diabetes and infection/illness

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gallyndur
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 1/22/2006 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I've read that one symptom of diabetes is increased infections. But I know that some symptoms and complications lessen or even go away with good glucose control (thirst, frequent urination, future heart disease etc.). What is the relationship or the link between diabetes and increased infections? Does diabetes simply weaken the immune system?

I've noticed that since I've been diagnosed (2 years ago), I've been sick a lot more often. Even though my numbers are currently really good (almost always in the 90s), I'm always sick with something; as soon as I get over one thing, I come down with something else. How much of this can I attribute to being diabetic?

wa5ekh
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 1/22/2006 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I had just the opposite experience. Started 3 years ago very sick frequently, A1c-8.7, ankle swelling, irritable bowel, reflux, frequent urination, bladder infectios, no neuropathy though..,'crusty' feet, and I'd get the flu 2x per year. In a year lost 50-80# (20-23%) and most of the above went away, and I have only had about 10 days of flu like conditions for the last 2-3 years. Could have been no exposure though. I was starting to wonder wether penecillian(sp?) or diabetes control was the bigger cure.

One or two other things though....I eliminated food that caused any or were followed by any immediate illness or high BG readings(with very small volume). This was my own way of finding food allergies. I did a lot of journaling!

Also what are your A1c readings???

This may indicate the control even when you aren't testing. I mean this could be the difference(or not).

Post Edited (wa5ekh) : 1/23/2006 6:49:46 AM (GMT-7)


steven k
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Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 1/22/2006 10:03 PM (GMT -7)   
I know high blood sugar can impair white blood cells. They are the cells that help fight infection. I believe that is a medical fact. Boy when you think of it what doesn't this disease not do? If I'm wrong about the white blood cells feel free to correct me

wa5ekh
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 1/23/2006 6:51 AM (GMT -7)   
What are you A1c readings(last year)??

gallyndur
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 1/23/2006 5:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't remember my exact A1c readings. The last time I had it checked was the beginning of summer, and I think it was a little over 8. It was 7.something before that. Mid-August is when I finally got really serious about watching what I eat and exercising and whatnot. This winter has been particularly bad, though, in terms of colds, sinus infections, and stomach bugs, and I'm currently fighting a baldder infection.

wa5ekh
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 1/23/2006 9:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Well you see when you said your numbers were in the 90s (mg/dl), but if your A1cs are 7. something, then my guess is the numbers do not reflect your numbers say 1, 2, 4 hours after you eat -OR- Since A1c seems to be a 3 month average of all Bgs values as if you could take them continuously(right?), but your still averaging with the older A1c -3 month periods**. If you started off in the A1cs of 8 then if your bgs are in the 90s will slowly bring them down....when you get to 5-6, I’ll be real interested to see if your infection frequency decreases**. Mine has, BUT! it could be coincidence of my possible lower than previously average exposure to bugs!.
Do you ever have higher BGs 180-200+ 1-4 hours after eating? I did but I eliminated those foods or cut the volume of those foods in half to see if those spikes disappeared. Some didn't! I was surprised. Later I would revisit that particular food. I have found over and over that these specific food give me high bgs and frequently headaches or stomach aches, even reflux!***(now very rare!! except during these experiments!!)-sometimes slight with low volumes, or high with higher volumes-especially Pizza, fried food, rice, pasta, Mex-Tex, hot peppers, milk, orange juice, apples, chips...all the good stuff..

But after a year or two of INDIVIDUAL retrials and their AFTER-EFFECTS, I find myself less likely to crave any! of these old favorites!! I think my stupid self is finally “learning” the consequences of these personal poisons!!

I don't know about theoretical effects on white cells, but these specific foods attack my serenity!!! with headaches, IBS, and rapid pulse, and sometimes sinus drainage and REFLUX***!!!. My wife (non-diagnosed diabetic) goes into a sneezing choking fit after her coffee and toast every morning! Think after 20 years she'd figure it out!

**Interesting!...Could low A1cs or fewer BG- spikes protect us from damage, infection, or just stomach upset, high blood pressure, headaches, sinus drainage, REFLUX(sometimes called indigestion??)
***REFLUX-choking!!! Violent regurgitation!!!(think I’m gonna die!!---seriously!!) –my antidote –Bismuth and sitting up(or pray!! Because 911 won’t be fast enough!!)

Also....are you able to keep control of BGs when you get sick? When I can , as soon as I can I notice i get better, but I seem to have to get my Bgs into the 80s(I not medicated though).

Post Edited (wa5ekh) : 1/23/2006 9:29:12 PM (GMT-7)


gallyndur
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 1/24/2006 7:24 PM (GMT -7)   

I've been being a really "good" diabetic for a little over 5 months now, so I'm hoping that my A1c will be quite a bit lower than 8. Are you suggesting, though, that my immune system hasn't quite caught up to the rest of my body in reaping the benifits of a healthier lifestyle/is taking a while to overcome the effects of having been at ariund 8? That actually makes sense. But, of course, I don't really know precisely how all this stuff works (and don't know where to find detailed information on the relationships/connections between diabetes and the immune system/infections).

I've only been checking my bg first thing in the morning and 2 hours after eating, and those numbers are typically in the 90s. When I had my last stomach bug, I was checking profusely, and the highest I saw it was 135, which was a great relief to me, given that I was drinking Gatorade and eating soup and crackers!

With the exception of when I'm sick and can't stomach anyhing else, I eat a pretty low carb diet, so I don't see spikes into the 180s or anything like that. I just don't eat things like pizza, fried food, potatoes, pasta, etc. because I know they're likely to spike bg.

What's really interesting, I think, is what happened today. I carried my meter around with me so I could check my bg before and after my workout just because I was curious. (I'm probably going to make a separate post about this, too.) Anyway, my fasting was 94. about an hour after breakfast (low carb yogurt, a 2% cheese stick and a few pecans) and right before my workout, it was 114. As soon as I got back in the locker room, it was 179! For my workout, I did 30 minutes on the eliptical and burned 379 calories, and my heart rate got up into the 180s. Then I did about 12 minutes on the rower, burning 100 calories, and 10 minutes on the arm-peddling machine, burning 94 calories. I felt fine during my workout and whle showering. But after I got dresses, I started to feel pretty nauseated. I sat around for probably 15 minutes before throwing up. Just out of curiosity, I checked my bg again, and it was 109. So I'm thinking the drop from 179-109 in a relatively short period is what made me feel so sick. Anyway, I ate a little chili and cheese and a sugar-free jello a litle while later, and my bg 2 hours after that was 81. So in general, my numbers seem to pretty good, but something about that workout really spiked it up. I worked out Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, and I threw up Tuesday and felt really nauseated Wednesday.

Sorry for going on so long...I just don't know what's going on with my body...I'm trying to do all the right things, but...


wa5ekh
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 1/24/2006 8:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Not suggesting anything...just tryin to "figger it out" whats happening to me. And if you se similar stuff and other stuff ..thats very interesting..maybe useful. Its probably alot more complex than we can imagine, but I looking for a few of the simpler solutions. I assume your not medicated?? I seem to be gaining wt. when I increase my exercise level, but i drink a lot of water.

Maybe you'll start seeing a difference. It could be the environment your in...lots of people that are ill(exposure) or toxic foods or environment. I once had to move out of an aptment because the new carpet was so irritating i was sick constantly. I went to a motel once , got better in a day, went home got sick, went to work got better, went home got sick...moved was ok...coincidence??? who knows!

Check the pollen and fungus count too.
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