Yeast Infections: An Issue for Women with Diabetes
Most, but not all, yeast infections are caused by fungal organisms that live in your mouth, gastrointestinal tract or skin. People have natural bacteria that keep a healthy amount of this fungus in their bodies. If this balance is lost, a yeast infection can develop.
TYPES OF YEAST INFECTIONS
Yeast infections are a common cause of irritation of the vagina. About 75 percent of women have a vaginal yeast infection at some point in their lives. You can also have a yeast infection in areas such as your mouth, between fingers and toes and in folds of skin. Infections in these places cause an itchy, painful rash. Women with diabetes should keep in mind that onychomycosis is also common in people with diabetes. This is a fungal infection of the fingernails or toenails that can disfigure or destroy the nail. Yeast infections can also develop in the blood stream, usually as a result of a serious illness.
There are several causes for yeast infections. Often, they start because of hormone changes. They can also happen if your body is under stress or if you have an illness, such as diabetes. Yeast infections can also start when you take antibiotics to treat another infection. In these cases, the antibiotics kill the bacteria that caused your original infection, but may also kill or decrease the amount of good bacteria that keep the healthy balance in your body. Then, too much fungus grows and a yeast infection develops. If your blood glucose levels are often high, your resistance to infection may be lower, which could lead to a yeast infection. Yeast is fed by glucose, so if your blood glucose is too high, it may be easier to get a yeast infection and be harder to get rid of it.
HOW DO I TREAT A YEAST INFECTION?
If you have a yeast infection there are many types of treatments. Pills, powders, creams and suppositories in both over-the-counter and prescription forms are available at Walgreens. Be sure to speak with your health care provider or Walgreens pharmacist so that, together, you can figure out the best treatment for you.