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DIABETES AND INFECTIONS

Diabetes is a incurable disease which results in blood glucose (a type of sugar) levels to be above or below normal levels. In people who are suffering from diabetes, the pancreas either make’s less insulin (a hormone which manages sugar in the body), or it doesn’t use insulin properly as it should. This spikes the sugar level in the blood which can result in serious medical condition like blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and also lower-extremity amputations. 

All cases of diabetes fall into these two categories: 

Type 1 Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the body’s capacity to produce insulin is nil. The body breaks down the sugars and starches in the food into a simple form called glucose, which can be used for energy. Insulin is that important hormone which is needed by the body to move glucose from the bloodstream and directing them into the cells of the body.

Type 2 Diabetes
This Type 2 diabetes is the most common category of diabetes. If a person has type 2 diabetes, this means that the body does not use insulin properly. This is also called insulin resistance. Initially the pancreas makes extra insulin to counter for it. But, latterly it isn’t able to keep up the production and can’t make enough amount of insulin to maintain the blood glucose at normal levels. 

Why are people suffering eith diabetes more likely to have infections?

High blood sugar levels weaken an individual’s immune system defenses. People suffering from long term diabetes may have peripheral nerve damage which reduces blood flow to their extremities, this increases the chances of infection. High sugar levels in the blood and tissues also allow bacteria to breed which allows infections to develop more rapidly.

What are common infections for people with diabetes? 

Some of the most common infections in diabetic person includes:

  • Ear, nose, and throat infections: Fungal infections in nose and throat are seen in almost every patient suffering with diabetes. Symptoms are simple like severe ear pain and discharge from the ear.
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs): Uncontrolled diabetes is one of the major cause which leads to UTIs. These UTIs are commonly caused due to germs such as Escherichia coliKlebsiellaEnterococcus, and Candida. Kidney infections and inflammation of the bladder are also really common.
  • Skin , soft tissue infections: Diabetic people are at a very high risk for having infections and wounds in the leg (also known as diabetic foot). Continuous trauma and bad footwear lead to these type of infections. If these infections aren’t treated quickly and effectively, it can result in amputation.

How Diabetic Patients can prevent from having infections? 

  1. They must make sure to control the blood sugar levels. This can be done by regular exercise, eating healthy foods, and follow  the doctor’s recommended routine of blood glucose testing.
  2. One must take medicines as prescribed by the doctor.
  3. One must maintain good personal hygiene. Washing hands frequently, especially after using the washroom, after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing, before eating, or whenever your hands are dirty. 
  4. Insulin pen should never be shared at anytime. These are meant for only one person. 
  5.  Flu vaccine should be taken each year and all vaccinations should be upto date. 
  6. Footwear should be good soft and covered. Socks should be changed daily. People suffering from diabetes should examine their feet daily. 
  7. Medical care should be taken instantly if one is injured or ill.

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