Diabetes & Vaginal Yeast Infections
It's important to be aware of vaginal yeast infections, which pose a problem for at least 3 out of 4 women. Those that are living with diabetes suffer an even greater risk, as their disease can create the perfect conditions for recurrent yeast infections.
Diabetes increases the risk for Vaginal Yeast Infection
Diabetes is the label for the body's inability to process sugar effectively, causing high blood sugar levels that can result in a multitude of complications. Elevated blood sugar levels affect the body in two different ways:
- All body fluids will contain a higher amount of glucose
- All bodily tissues will start to function abnormally, including the body's defenses against outside agents - like yeast.
Essentially, diabetes contributes to yeast overgrowth when high blood sugars feed the yeast and weaken the body's defense against it. It is therefore extremely important for women with diabetes to closely watch their blood sugar levels.
Safe Blood Glucose Levels
Most doctors recommend these as generally safe blood glucose levels:
- 100-110 mg/dL in the morning and before meals.
- After a meal, blood glucose levels should be no higher than 140 mg/dL.
Problems start to develop when blood sugar levels surpass these. Of course, women with diabetes should be in close contact with their health practitioner about what is and isn't safe.
Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
The risk is equal for women with both types of diabetes. The high glucose level becomes a poison and will act against the body if left unregulated.
Diet, Diabetes, and Vaginal Yeast Infections
As with any other disease, diet will play a large role in the development and treatment of diabetes and vaginal yeast infections. Along with medication and insulin, diet can be used to control blood glucose levels. You can directly impact your blood glucose levels by restricting or eliminating glucose from your diet. By keeping glucose levels stable, you keep the yeast in your body under control and prevent its overgrowth.
Treating Vaginal Yeast Infections in Diabetic Women
Women with diabetes have the same treatment options for their yeast infections that are available to women without diabetes. However, that treatment will likely last longer in women with diabetes.