Why do diabetics suffer from recurring candida infections?
Candida albicans is a naturally occurring yeast found in our digestive tracts, that usually doesn't cause any problems. In people who are immuno-supressed (e.g. HIV sufferers), the Candida can get out of control.
Candida infections are probably better known as the condition "Thrush".
Candida yeast infections can affect any woman, however, women with diabetes are more susceptible to recurring Candida albicans infection (Candidiasis).
In a healthy woman, yeast in the vagina is kept under control by naturally occurring bacteria, a strong immune system, and the acidic nature of the secretions.
Signs & Symptoms of Candida
Women with diabetes have higher levels of glucose in the blood (because of problems with insulin production or the body's response to the insulin that is available), and therefore secretions of the body tend to have higher sugar levels in them, which is of course, the food of yeast. Combine this with the weaker immune system in diabetics, and the yeast can flourish and grow. This leads to frequent outbreaks, causes itchiness, soreness during urination and/or intercourse, and a white discharge. So if you ever wondered what causes itching and burning in a diabetic, Candida may be the answer.
Recurring Candida is so common in diabetic women, that any woman suffering frequent outbreaks of Candida may be tested for diabetes.
Treating recurring Candida in diabetics
Since the Candida albicans infections in diabetics are a result of too much glucose and a weakened immune system, treatment of candida does pose its own problems. Obviously it is imperative that your blood glucose levels are kept in check, and your diabetes medication will help with that. You will also probably be on a strict "diabetic diet plan" to prevent the swings in blood glucose levels.
Anti-fungal medication may be prescribed to treat the candida.