Diabetes can affect the body's
immune system, impairing the ability of white blood
cells to come to the site of an infection, stay in the infected area, and kill
microorganisms. Because of the buildup of
plaque in blood vessels associated with diabetes,
areas of infection may receive a poor blood supply, further decreasing the
body's ability to fight infections and heal wounds.
People with diabetes can be more severely affected by common
infections, such as
pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. And people who have diabetes are more likely to be
infected with unusual organisms, such as Gram-negative bacteria or
fungi, and can also be infected with a mixed group of
organisms because of their poor healing capacity and impaired immune
Foot infections are common in people with diabetes. Nerve damage
(neuropathy) combined with poor blood supply to the feet puts people with
diabetes at high risk for developing infected foot ulcers.
Other infections for which people with diabetes are at increased
Yeast infections on the skin and in the urinary
Severe infection of the outer ear with the bacteria
Pseudomonas aeruginosa called malignant otitis
Extremely serious infection of the nose and sinuses with
the fungus mucor.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.