Ask Nadia: I Am a Type 2 with a Lot of Urinary Tract Infections

Dear Nadia:

I am a type 2 who was diagnosed ten years ago. I have a lot of urinary tract infections. They are painful. Any advice on why this keeps happening?

—Margaret

 

Dear Margaret:

One of the most frequent symptoms of diabetes is the need to urinate frequently. This is because the body is trying to rid itself of excess glucose. If your diet is high in carbohydrates and sugar, it could be that your body is trying to do all it can to expunge the glucose.

One common result of excess urination is an infected urinary tract. Urine’s high glucose content becomes a good source of nutrition that allows yeast infections to thrive.

Diet, sex, and new sexual partners can lead to chronic yeast infections.

 

Common Yeast Infections

One of the most common yeast infections 

in type, 2s is caused by candidiasis, a yeast “family” that has 20 variations. One of them, candida albicans, is a known agent in urinary tract infections. Yet despite general medical knowledge about candida albicans and how to treat it, it almost always goes undetected by healthcare providers.

One reason for that lack of detection is that most people who have candida albanians in their system are asymptomatic. It turns out that candida is less an agent of infection and more of what is called a “commensal,” an organism that lives within another organism without giving or taking any benefit. The host, which is usually an agent of infection, offers candida a nice place to shelter and avoid attention from all but the most thorough doctors.

(Another factor, which probably doesn’t apply in your case, is being on a catheter. Catheter use can invite infection—an unfortunate side effect of multi-day or week stays at hospital or clinic.)

 

Complications from Urinary Tract Infections

Chronic urinary tract infections can damage your kidneys if untreated. It might help create a list of your symptoms and past treatment(s) for your infection and take it on your next visit to your healthcare provider. Be sure to ask about candida as a possible source of your recurring infections. Your healthcare professional may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent kidney infection.

 

Disclaimer:

Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professional’s therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.

About Nadia:

AskNadia (ranked #1 by Google), named “Best Diabetes Blog for 2019 & 2017 by Healthline. With 24 nominations, Nadia Al-Samarrie’s efforts have made her stand out as a pioneer and leading patient advocate in the diabetes community.

Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. At a young age, she was propelled into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview, now Diabetes Health magazine.

Nadia has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and other major cable networks. Her publications, medical supply business, and website have been cited, recognized, and published in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Ann Landers advice column, former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, Entrepreneur magazine, Houston News, Phili.com, Brand Week, Drug Topics, and many other media outlets.

 

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