Why do Diabetics Get Yeast Infections?
Why do Diabetics Get Yeast Infections?
Yeast infections can occur in your vagina, mouth, gut or on your skin. In healthy adults, a yeast infection is not life-threatening, just irritating. If you’re suffering from a vaginal yeast infection, it can present with constant itching, redness and a vaginal discharge.
Many women with a yeast infection of the vagina develop burning sensation while urinating or when having sexual intercourse. Although more than 70% of women experience at least one episode of a yeast infection in their lifetime, women who have type 2 diabetes experience them more frequently.
How Does a Vaginal Yeast Infection Develop in Diabetic Women?
The vaginal area has yeast and other bacteria as part of the normal flora. There is a balance between the two organisms so that they don’t cause any problems. However, if there is a change in the balance of these organisms, then an infection becomes a reality.
Studies show that the one condition that is known to induce multiplication of yeast in the vagina is diabetes. The sugar from the blood circulation can leak into the vaginal secretions and it produces an excellent medium for growth.
Is High Blood Sugar the Only Factor?
The exact association between the yeast and blood sugar levels is not well understood. Yeast infections also occur more frequently even when the blood sugar levels are well controlled in diabetics.
Some experts believe that besides the sugar levels, diabetes also affects the function of white cells, which normally protect the body from foreign substances like viruses and bacteria. There is ample evidence indicating that white cell function in diabetics is diminished and that also explains why yeast infections are common.
How to Treat a Vaginal Yeast Infection in Diabetic Women?
For most diabetic women, the management of a yeast infection is pretty straightforward but for those who routinely have high levels of blood sugar, the treatment can become difficult and getting rid of the yeast can be problematic.
The treatment of a diabetic with a vaginal yeast infection is the same as for a non-diabetic. All the conventional anti-fungal drugs work well. Some of the remedies include over the counter antifungal creams or suppositories that are used for 1-7 days, the most common one is Monistat.
For diabetics whose yeast infections persist, one may need long-term therapy with an oral pill called fluconazole or Diflucan. This medication is very effective but not recommended if you’re pregnant.
If you prefer a natural treatment, boric acid suppositories are a great option. They work very well even in cases of persistent recurrent yeast infections and they’re effective against vaginal yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis.
What Can You Do to Prevent Vaginal Yeast Infections?
Diabetics can reduce their risk of a yeast infection by doing the following:
- Control your blood sugar levels
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting garments
- Wear cotton underwear which absorbs moisture better than other fabrics
- Learn more about preventing vaginal yeast infections here
All diabetics should regularly see their healthcare provider to ensure that their blood sugar levels are within normal limits and that they are not developing any other diabetic complication.
For women suffering from diabetes vaginal yeast infections may become a serious problem that can significantly affect their quality of life. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat it and you’re bound to find a remedy that will work for you. Apart from boric acid, you can try other natural cures for a vaginal yeast infection, such as aloe vera or ginger tea. If you want to learn more about OTC medication, check my article about medications for vaginal yeast infection.
I’d love to hear about your experiences. If you suffer from diabetes and you’re often getting yeast infections don’t hesitate to use the comment section below to share your story or ask questions.