Endocrinology-Diabetes Questions Urinary Tract Infections

Can diabetes cause frequent urinary infections?

I have type 2 diabetes, and have been getting recurrent UTI's. Could this be because of my diabetes? What can I do to prevent them?

3 Answers

Yes, poor diabetic control lowers immunity and all infections are more prevalent. Diabetes with good diabetes control have similar infection rates and covid survival as to non diabetics. Diabetes who haven't exercised, are not strong, and are overweight have a poor survival rate to covid and develop more viruses, fungal infections of the genitals and feet. Onycomycosis (toenail fungal infections) is very common in diabetics. . So what's the message, have a healthy lifestyle. The real difference between a diabetic and a non diabetic is that even though everyone should have a good lifestyle, a diabetic must have one.
Paul Norwood MD, FACE Endocrinologist
Great question, I get it a lot from patients. People with diabetes, are generally at a higher risk of infections, because bacteria is attracted to sugar. The higher the sugar, the higher the risk of infection. In order to help prevent these, you can work with your doctor and nutritionist to lower your A1C and improve diabetes control.
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Yes it can. There are several ways it can do that. 1) If the DM is not well controlled there will be excess sugar excreted in the urine and do those "little bugs" (bacteria) love sugar. With too much sugar in the bladder the bugs can reproduce & cause UTI. 2) Long term diabetes, especially if not well controlled can effect the nervous system causing neuropathy. In this case, the neuropathy is of the system we call the autonomic nervous system that controls function of the internal organs. If these nerves to the bladder are damaged from too much glucose the bladder becomes paralyzed & retains a residual urine. As it sits there it can become infected. 3) certain medicines can contribute to UTI. The main one that comes to mind now is the class of drugs called "Flozins" This class of diabetes (Invokana & several others) bring down blood sugar by facilitating more sugar loss in the urine. More sugar in the urine can again give food for those "little bugs" & UTI. Genital infections can also occur. These are usually fungal in nature & can be transmitted to sexual partners. This can be treated so if it occurs see your Dr. Get you sugar under control & keep it under control is the best way to conquer this problem.