Elevated blood sugar levels can be responsible for a cascade of problems and symptoms. When there’s extra sugar in the blood, the body siphons fluid from tissues in the body to help remove it. The excess sugar is filtered by the kidneys, which pulls water with it into the urine, leading to all kinds of bladder problems, one of which is a urinary tract infection.
A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection that grows within the urinary tract – anywhere from the kidneys, the ureters, the bladder and through to the urethra, said Diabetes.co.uk
The health site added: “Urinary tract infections can be a particular problem for people with diabetes as sugar in the urine makes for a fertile breeding ground for bacteria.
“Some people may find themselves particularly prone to UTIs. Upper urinary tract infections (pyelonephritis) are the more serious of the two.
“In this case the bacteria have managed to reach the tubes connecting the bladder (ureters) to the kidneys.
“If the bacterial infection reaches the kidneys (acute pyelonephritis) the problem becomes serious and hospital treatment may be needed.”
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In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, urinary tract infections in patients with type 2 diabetes was investigated.
The study noted: “Urinary tract infections are more common, more severe, and carry worse outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
“They are also more often caused by resistant pathogens.
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“Various impairments in the immune system, poor metabolic control, and incomplete bladder emptying due to autonomic neuropathy may all contribute to the enhanced risk of urinary tract infections in these patients.
“Patients with diabetes have worse outcomes of UTI than those without diabetes.
“Diabetes was found to be a risk factor for early clinical failure after 72 hours of antibiotic treatment in women with community-onset acute pyelonephritis.
“Diabetes is also associated with longer hospitalization, bacteremia, azotemia, and septic shock in patients with UTI.”
Symptoms of a lower urinary tract infection (affecting the bladder and urethra):
Pain or stinging when passing urine (dysuria)Persistent feeling of the need to urinateCloudy and foul-smelling urineStrong and bad smell of urineAbdominal pain (stomach pain)Back painBlood in the urine
Symptoms of an upper urinary tract infection (affecting the kidneys and ureters):
High temperature / feverConstant shiveringVomitingDiarrhoeaBack painPain in your side (flank pain)
More than half of adults with type 2 diabetes have bladder problems.
Studies have shown that the most common of these, which often are interrelated, include an overactive bladder, polyuria, nocturia and incontinence.
Treatment options for bladder dysfunction include medication, bladder training methods such as timed voiding, electrical stimulation, Kegel exercises, and surgery.
Ensuring your blood sugar levels are in a healthy range by following a healthy diet and getting in the required amount of physical activity will help combat any future bladder issues.