AskNadia: Type 2 Diabetes With a Lot of Urinary Tract Infections

Dear Nadia:

I am a type 2 who was diagnosed 10 years ago. I have a lot of urinary tract infections and they are painful. Any advice on why this keeps happening?


Dear Margaret:

One of the most dramatic 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 Infection

One of 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 albanicans 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 with 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 be helpful to 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.

In the meantime, here are some links below that will give you a more in-depth take on what may be happening to you.



Fungal Urinary Tract Infection

10 Signs and Symptoms That You Have an Overgrowth of Candida – RM Healthy

Diagnosis and Management of Fungal Urinary Tract Infection


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.

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About Nadia:

Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age 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 received 19 nominations for her work as a diabetes advocate.
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