If you've recently been diagnosed with Type II diabetes after months or even years of struggling with vague symptoms like increased thirst, blood sugar spikes and dips, and even recurrent yeast infections, you may be wondering how to lessen the impact of this chronic disease on your daily life. Fortunately, getting your blood sugar under control through dietary or lifestyle changes, medication, or an insulin pump can go a long way toward controlling the symptoms with which you've become accustomed — however, you may still find yourself battling a higher-than-average number of yeast infections. Read on to learn more about the connection between diabetes and yeast infections as well as what you can do to minimize the frequency with which you find yourself visiting the gynecologist or purchasing over-the-counter yeast infection cream.
Why are diabetes and yeast infections related?
Every woman has yeast bacteria (candida) in her vagina at any given time. This bacteria is generally considered a "good" one when compared to other naturally-occurring bacteria, but it feeds on sugar — so when the concentration of sugar in the vagina or even bloodstream is higher than normal, it can feed bacteria growth, resulting in the heavy discharge, itching, and other unpleasant symptoms that accompany a yeast infection. (This is why women who utilize sugary lubricants or other sex aids may find themselves dealing with more frequent yeast infections as a result of the pH imbalance and introduction of sugar to the vagina.)
Women with diabetes can be more vulnerable to yeast infections because of the impact diabetes has on blood sugar levels and the way the body processes sugar. In addition, diabetes can harm the body's ability to fight infection, turning minor infections that might have been treatable without medication into more chronic infections that are harder to tackle.
What can you do to minimize the impact of your diabetes when it comes to yeast infections?
The biggest step you can take toward battling chronic yeast infections is to control your blood sugar. By keeping the concentration of sugar molecules in your blood at a normal level, the yeast bacteria won't have any excess sugar to consume. While this may not be enough to treat an existing infection, you'll likely find that proactive blood sugar management can help you stave off any future yeast infections.
You'll also want to ensure you consume plenty of sugar-free probiotics and other good bacteria that can improve the balance of bacteria in your body. Taking probiotics on a regular basis can help fight bad bacteria, reducing the load on your white blood cells (which can often take a beating when dealing with diabetes on a daily basis).
For more about this topic, talk to a local professional.