One in 9 adult women in the United States have diabetes. That equates to 15 million women in the U.S. with diabetes, and when it comes to the link between diabetes and yeast infections, we’re here to cut through the noise.
Let’s be honest; yeast infections suck. They’re itchy, icky, and a surefire way to put a damper in anyone’s day. In short, we wouldn’t wish one of these uncomfortable vaginal infections on our worst enemy (well… maybe).
Caused by a fungus, a yeast infection can produce several profoundly unfun symptoms that can wreak havoc on your self-esteem, and of course — they’re extremely common.
Yup, it’s true; yeast infections are among the most common complaints among women of reproductive age. In fact, most ladies will experience a yeast infection at least once in their life — 75 percent, to be exact. So if you haven’t had one yet, then count your lucky stars!
While a yeast infection isn’t a life-threatening problem, it is, without a doubt, an uncomfortable one. And recurrent infections can be indicative of a more serious underlying health issue, such as diabetes.
We know what you’re thinking, “how in the world are these two conditions connected” — don’t worry, we’ll tell you.
We’re exploring diabetes and yeast infections in this post to discover the link. We’ll also go over a few tips and tricks to help keep yeast in check to support a balanced vaginal flora.
By supporting the health of your most beautiful organ, you just might be able to keep pesky yeast infections at bay!
What Is Diabetes?
Simply put, diabetes is a super common disorder affecting almost 10 percent of the U.S. population in which the amount of glucose — aka, sugar — is too high in the blood.
Glucose comes from the carbs you eat and is the primary energy source for all the cells in your body. An essential hormone called insulin (which is made in the pancreas) helps glucose get into these cells.
When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or can’t use its own insulin efficiently (type 2 diabetes). This causes sugars to build up in the blood, which can lead to a number of uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Very dry skin
- Sores that are especially slow to heal
- Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
- Sudden vision changes
- Low energy
If diabetes is not properly managed, it can cause serious health complications, including cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, and blindness — just to name a few. With that in mind, it’s no wonder why diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
How Does Diabetes Impact the Body?
Here’s the truth: the impact that diabetes will have on your body really boils down to you and how you manage the condition. If you eat well, exercise, get good sleep and see your doctor regularly, then there’s a good chance you can live a relatively normal life.
However, if you let your illness fall by the wayside, it can harm just about every organ in the body — including your vagina.
What Is a Yeast Infection?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a yeast infection (aka vulvovaginal candidiasis) is basically an overgrowth of yeast, which is technically a fungus, meaning they are also “fungal infections.”
Yeast is an integral part of a healthy vagina, but as with most things in life, too much isn’t always a good thing. When the healthy amount of yeast in your nether regions grow out of control, it leads to a whole slew of uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Pain during sex
- Burning when you pee
- Thick, white discharge that resembles cottage cheese
- A burning sensation
- Itching of the vulva and/or vagina
- Swelling around the vagina
The pain and discomfort caused by yeast infections can range anywhere from mild to severe and can impact your ability to go about your daily life.
Although it’s sometimes much easier said than done, do your best not to scratch and rub the affected area aggressively.
To find relief, we suggest trying The Killer — these powerful boric acid suppositories balance pH and maintain healthy yeast levels so you can feel fresh and smell your best while supporting healthy vaginal flora.*
The Killer® (Boric Acid Suppositories)
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Available for orders above $35. Learn more
What Typically Causes a Yeast Infection To Develop?
The yeast that’s usually the culprit behind a frustrating yeast infection is Candida — a naturally occurring microorganism in the vaginal area.
Lactobacillus bacteria work hard to keep this yeasts’ growth in check, but if there’s an imbalance in your system, these bacteria won’t work as they should, resulting in an overgrowth of yeast before potentially becoming a full-fledged infection.
The most common factors that can cause a yeast infection include:
- Weak immune system
- Fluctuating hormones
What’s the Connection Between Diabetes and Yeast Infections?
So, why does diabetes increase the risk of a yeast infection? Well, to put it simply, yeast loves sugar. Very much like the chemistry of yeast in a bread loaf, yeast consumes sugar which encourages its growth — and we all know what happens when an overgrowth of yeast happens in the vagina!
Thankfully, to manage your diabetes and keep yeast infections at bay, all you might need to do is watch your sugar intake. That said, if you’re not particularly fond of the sweet stuff yet are still experiencing recurrent yeast infections, your diabetes medications could be to blame.
The diabetes drug category “SGLT-2 inhibitors” is notoriously known for causing yeast infections. This is because these common drugs encourage the body to excrete excess glucose from the food you consume out through your pee.
This means the sugar (aka, glucose) is never entering your bloodstream, but rather your body is passing it through your pee, which may feed the growth of vaginal yeast.
Here are the most common diabetes medications that may cause yeast infections:
- Invokana (canagliflozin)
- Farxiga (dapagliflozin)
- Jardiance (empagliflozin)
If you think one of these medications is behind your recurrent yeast infections, be sure to talk to your doctor, who can discuss alternative treatment options with you.
Top Tips To Support Vaginal Health
Now that you know all about diabetes and how it’s connected to yeast infections, let’s take a look at a few tips and tricks to support good vaginal health:
Tip #1: Use Triple Threat Kit
In addition to watching your sugar, we suggest using our incredible Triple Threat Kit to help keep everything down there balanced and in perfect working order.
In this kit, you’ll find probiotics to promote good gut bacteria, boric acid suppositories to get yeast in check, and a female-friendly vitamin to support good vaginal health.*
Vaginal Itch Kit
Or 4 interest-free payments with Klarna.
Available for orders above $35. Learn more
Tip #2: Wear Cotton Undies
Candida thrives best in a warm, damp environment. With that in mind, cotton absorbs moisture and sweat much better than other fabrics, so opt for cotton underwear to help keep yeast infections at bay.
Tip #3: Get Some R&R
There are quite a few studies that show a link between stress and yeast infections. This is likely because of stress’s ability to lower the body’s immune system. Aim to get a little relaxation every day to keep your stress levels down. Exercise, yoga, meditation, and getting enough shut-eye can also relieve stress.
So, what’s the link between diabetes and yeast infections, you ask?
The short answer? Sugar.
High blood sugar via diabetes can cause a bodily imbalance that can lead to an overgrowth of yeast, which thrives in warm, moist places, like your vagina. Diabetic women who struggle to control their blood sugar are often much more susceptible to yeast infections.
Thankfully, there are many things you can do to stave off infections, such as reducing your sugar intake, swapping your scratchy silk panties for comfy cotton undies, and using our Triple Threat Kit.
Here at Love Wellness, we offer better-for-you products to support all areas of your life. From grooming, skin, and nutritional support to vaginal health and personal care products, we’re your one-stop shop for your wellness needs.
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Understanding the Kidneys' Role in Blood Glucose Regulation | AJMC
Sodium-glucose Cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors | FDA
What is diabetes? " Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | East Africa School Server
Global and regional diabetes prevalence estimates for 2019 and projections for 2030 and 2045: Results from the International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas, 9 the edition | Pub Med.