Bacterial infections of the vagina are especially troublesome in women who have Type 2 diabetes. Sugar in all forms feeds yeast, and diabetics accumulate sugar not just in the bloodstream but also in vaginal secretions. Getting rid of yeast infections for good requires controlling blood sugar levels but it also involves paying attention to a number of risk factors including:
1. Staying dry: The vulva sweats more than any other area on a woman’s body. Tight, restrictive, nonabsorbent clothing to the skin in this area is an invitation to chafing and infection, especially if a woman exercises in Lycra tights.
2. Deodorants: Bubble baths, toilet paper, and sanitary pads and tampons that contain deodorants and scents can cause irritation that gives yeast and bacteria an easy way to ‘establish’ or ‘germinate’ in the lining of the vagina.
3. Emotional stress: Some women respond to aggression with infection. Vaginal infections are also more common during stress caused by the premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
4. Birth control pills: The wrong amount of progestin in oral contraceptives can predispose the user to vaginosis. Switching brands may help.
5. Repeated intercourse: Seminal fluid is highly alkaline, and makes the vagina alkaline for about eight hours. When the vagina stays alkaline for an extended period of time, protective bacteria may die out and infectious bacteria may take over.
6. Douching: It isn’t necessary to clean the vagina by douching, which can wash away protective. microorganisms, and can actually drive the infection higher up the reproductive tract.
7. Yeast breads: Consuming yeast breads has been associated with an increased risk of infection.
8. Panty hose: Ill-fitting panty hose may increase bacterial growth.
9. Oral sex: Receiving oral sex may increase the risk of yeast infections.
10.Partner treatment: Women’s sexual partners also need to receive treatment for the microorganisms that cause vaginosis.
High blood sugar levels can definitely aggravate vaginosis, which in turn will compromise your sex life.
Signs of infection include:
- foul smelling vaginal discharge which may be brown or deep yellow in color, with the consistency of cottage cheese
- you will also notice itching and burning
If you are suffering from any kind of vaginal infection, it is important to be evaluated by a gynecologist and be tested for the specific organism causing the infection. This way you can then be treated with the right medication.
When women have Type 2 diabetes, however, the single most important consideration in keeping vaginal infections under control is diet. It really is very simple: no sugar, no white flour, no ‘white’ or ‘irish’ potatoes, and no baked goods made with yeast. And it is also very helpful to keep blood sugar levels normal all the time.