Diabetes & Gastrointestinal Infections


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The gastrointestinal tract (the GI tract) describes the tubing that runs from your mouth and nose, down your oesophagus (gullet) into your stomach and intestines and out of your anal tract. GI infections are very common in all people due to the fact that foreign particles are constantly being introduced into the GI tract through your diet. GI infections can cause abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhoea and can include gall stones, peptic ulcers and food poisoning. If you are a diabetic then you are at a higher risk of developing a GI infection due to the whole body (systemic) effect of diabetes on your health particularly the dysfunction of the nerve cells (neurons) in the GI tract. This neuronal dysfunction can alter the rate of digestion of different food products (either accelerating digestion or reducing it altogether). Common GI infections found in diabetics include; bloating caused by a delay in food being released into your stomach, peptic ulcers caused by acid irritation inside the stomach and yeast infections caused by yeast that are attracted to diabetics due to their high sugar levels. If you are diabetic, you can reduce your risk of GI infection by keeping a close control on your sugar levels because most infections have been found to increase in diabetics with poorly controlled blood sugar levels.  


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