Diabetes and Infections
A person with diabetes mellitus is at higher risk for infections than other people.
What is going on in the body?
Diabetes mellitus, also called DM, is a condition that makes it hard for the body to control the level of glucose in the blood.
The result is a high level of glucose in the blood, known as hyperglycemia. An increased level of glucose in the blood can cause a number of problems. This, along with other factors, makes a person with DM more susceptible to infections. These infections may include:
foot and leg infections, including diabetic foot ulcers, which are caused by poor circulation and nerve damage, known as diabetic neuropathy
vaginal yeast infections in women and jock itch in men
ringworm and athlete's foot
styes, which are infections of the eyelid
boils, which are infections of the hair follicles
carbuncles, which are infections of the tissue immediately under the skin
urinary tract infections
gum infections, known as gingivitis
lung and sinus infections
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
The causes of infections in a person with diabetes vary depending on the type of infection present. For example, nerve damage and poor circulation are seen in many people with diabetes. It may be hard for the person to notice cuts or breakdown of the skin on the feet. Feet can become infected without proper foot care.