Most probably the only place where you must have heard of the yeast infection would be that of a vaginal yeast infection. It is a very common health condition that occurs when there is an overgrowth of yeast which is a type of fungus inside a body. The symptoms of this condition would be itchiness, irritation, and vaginal discharge. Most of us are unaware that yeast, a fungus, is something that lives inside a body without creating any concerns, however, it can overgrown and result in an infection wherein our immune system might get weak.
Yeast is something that feeds entirely on sugar and it is people who are diagnosed with diabetes who are more prone to developing vaginal yeast infection.
What should you know about diabetes and its connection with yeast infection?
You are diagnosed with diabetes which is elevated levels of blood sugar in your body you are more likely thrown to end up with a vaginal yeast infection. There are also chances that your diabetes medication might be creating an environment for these infections to nurture itself and grow. Therefore make sure that you obtain a diagnosis from your doctor or your healthcare provider only after a pelvic exam.
Symptoms and signs of a yeast infection
The signs of such infections are quite recognisable especially if you have had an infection before. Some of the common signs include:
- Burning of pain while urinating
- Vaginal itching
- Sorceress or redness around the vagina
- Feeling pain while having sexual intercourse
- Thick or clumpy white discharge
You must know that at least 72% of people who have a vagina develop a yeast infection at least once in their lifetime.
What are the risk factors and causes?
There are many factors which tend to interfere with the balance of bacteria and yeast inside the vagina thereby increasing a risk of developing an infection. One of the factors is if you have type two diabetes and if the condition is not under your control. As we know that Yeast feeds on sugar and it is more likely to over grow and thrive when your blood sugar levels are high. Some factors that contribute to such an infection hour: Pregnancy, birth control, hormone changes, antibiotic use, a week immune system, wearing underwear that is very damp or tight, and sexual activity.
Connection between yeast infections and diabetes
We all know that diabetes is considered to be a chronic condition that affects the human body’s ability to process sugar, in other words glucose, leading to extremely high levels of blood sugar in the body. There are several studies which have found a link between diabetes and a vaginal yeast infection. If a person is diagnosed with type two diabetes condition then the person is more susceptible to developing a vaginal yeast infection.
High blood sugar levels
When the blood sugar levels are high in the body, the human body tends to begin getting rid of all the excess sugar present in a body in the form of bodily fluids which includes vaginal secretion. And since yeast gets his energy from the sugary substances, it becomes an ideal environment for yeast infection to multiply and over grow. We all know how high levels of blood sugar interferes with healthy immune system functions and it can also interfere with the immune system fighting off yeast infections. Uncontrolled diabetes makes it even more difficult to get rid of an existing vaginal Yeast infection.
Certain diabetes medications
These can contribute to an unhealthy environment where vaginal yeast infections can grow easily. Type of diabetes drugs known by the name sodium-glucose co-transporter 2inhibitors SGLT-two are usually used in helping to lower the blood sugar levels. The working of these medications are done by helping the body remove all the excess sugar through urine. This means that sugar is passing through your urinary tract more frequently and this might be feeding an environment which is very suitable for vaginal yeast infection. Examples of these medications are:
How to prevent yeast infections?
Although diabetes can make you more vulnerable of developing yeast infections, there are certain steps you can follow to protect yourself. One Man prevention strategy for people diagnosed with diabetes includes ensuring that your blood sugar levels are in check. This will help your vagina to balance the bacteria and yeast in order to remain infection free. You will have to consult a healthcare provider and then follow the following steps:
- Drink enough water
- Maintain a healthy diet ensuring that your carbohydrate intake is low
- Ensuring that your blood sugar level targets are maintained
- Following a regular exercise routine
- Ensuring that diabetes medications are taken without a miss
Certain other tips to prevent this infection include:
- Wear underwear which is made of breathable fabrics such as cotton and it should not be too tight
- Maintain healthy vagina by keeping it clean and dry
- Change your pads or tampons frequently when you’re on periods
- Avoid usage of vaginas products which contain perfumes
- Eat foods that are rich in probiotics, for example, yoghurt
Treatment of a yeast infection depends on severity of the case and the symptoms. Your healthcare provider or doctor may prescribe you an oral antifungal infection or an over-the-counter cream. Always consult your doctor if you feel you are having a vaginal yeast infection, there is nothing to be ashamed about it.