Why Do Type 2 Diabetics Have Frequent Urinary Tract Infections?

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Diabetes is a lifelong disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood. There are two types, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 is far more common than type 1. Type 2 usually develops in adulthood, but is becoming more common in young people these days. Living with this disease can challenging, but it can be controlled if proper measures are taken.

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What is Diabetes?

In diabetics, the pancreas does not make enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels normal. This is usually caused by the body not responding well to insulin. Most Type 2 diabetics do not know they have it. Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common due to increasing numbers of obese people and lack of exercise.

Causes

Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas to control blood sugar. Diabetes is caused by one of the following: resistance to insulin, too little insulin, or both. People with diabetes have high blood sugar. This happens either because your pancreas does not make enough insulin to metabolize the blood sugar, or because your body can't use the insulin normally in the process of metabolizing sugars.

Urinary Tract Infections in Diabetics

People with diabetes have more urinary tract infections (UTIs) due to compromised immune systems. Infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens. Diabetes tends to affect the many systems that protect against infection in general, and specifically in urinary tract infections.

Urinary Tract Infections

Diabetes causes poor circulation, which reduces the chances of fighting infections and getting the white blood cells where they need to go. Many diabetics have bladders that contract poorly which allows the urine to remain in static pools for long periods. Sitting for this long provides the bacteria a place to grow, causing a UTI. Common UTI symptoms are the frequent urge to urinate, or pain and/or burning when urinating.

Treatment & Prevention

Urinary tract infections can be painful to anyone. Treatments for UTIs include increased fluid intake and antibiotics. Doctors suggest people with diabetes take additional steps to help prevent this infection from recurring. One step is to drink plenty of water each day. Also urinate when you feel the need. Another is to wipe front to back to prevent bacteria from entering the urethra.

If you think you have a UTI, contact your primary care physician.

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