Diabetes & Pneumonia

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The symptoms of pneumonia can include coughing, chest pain and difficulty breathing and these are caused by inflammation within the lung. Pneumonia can be the result of a variety of infections including bacteria, viruses, parasites and non-infectious irritants. The inflammation affects the small air sacs in the lungs known as the alveoli and causes them to swell. This means that there is limited space for the oxygen in the air that your breath to be absorbed by the cells of the alveoli and this is why you often feel breathless and generally weak if you have pneumonia. If you are diabetic you are at a higher risk of catching pneumonia so you should ensure that you see your GP as soon as possible if you think you have developed pneumonia (i.e. if you have developed pneumonia like symptoms and/or you have been exposed to someone with infectious pneumonia). Pneumonia can easily be cured by antibiotics, but these are more effective the earlier they are prescribed and long term non-treatment of pneumonia can lead to the development of complications such as respiratory failure and pleural effusion (when fluid builds up in the lungs).

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