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Did you know diabetes can give you frequent urinary tract infections?

Published on:24 November 2020, 18:16pm IST
People often think of diabetes as just a disease that causes your blood sugar to spike. But did you know this lifestyle ailment also causes UTIs?
Dr Uma Vaidyanathan
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Manage your blood sugar to stay safe from UTIs. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Diabetes affects millions of people worldwide, children and adults included. It claims about 1,78,000 lives each year. It hampers the quality of life and is a lifelong malady.

Glucose is the source of energy for cells. When our body breaks down food, glucose starts entering the bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, must be present for the glucose to enter the cells. Diabetes causes insulin resistance.

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Without enough insulin, glucose remains in the blood. Presence of excess glucose in the bloodstream can increase the risk of several diseases including cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, foot ulcers, damage to the eyes, diabetic ketoacidosis, and even urinary tract infections.

There is correlation between UTIs and diabetes

There are some links that correlate urinary tract infections and diabetes.  Diabetes may worsen urologic conditions as it can interrupt blood flow and compromise nervous sensory and motor functions in the body. Also, diabetes can impact bladder emptying. As a result, urine stays in the bladder for a longer period and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. According to research findings, these infections become critical and have worser outcomes for people who have type 2 diabetes.

UTi from sex
Who would have thought diabetes can put you at the risk of UTIs? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The symptoms of urinary tract infection may include frequent urination, pain or burning with urination and change in colour of urine. Women may complain of increased sensation of pressure above their pubic bone. Men may feel fullness in the rectum.

Some other additional symptoms may occur, including nausea, back pain, and frequent episodes of high-grade fever. Because women have shorter urethras, they are more susceptible to UTIs than men. However, diabetes is a common and significant reason behind risk of getting recurrent urinary infections in both men and women.

Take these precautions to prevent urinary tract infections if you have diabetes
  • Drink enough water everyday
  • Keep your blood sugar level under control
  • Keep your private parts clean
  • Avoid using public toilets
  • Do not hold your urine for prolonged intervals

Manage diabetes to stay safe from UTIs and other related problems that this lifestyle disease puts you at the risk of.

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Dr Uma Vaidyanathan Dr Uma Vaidyanathan

Dr Uma is a senior consultant at obstetrics and gynaecology department, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.