Diabetes and the UTI

I’m one of those people with diabetes who seems to be susceptible to recurrent urinary tract infections, SIGH! However, I’ve learned over the many years I’ve lived with diabetes that if my sugars are up at the top end of my target line (so, not that high?!?) for any length of time I will probably develop a UTI. Guess where my glucose levels have been hanging out, on and off, after 4 steroid injections in 6 months. Bacteria just loves that extra sugar!

In previous years, the symptoms used to come on hard and fast resulting in an after hour trip to urgent care, the most severe one happened while I was on my honeymoon and traveling by plane for an entire day. Shudder - not fun! :-( These days, since a suggestion from my GP, I usually have some Potassium Citrate sachets on hand to nip the first inkling of a UTI in the but (ha pun) and avoid the awkward trip to ShannonDoc and I’ve also avoided multiple trips to any doctor. Wahoo!

My latest UTI-like experience happened when I woke up last Monday, (I actually wrote this before I went on my holidays but didn’t update it) I felt a bit tired but nothing out of the ordinary. But, between making a pot of tea and popping a slice of bread in the toaster I felt it: the “I need to pee but I already peed” urge. I also felt a temperature and just blah and, did I already mention the urge to peee?!

I knocked back a Potassium Citrate sachet in water and another half litre, went back to play “bed and bathroom” tag for a little bit. The symptoms started to subside in about an hour … after I’d had another a third litre of water. By the next morning I was doing much better and symptoms disappeared over the next couple of days. 

However, I often wonder/worry what these infections do to my kidney-works after so many UTIs over the last twenty six years. Especially since kidney disease is so prevalent in people with diabetes, something like one in four. I also wonder how I can’t really do much about it. We all know that keeping glucose levels as close to normal as possible reduces the risk of kidney disease and other complications. It’s drummed into us and repeated over and over and over. But this is very much easier said than done - why don’t those people who write that sentence not include the magical secret method of keeping said glucose in range? Oh silly me (Bigger Eye Roll), I forgot that it’s just a matter of taking your insulin, 4 finger sticks per day, exercise and eat healthy (add venomous sarcasm to big eye rolls). 

I try to keep my sugar levels as close to normal as possible and I’m pretty good at it. I also have more tools to help me do this than most people with diabetes - I have a continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump. I’m doing my best and all I can do, on top of that, is hope that my best is good enough. 

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