Joseph Apuzzio MD, Gloria Bachmann MD, Gerald Bernstein MD
Studies show nearly 3 out of every 4 women will experience a
yeast infection at least once in their life. For women with diabetes,
however, the risk is even higher. Why is this the case, and what should
women with diabetes do about it? Tune in for expert information and
LISA CLARK: I'm Lisa Clark. Welcome and thanks for
joining us for this webcast.
Yeast infections are a problem
every woman should be aware of. Studies show that nearly three out of
every four women will experience this condition at least once. But women
with diabetes are at even higher risk and it's even more important
for them to keep in contact with their doctors. Today we'll find
out the link between diabetes and yeast infections and what extra
precautions women with diabetes should take for prevention and for
Joining me to discuss this topic we have two
gynecologists: Dr. Gloria Bachmann, welcome.
MD: Thank you.
LISA CLARK: Dr. Joseph Apuzzio, welcome to you.
And also diabetes specialist Dr. Gerald Bernstein. Thank you all for being
I want to start with the link between diabetes and yeast
infections, Dr. Bernstein. Why does diabetes increase the risk for
GERALD BERNSTEIN, MD: It's important
to understand what an elevated blood glucose will do. When the blood sugar
elevates, two things happen. One, all the body secretions will have an
increased amount of glucose. Two, all of the tissues of the body stop
functioning normally, and therefore the normal defenses that the body has
against intrusion by outside substances -- such as yeast -- will be
LISA CLARK: Is the risk different between patients who
have Type I and Type II diabetes? And if so, how?
BERNSTEIN, MD: No, it's not different. An elevated blood sugar is
basically acting like a poison. And it will poison both Type I and Type II
patients if the glucose is not controlled.
Obviously, it's important for any diabetic to control blood sugar.
But what are the target blood sugars for women that will make them a
little bit safer from developing yeast infections?
BERNSTEIN, MD: Well, we make a diagnosis of diabetes when the blood sugar
is above 126. Our goals are to have the morning and before-meal blood
sugar around 100-110 and then, after a meal, no more than 140. Now
that's what the normal is. What we have found is that when we
extended that, that people developed problems. So we aim for the normal
LISA CLARK: Dr. Bachman, how about some other general
prevention tips to avoid developing a yeast infection?
BACHMANN, MD: Well Lisa, let me start by saying that many women who have a
yeast infection automatically assume that they're diabetic. The
reality is that most are not diabetic. That yeast infections come from
lots of reasons. Antibiotic use can cause yeast infections, wet bathing
suits for long periods of time can cause yeast infections, oral
contraceptive pills can cause yeast infections so there are many other
LISA CLARK: If a woman with diabetes thinks that she has
a yeast infection, what should she do? Dr. Apuzzio?
APUZZIO, MD: Well, I think the first thing she should do is visit her
doctor to make a diagnosis. The diagnosis is really crucial.
LISA CLARK: And there are certain tests that she should make sure her
doctor performs. Is that correct?
JOSEPH APUZZIO, MD: Yes. What
I would say is, in order to make a diagnosis, one should do a slide test
under the microscope of vaginal secretions to see if one sees the yeast
organism that causes the infection. Usually that will suffice. Sometimes
one also has to culture the vaginal secretions as well, but that's
in a small number of patients. Most patients, one can make the diagnosis
with the slide test under the microscope.