Diabetes & Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)


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Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria infect any part of your urinary tract (from your urethra to your kidneys). The most common type of urinary tract infection is cystitis (a bladder infection) caused by the bacteria E. coli. There are numerous factors that increase your risk of developing a urinary tract infection as they create opportunities for bacteria to enter your urinary tract. They include; sex and urinary catheters. Due to changes in your immune system if you have diabetes, then you not only have a higher risk of developing a urinary tract infection, but any that you do develop will probably be more severe. If your urinary tract infection is uncomplicated then it can usually easily be treated with a short course of antibiotics However, if the infection has spread up into your kidneys (pyelonephritis) then you may need a longer course or if it is very severe you may require hospitalisation for intravenous antibiotics. This is due to the potential loss of kidney function and/or the development of sepsis (which is whole body infection). If you are diabetic and have noticed an increase in your frequency of urination and a burning sensation when you urinate, then you might have a urinary tract infection so you should discuss your symptoms with your GP.  


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