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Diabetes and fungal Infection: What's the connection? Find out signs and symptoms

Diabetes and fungal Infection: Low immunity, comorbid clinical conditions, and metabolic disorders may be the underlying factors that determine the severity of infection. Diabetes increases the risk of infection in our bodies.

Written By: Health Desk New Delhi Updated on: January 17, 2023 16:22 IST
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Image Source : FREEPIK Diabetes and fungal Infection: What's the connection?

When we have diabetes, the level of sugar in our blood is too high. If we don't control it, it causes damage over time that makes our body the perfect environment for a fungal infection. Many kinds of fungi and bacteria live naturally on our skin and inside our bodies. Normally, we don't even know they're there. There's a balance between them and your immune system that keeps them from causing trouble. But if something tips that balance, the bacteria or fungus can grow out of control and cause an infection.

Fungal infections, including vaginal yeast infections, are among the most common infections observed in people with diabetes. Anyone with diabetes type 1 or type 2 is more prone to have a fungal infection than someone without diabetes. Yeast infections are a particular problem with diabetes because sugar helps candida grow. High levels of sugar in your blood also mean high sugar levels in your sweat, saliva, and urine. That encourages yeast to grow in places like your mouth and genitals, and you can end up with thrush.

What’s the connection?

A study that included data from over 300,000 people found that those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of infection, including yeast infection, than people without the condition. Yeast feeds off of sugar. If your diabetes isn’t well-controlled, your blood sugar levels can spike to very high levels. This increase in sugar can cause yeast to overgrow, particularly in the vaginal area. Your body may develop a yeast infection in response.


1. Skin infection: The skin may change color, or there may be itchy patches of varying shapes and sizes.

2. Genital infections: These are more common in females than males, but a male who has difficulty managing their diabetes may have a higher risk.

A female may notice:

  • Vaginal itching or pain, including a burning sensation
  • A white, cottage cheese-like discharge
  • A burning sensation or another type of pain while urinating
  • An unpleasant odor

3. Eye infection: Symptoms include pain, redness, blurred vision, discharge, sensitivity to light, and watery eyes. Without treatment, it can lead to vision loss.

4. Foot infection: Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection.

A person with diabetes has a higher chance of developing a fungal infection in the mouth for various reasons. Diabetes can cause dryness in the mouth, increased acidity, and high glucose levels in the saliva.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting any fitness regime or medical advice.

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