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Medical Myth – Diabetes will cause a UTI

by Arkansas Urology on Monday, September 18, 2017

While having type 2 diabetes makes you more prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs), the idea that diabetics will have chronic UTIs is a myth. In fact, UTIs are very preventable for most people by taking simple precautions. 

Diabetics are 60 percent more likely to have UTIs than non-diabetics because of a few reasons. First, poor circulation means less mobility for infection-fighting white blood cells. Some diabetics also aren’t able to empty their bladders fully or as frequently as is required to flush out harmful bacteria due to nerve damage. High glucose levels can also affect the sugars in your urine and create a breeding ground for UTI causing bacteria.

When preventing UTIs while controlling diabetes, watching your glucose levels is even more important than usual. Any time glucose levels remain too high, you will be at risk for contracting an infection. The body’s typical reaction to UTIs is to increase glucose levels even further, but occasionally glucose levels will drop unexpectedly in certain people.

Foods to incorporate into your diet for prevention are low-sugar cranberry juices or supplements, fresh blueberries, oranges, unsweetened probiotic yogurt, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach. Any low-sugar food that is high in antioxidants will help keep your urine inhospitable to bad bacteria. Green tea and plenty of water will also help flush your system.

As long as you are conscious of your diet and glucose levels, drink plenty of water, and make sure to empty your bladder frequently and completely, there is no reason diabetes should mean anyone has to have a UTI. However, if UTIs are still a concern, your urologist should be able to work with you to develop a prevention plan catered to your medical history and dietary needs. Contact our offices today to schedule an appointment at 501-219-8900, or visit our homepage to chat directly with one of our medical agents.