezes, a cold, or the dreaded flu for making your life even more miserable with a UTI, but these ailments arent the cause. The meds you take to manage symptoms could be.

    Though theyre the bomb at keeping your runny or stuffy nose in check, antihistamines and decongestants might make you go less by causing urinary retention. And see No. 6 that may lead to a UTI.

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    Eating Your Way To A Healthier Bladder And Bowel

    The NHS estimates that there are around 14 million people who have bladder control problems and around 6.5 million people who suffer from poor bowel control and these are people of all ages incontinence in not an issue just for the elderly.

    Did you know that for many people, incontinence issues can be vastly improved just by adjusting what we eat and drink. In this blog, we explore how what we eat and drink can affect our bladder and/or bowel.

    Foods and drinks to avoid

    If you suffer from and overactive bladder or urge incontinence, there are certain foods that can aggravate your condition and leave the bladder feeling irritated and sore. These include

    Cranberry juice good or bad?

    It has long been thought that cranberry juice can help prevent urinary tract infections but in fact leading urologists say that there isnt any evidence to suggest that cranberry juice does have properties that stop bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. Cranberry juice is also naturally very acidic, which could lead to bladder irritation.

    Increase your fibre

    Drink less or drink more?

    Achieve a healthy weight

    Being at healthy BMI will help to reduce the pressure on your pelvic floor muscles and provide better support to your bladder and bowel and improve your ability to better control the sphincter muscles.

    Support Your Good Bacteria Instead Of The Bad

    Whilst we can aim to avoid excess sugar which risks spurring on our bad bacteria, another tactic is to focus on supporting our good bacteria instead. See, we have both good and bad types of bacteria throughout our system naturally however, these operate in a delicate balance and our good bacteria need to be of adequate numbers to help keep the bad guys in check.

    To help support your good bacteria, a combination of prebiotics and probiotics work particularly well. Prebiotics such as our Molkosan help to correct the internal environment and the pH in and around our digestive and urinary tracts, which helps set the scene to top up our numbers of good bacteria themselves . For urinary tract or intimate issues, I often recommend Optibac For Women.

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    Causes Of Sudden Confusion

    Sudden confusion can be caused by many different things. Do not try to self-diagnose get medical help if someone suddenly becomes confused or delirious.

    Some of the most common causes of sudden confusion include:

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    Disease Burden Of Urinary Tract Infections Among Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients In The Us

    Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

    Volume 28, Issue 5 , SeptemberOctober 2014, Pages 621-626 Disease burden of urinary tract infections among type 2 diabetes mellitus patients in the U.S. Author links open overlay panel ShengshengYua Type 2 diabetes is a reported risk factor for more frequent and severe urinary tract infections . We sought to quantify the annual healthcare cost burden of UTI in type 2 diabetic patients. Adult patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were identified in MarketScan administrative claims data. UTI occurrence and costs were assessed during a 1-year period. We examined UTI-related visit and antibiotic costs among patients diagnosed with UTI, comparing those with versus without a history of UTI in the previous year . We estimated the total incremental cost of UTI by comparing all-cause healthcare costs in patients with versus without UTI, using propensity score-matched samples. Within the year, 8.2% of subjects had 1 UTI, of whom 33.8% had a history of UTI. UTI-related costs among prevalent versus incident cases were, respectively, $603 versus $447 for outpatient services, $1,607 versus $1,819 for hospitalizations, and $61 versus $35 for antibiotics. UTI was associated with a total all-cause incremental cost of $7,045 per patient with UTI per year. UTI is common and may impose a substantial direct medical cost burden among patients with type 2 diabetes.Continue reading > >

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    Lifeline Renal Cells In Diabetes Research

    Patients with diabetes mellitus are at risk of a number of complications, including an increased risk of infection. Urinary tract infections are particularly common and often driven by multidrug-resistant bacteria. In the kidney, immune defense to combat infections is largely performed by intercalated cells, located in kidney collecting tubules. These cells secrete antimicrobial peptides, which function to kill various microbes. Uropathogenic E. coli is one of these microbes and attaches to intercalated cells during infection. In a 2018 study, Murtha et al. set out to determine the mechanism by which DM increases UTI risk and the role of insulin signaling in this process.

    The authors first assessed whether DM and the associated hyperglycemia increased incidence of UTI in mice. Using a mouse model of T2DM infected with UPEC, they found that sensitivity to UPEC infection was increased in mice with T2DM compared with control non-diabetic mice. Additionally, expression of the insulin receptor and phosphorylated Akt was decreased in the kidney and bladder of T2DM mice. The authors observed similar results in a prediabetic mouse model of insulin resistance.

    Together, the results of this study demonstrate that insulin signaling through IR in the urinary tract regulates antimicrobial peptide expression and protects against UTI.

    How Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented

    • Maintain normal blood sugar level as too much glucose in the urine would encourage bacterial growth in the urinary tract.
    • Try and keep the genital area clean and dry. Do not use a scented soap or intimate wash products as they can irritate the genital region.
    • Carefully clean and wipe the genital area from front to back after urinating or passing stool.
    • Drink plenty of water so that any bacteria in the tract gets flushed on passing the urine.
    • Wash the genitals with water , before and after sexual intercourse.
    • Urinate after sexual intercourse.

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    You Dont Pee After Sex

    The threat of getting a UTI shouldnt stop you from getting it on. But that doesnt mean resigning yourself to the afterburn.

    One simple way to cut your risk: Head to the potty after youve finished your romp. Youll possibly flush out the bacteria that may have made their way into your urinary tract. Urinary Tract Infection. .

    How Can You Prevent Utis

    Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) Overview | Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

    When it comes to UTI prevention, rumors and misconceptions abound. But, for the most part, these are the typical prevention recommendations for people with recurrent UTIs :

    • A new birth control: If recurrent UTIs are caused by using diaphragms or spermicide, you can talk to your healthcare provider about alternative contraceptives.
    • Topical estrogen: If youre getting UTIs because youre postmenopausal, your healthcare provider may prescribe topical estrogen.
    • Antibiotic prophylaxis: If your UTIs can be traced to sexual activity, you might be prescribed an antibiotic prophylaxis, or a proactive course of antibiotics like Keflex or Cipro, and advised to take it before or after sex.

    There are a few other possible methods that could prove helpful for UTI prevention, but the clinical evidence for them is lacking:

    Youve likely also heard about behavioral modifications you can make to reduce the risk of getting a UTI. Heres where the science stands on some of the most common ones:

    What about avoiding douches and feminine hygiene sprays? Doctors dont recommend using either, but the reason isnt to prevent UTIs: Douching changes the balance of good bacteria that lives in your vagina, which can cause yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis and any type of spray or deodorant that goes on the vulva can irritate it.

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    Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections

    Lower urinary tract infections can often be treated by taking antibiotics for a few days. Painkillers may also be taken to treat any associated stomach or back pain.

    Upper urinary tract infections may be treated at home or in hospital depending on your condition.

    Treatment will involve a longer period of antibiotics, at least a week. The pain can be treated with Paracetemol, however, some painkillers, such as Ibuprofen are not suitable as they can up the risk of damage to the kidneys.

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