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Diabetes and Yeast Infections

Learn how yeast infections are more prevalent in people with diabetes, and how to prevent them.


If you have diabetes, you may be more likely to develop a yeast infection.

Yeast is a fungus that can grow out of control in moist, warm conditions. If your blood sugar isn’t well-controlled, it can provide the perfect environment for yeast to thrive. Although any area of your body can be affected by a yeast infection, they’re most common in the vagina and penis.

Symptoms vary depending on the location of the infection but can include itching, burning, and redness. While yeast infections are usually not serious, they can be very uncomfortable.

Sometimes, they can also lead to more severe health problems if left untreated. If you think you may have a yeast infection, it’s essential to see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Here’s what you need to know about diabetes and yeast infections.

How does diabetes increase your risk for yeast infections?

diabetes and yeast infections

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic condition where the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin is impaired, leading to elevated levels of glucose in the blood.

Having diabetes can lead to an increased risk for yeast infections due to changes in the sugar and acid balance in the body.

The higher sugar level encourages yeast growth, leading to an overabundance of yeasts and other organisms, which can cause infection.

Additionally, people with diabetes may experience more frequent or severe infections due to decreased immunity and restricted circulation associated with the condition.

People with diabetes must take preventive measures such as adequately managing their sugar levels, avoiding sugary food and drinks, and wearing breathable clothing around areas prone to fungal or bacterial infections.

These tips will help minimize yeast infection risk in people with diabetes while promoting optimal health outcomes.

The symptoms of a yeast infection

Generally, you will experience itchiness and burning around the area of the infection.

In women, this area is typically the vagina. For men and children, it may be the mouth or other areas of skin.

Other symptoms can include pain during urination or sexual intercourse, redness of the affected area, and a cottage cheese-like discharge.

Severe cases may also involve swelling, pain, or cracking of the skin or tissue around the affected area.

It’s essential to seek medical treatment should any of these symptoms occur. They could be indicative of an underlying condition that requires treatment.

When to see a doctor for a yeast infection

If you’re experiencing symptoms such as vaginal itching, irritation, burning, soreness, or thick white clumpy discharge that resembles cottage cheese, you likely have a yeast infection.

Even if the symptoms are mild, you should visit a doctor and receive professional advice.

Over-the-counter medications can help treat symptoms; however, there are some cases where further examination is necessary.

Severe infections may require an additional course of treatment, such as an antifungal prescription or even antibiotics in rare cases if bacteria is contributing to the infection.

Your doctor may also suggest tests to determine possible underlying causes that could potentially trigger future infections.

Knowing when to seek medical attention for a yeast infection will help you find relief quickly.

How to get tested for a yeast infection

A yeast infection test is a method of diagnosing and evaluating the presence of a fungal infection, such as Candida albicans or other Candida species. An overgrowth of fungi and sugar causes the yeast to thrive.

Testing includes both physical examination and laboratory tests.

During the physical examination, a doctor may look for signs of an infection, such as redness, swelling, itching, or discharge.

Laboratory tests may include culturing the affected area to detect any fungi or testing blood or urine samples for evidence of infection.

Yeast Infection Treatment

Treating a yeast infection is important for preventing persistent symptoms, discomfort, and further complications.

Active management is key in keeping these infections in check. If you can help it, don’t postpone your diagnosis.

The most important step is seeing your doctor for a proper diagnosis through diagnostic testing.

Depending on the severity of the infection and symptoms, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter antifungal medication or an oral prescription medication.

Your medications can help rid you of symptoms such as discharge, itching and burning sensations.

Practice good hygiene habits by wearing loose clothing and/or breathable fabrics, avoiding douching and minimizing contact with irritants such as powders and perfumes.

Additional measures such as eating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt or kefir can also aid in restoring balance to the body’s microbiome.

Tips for preventing future yeast infections

Yeast infections can be incredibly uncomfortable, so taking steps to prevent them in the future is key.

One way to help avoid future yeast infections is to practice proper hygiene, especially in areas that are prone to moisture.

Additionally, wearing cotton underwear and breathable clothing can help prevent excessive moisture. Avoid tight clothes and synthetic materials that don’t allow the body to breathe.

Practicing safe sex can also help prevent future infections.

Using condoms or dental dams during intercourse can reduce your risk of infection, as can avoiding sexual contact if you have symptoms of a yeast infection.

Additionally, it’s important to limit sugar intake and keep blood sugars in range – as yeast thrives on sugar.

Finally, maintain good general health and optimal pH balance for optimal vaginal health by exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet rich in minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and other nutrients.

Following these tips may reduce your risk of developing further infections in the future and allow you to live a more comfortable life.

Do any diabetes medications have yeast infections as a side effect?

Yes, some diabetes medications have yeast infections as a side effect.

Some of these medications include glyburide, glipizide, and glimepiride. It is important to consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms of a yeast infection, as it may be a side effect of your diabetes medication.

The bottom line on diabetes and yeast infections

Now that you know more about diabetes and how it can lead to yeast infections, as well as the symptoms and treatments, you are armed with the knowledge you need to manage this condition.

Be sure to see your doctor if you believe you have a yeast infection so that they can confirm the diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment. And remember, by taking steps to keep your blood sugar in range and practicing good hygiene, you can help prevent future yeast infections.

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About Mila

Hi! I'm Mila.

I’m earning my Master’s degree in Applied nutrition.

I’m currently an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach living with  LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slow-progressing form of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes) I love food, travel, and my kitchen, and teaching you about diabetes self-management.

I’m here to help you live your best life possible diabetes by showing you how to create simple, blood-sugar friendly and delicious meals and tips on diabetes self-care.

Be sure to download my FREE Diabetes Community App Glucose Guide, or reach out for FREE 1:1 diabetes health and habit coaching.

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