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Diabetes and Infections

Before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2014, I could accidentally have something go under my nail bed and break the skin. I would simply just clean it, add alcohol or peroxide, and be on my way. It would heal and I never thought about it again. No sweat...

Diabetes requires more caution

Now that all changed when I was diagnosed. I use a latch hook crochet needle often and sometimes the latch would go under my pointer fingernail bed. It happens more than I would like, but I am used to it. Like many times before this, one day I had it go under my nail. It did not break the skin but it did lift my nail and it was a little painful but I shook it off - or so I thought. I was awakened from my sleep that night due to my finger pulsating and it was hurting. I had never felt that before. I got up and cut on the light and noticed a yellowish/greenish color just under my nail bed where I had latched myself earlier that day. Not thinking, I burned and put alcohol on a fine needle and poked it to relieve some pressure, and what a relief it was. I soaked it in peroxide and alcohol after squeezing all the stuff out but I was curious to know why this happened all of a sudden, so I started to do my research.

Infections and types 2 diabetes

I found out that being a diabetic made me more prone to infections. I was not definitely not happy about that, not one bit. Since my diabetes was uncontrolled, this just added more to what, to me, was already a lot to deal with. Apparently diabetes can cause your immune system to weaken which makes it harder to fight off infections. I had to make a change but I knew that it would take some time. I needed to get my diabetes under control so that I do not have to deal with that anymore. I did not want to worry about the chance of infection that could lead to something more serious like other health issues or amputation.

Urinary tract infections

I started being careful not to latch my finger and just being careful with everything that I did. Everything was going well but then in early 2019, I noticed that I started having a fever every night for about 2 or 3 days but did not know why. It got to the point that one night I had to visit the ER. All my labs came back fine they stated that my potassium was low and gave me some ibuprofen and sent me on my way. The next day they called and stated I had an urinary tract infection (UTI) and called in antibiotics. This was a first for me.

Of course, I went into my research mode and again found out that being a diabetic that is uncontrolled can make you more prone to UTIs due to the sugar in your urine. This can cause bacterial growth in your tract (in simple terms). Something new for me to think about. But I have managed to ward off those since that happened.

Infected ingrown hair

Now this month, I had a bump on my thigh that I initially thought was a bug bite and that it would go away. Well, that was wishful thinking. The next morning it was a knot under my skin the next day it was even bigger and in my head, it was getting bigger because my immune system was fighting off what this bug bite was trying to do to me. In a few days, it was about the size of a baseball, and it was hard to walk (that was day 3). On day 4, I was at the ER with a fever of 102/103 with body aches like the flu, and I was a little worried.

The diagnosis was an infected ingrown hair...WHAT!? A INGROWN HAIR? I have never in my entire life had an ingrown hair and if I did, I did not even know it. Long story short, I had to go back to follow up and have the packing removed and the infection was worse. I ended up with cellulitis and had to take 3 antibiotics.

Good diabetes management can reduce risk of infections

Today I still have the knot and the cut is healing but when your numbers are not under control it can cause something that we are used to just brushing off, to become a serious health concern. We have to get our numbers under control so that we can limit our chances of getting an infection.

Have you noticed a difference in how your body deal with a cut or infection? I would love to get your feedback

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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