Here’s Why Diabetics Are Prone to Vaginal Yeast Infections

  • Having high blood sugar levels can lead to yeast overgrowth, particularly in the vaginal area.
  • Yeast feeds on sugar, therefore, uncontrolled diabetes means a high risk of developing vaginal yeast infection.
  • Consult with a doctor if you think you have symptoms of vaginal yeast infection like irritation, itchiness, and discharge for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What is vaginal yeast infection?

In their lifetime, 3 in 4 women will have vaginal yeast infection. With half experiencing twice or thrice.

Candidiasis or yeast infection is a type of fungal infection that causes itchiness, irritation, and discharge.

There are several reasons why women get vaginal yeast infection and diabetes is one of them.

What’s the link between diabetes and yeast infection?

Yeast feeds off of sugar. A spike or increase in sugar can cause yeast to overgrow, specifically in the vaginal area leading to infection.

To avoid it or lower risk, reduce sugar level and get tested for infection.

Other causes of yeast infections include: engaging in sexual activity, taking birth control pills, undergoing hormone therapy, taking certain antibiotics, becoming pregnant, having an impaired immune system.

Yeast Infection Diagnosis

1.   Symptoms are similar to STIs.  It is important to consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

2.   Doctors will also assess medical profile like what medications are you in then perform a pelvic exam.

3.   Doctors will also examine the external genital area for any signs of infection and perform an internal examination to check your vagina and cervix.

4.  Your doctor may also take a sample of your vaginal fluid to determine the type of fungus that’s causing the infection

How Yeast Infection Is Treated

— For mild to moderate yeast infections

Doctors may recommend an over-the-counter or by prescription topical ointment, cream, or suppository for a period of 7 days depending on medication. Common options include: butoconazole (Gynazole-1), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin), miconazole (Monistat 3), and terconazole (Terazol 3).

There’s also single-dose oral medication such as fluconazole (Diflucan). Depending on the severity of symptoms, they may suggest that you take two single doses three days apart to help clear the infection.

— For severe infections

Treatment could be a long-course vaginal therapy of cream, ointment, tablet, or suppository medication for as long as 17 days. If infection does not clear after a therapy or if it recurs, let your doctor know.

— For recurring yeast infections

Doctors may develop a maintenance plan to prevent yeast overgrowth. This plan may include: a two-week course of medication to start, a once-weekly fluconazole tablet for six months, and a once-weekly clotrimazole suppository for six months.

Additional Notes:

  • The use of condoms during sex can help avoid infecting your partner.
  • For those with diabetes, the specific fungus involved is the Candida glabrata which responds better to a long course of suppository medication.
  • If you opt to try for a suppository medication, discuss with your doctor for the best treatment option.

How to Prevent Yeast Infections:

  • For diabetics, monitor blood sugar levels.
  • Avoid scented tampons or menstrual pads.
  • Frequently change tampons or menstrual pads.
  • Avoid douches or vaginal sprays.
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing that makes the vaginal area moist
  • Avoid very hot baths or sitting in hot tubs
  • Change out of exercise clothing and swimwear after use
  • Wear cotton underwear to help moisture level under control  

Always consult a doctor if you think you have a yeast infection for proper diagnosis and choice of treatment.

Source: Healthline

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