Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc

Medically reviewed by Dr.Ruden Cakoni, MD, Endocrinologist

Blood Sugar Level And Itching Pruritus

QUESTION: How are high blood sugar level and itching pruritus related in diabetics?



ANSWER: Hi,

Generally, there are a lot of skin problems during diabetes. In this case, the itching pruritus is caused by infection. If you notice that your skin is red, there is edema and this particular place is warm, that indicates for an infection.

This type of condition occurs in those diabetic patients who are not controlling their diabetes well. That means that the dose of your insulin or any other drugs you may take, needs adjustment.

An infection like this may develop in every part of the body. The explanation of these infections is hidden in the glucose metabolism.

As you may know, diabetes is condition characterized by elevation of the glucose level in plasma. This elevation is leading to an increased glucose level in the organs; in this case, the organ is the skin.

There are many bacteria normally living on the skin surface. These bacteria are not causing infections, because the health organism is able to kill them or most or them are healthy, i.e do not cause infection to our organism; on contrary they are helpful in its metabolism.

However, sometimes due to changes in the metabolism, infection
is developed. The elevation of the glucose in the skin is creating good environment for the development of bacteria and infections.

The organism is capable to kill those bacteria but sometimes, in the advanced stages of uncontrolled diabetes there is no such option.

As you probably know, when someone is suffering from diabetes microangiopathy is developing as a consequence. That means that the small blood vessels in your body are not able to transport enough blood to a specific organ.

Immune cells are transported by the blood. When there is a reduction of the blood flow, there is a reduction of the number of immune cells transported in a specific area. These immune cells are not enough to prevent the infection.

Increased glucose amount in the skin in combination with reduced protection of the organism, is leading to the development of infections characterized by itching pruritus.

In this case, the usage of antibiotics will remove this infection, but you have to consult your doctor, because he will prescribe you the best drug suitable for a diabetic patient.

On the other hand, it is a must to control your blood sugar in order to accelerate the healing process of the skin and to prevent the future onset of other infections.

Hope it helped!

Dr.Alba

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