UTI's (and other infections) and Type 1

Hi all. I know we've spoken on here about the tendency of us Type 1's to get more than our share of UTI's and infections of all sorts. But what I don't remember reading is if we have a harder time getting rid of them.

I've had a UTI since at least December. The symptoms were mild compared to ones I've had in the past (before diagnosis) so I probably had it for awhile before I went to the doctor. I'm now most of the way through my fourth set of antibiotic treatments and it's still here! I have a pretty strong immune system, but still think it's amazing I've had it this long without it spreading to the kidney or going systemic. It can't be a good thing to have any infection this long. Happily my blood sugars don't seem to be impacted. If I finish this course of treatment without improvement I'll go to the doctor once again. But meanwhile I'm wondering if this is common for us, or if anyone has any answers/suggestions.

I had a tooth abscess recently that the endodontist said was unusually bad and took longer than normal to clear up, even after an emergency root canal. That was immediately followed by a UTI that did respond ok to antibiotics and then on to a minor case of shingles. Good times! I often have to use antibiotics for foliculitus now too, especially in hot weather. I’ve never been one to have frequent infections (hadn’t had a UTI in many many years), just been happening since dealing with the BG roller coaster. Now that I think about it, my UTI symptoms were mild too this time, not like the ones I remember having when I was younger when you KNEW you needed antibiotics asap!

Thanks, Lilli. Yes, it is all just more incentive to keep our BG's under control. I don't remember if the UTI came after a bout of high blood sugar though usually when I have those they don't last too long. It's interesting that you had a string of infections while I've just had one persistent one.

I’ve had sinus infections and an oral infection following a root canal. Every infection I’ve had was accompanied by high and resistant BGs. It’s strange to me that your UTI is not led to high BGs. A return to normal BGs and lessening insulin resistance has always been my indication that the infection is resolved. That plus feeling a whole lot better within 24 hours of starting the anti-biotics.

Has your doctor changed meds in the process of trying to knock this infection out? I read more and more about new infections becoming resistant to the meds we’ve been using.

Yes, I was fully expecting the high BGs. I have had some highs during this time but they are usually explained by food, not in excess of my normal forays during a similar time frame, and quickly returned to normal.

I had one course I was given right before leaving for Guatemala, then when it didn't get better I went to the farmacia there and asked for a different antibiotic, telling them I had had one course that hadn't helped. On return I told my doctor I still had it. She said the one prescribed in Guatemala was a good one, but my strain was resistant to it. I got no results from the third antibiotic and my urine test was "contaminated" so she just made an educated guess to get me started and then I did another test (the antibiotics could skew the test she said) Since the 4th isn't working either I'll be interested in hearing what the results of the last UA indicate. She said I might have two different strains and resistance is a problem. It's getting old. I cancelled a work trip of 2 hours each way on Monday because a lot of that trip is through areas with no bathrooms. I was thinking of using it as an excuse to get out of jury duty this week too, but figured Type 1 and needing to teach my course would be enough. (it was). I also could have thrown in being an anarchist..lol.

I think over-use of antibiotics creating resistant strains is really a big problem. I just have always taken one course of antibiotics for an infection and gotten better, so was wondering if Type 1 makes it harder.

I don't think type I, per se, makes getting rid of infections harder. I think it's the combination of the infection and high BGs that make it tough to overcome.

Perhaps you have been hit by a strain that has become resistant to the antibiotics. In the past a single course may have just totally dealt with the UTI, but with a resistant strain it may just be very difficult to eradicate the infection. That may be why you have had to go through several courses of different antibiotics.

When I had mine they cultured it and rated the efficacy of four different antibiotics before I tried the one that had the best result, maybe yours is resistant because you’ve used more than one antibiotic already. Have they cultured it and given you those ratings?

Nobody mentioned any "ratings", Lilli. I think the first time they just gave a generally effective one. Then after I went through that one and the one in Guatemala, they did cultures and looked more specifically at the strain and gave me the antibiotics more likely to fix that strain and least likely to be resistant. I do wonder if having used this many different antibiotics already if makes me even more resistant. Hopefully they will find some kind of solution!

Not sure what antibiotics you've tried so far, but my last two UTIs responded well to macrobid. It only targets the bladder, so it's less likely to cause other side effects like a broad-spectrum would. I know that hasn't necessarily been the issue for you, but that's all I've got :) Hopefully you'll get it figured out soon. How annoying!! (As an aside, my symptoms have also been more mild than in the past, and my labs don't even show all the signs of an infection, just WBCs, but the macrobid clears it right up! Such strange things we PWD have to live with!)

I have a similar thing going on, but not a UTI. I've had three or four rounds of treatment with no real improvement. So I'm seeing a specialist. My doctor isn't convinced that it's from diabetes, because my diabetes isn't horrible uncontrolled and I never get sick otherwise, so he doesn't think it's the reason behind the prolonged infection. I'm not generally prone to infections - I've probably had antibiotics less than ten times in my lifetime. About the only other types of infections I get are when I bite a hangnail off and it gets sore and puffy for a week, probably fighting off bacteria that was in my mouth (sounds nasty when I wrote it like that, but I still bite my nails!).

With other issues I've been told by doctors that I'm a fast healer. I had a severe corneal abrasion a couple of years ago that was on the verge of becoming seriously infected. (I knew I had badly scratched my eye but delayed seeing a doctor for a week, putting it off until my eye was so watery and light sensitive and painful I could barely keep it open and it was obvious that it wasn't going to heal on its own.) I didn't realize that for this type of thing anyone, diabetic or not, needs to be on antibiotics. My doctor was really worried about me - you know it's bad when you go on Friday, doctor gives treatment and says to go to the hospital if it gets worse over the weekend and to come back first thing on Monday, and then on Monday tells you they were worried about you over the weekend! Anyway, it healed with no problems at all within two weeks. Doctor said I was a "good healer" but I also got an earful about not ignoring anything like this in the future, which I definitely will not!

Actually the generic for macrobid is what I have this time, Shelby (antibiotic #4) and since Friday will be the end of the 7 day course, it's not looking like it's going to work either. I guess it depends on the particular strain. I haven't had any side effects from any of the four, but right now I wouldn't mind having any (moderate!) side effects to get rid of it. I went to a 3 hour group this afternoon and had to pee twice during it (in addition to before I left home and after I returned!)

Sounds similar to me, Jen: My diabetes isn't horrible uncontrolled and I never get sick otherwise. I was just assuming D was why I couldn't get better, but maybe not. I hope the specialist helps you. I'm definitely going to make an appointment with my doctor for next week and maybe ask if a specialist (urologist?) would be advisable for me at this point.