How Does Diabetes Affect the Immune System?

Diabetes, as we know, is a complicated disorder. When you have diabetes, there is a host of other diseases that you will be exposed to including cardiovascular diseases, kidney-related conditions, and others. However, diabetes also weakens the immunity system of the patient’s body. It is a metabolic disorder that exposes you to various unwanted infections and other conditions. In this article, we shall try to understand how diabetes adversely affects the immune system.

Following are some of the ways in which diabetes can affect the immunity system of the patient:

It is a well-known fact that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. This indicates that type 1 diabetes weakens the body’s immune system and the same is responsible for destroying the beta cells of the pancreas. It is these cells which enable the pancreas to produce insulin. Without insulin, the glucose from the food cannot be utilized efficiently and patients experience high blood glucose levels.

Does Diabetes Affect the body Immune System

Besides, when you have diabetes, the response of the immunity system towards bacteria and viruses also reduces to a great extent, causing infections and other diseases in diabetes patients. Those that have diabetes will normally have more infections and the same will also take a longer time to get healed.

Another reason why the number of infectious diseases in those with diabetes is high is that the various microorganisms affect the patients with diabetes much more than those who are not diabetic.

The high levels of blood glucose often experienced by diabetes patients have also been held responsible for the weak immune system in a person who suffers from diabetes.

To begin with, when you have high blood glucose in the body, the microorganisms are able to better thrive in the environment causing infections and other immunity-related disorders

As per a few types of research, beta-defensins are the compounds that help to build a strong immune system of the body. When glucose in the body is high, it breaks down into a molecule known as dicarbonyls. It is this compound that disrupts the smooth functioning of the beta-defensins. The dicarbonyls, namely methylglyoxal, and glyoxal weaken the ability of the beta-defensins to fight infections.

It cannot be disregarded that there are different mechanisms through which the body is able to fight against the two types of dicarbonyls as mentioned above. However, when you have diabetes, the ability of the body to control the activity of the dicarbonyl is weakened thereby disrupting the immunity system of the body.

When the body has high blood glucose levels, the protein by the name of Kinase C is activated. This protein, in turn, causes a larger amount of glycation in the body. The result of this is that the innate immunity of the patient’s body is hampered to a large extent.

Another way in which diabetes can affect the immune system of the body is by disrupting the normal functioning of the White Blood Cells. In a healthy individual, whenever any infection-causing bacteria or microorganism invades the body, the White Blood Cells become active and try to fight against them. When you have high blood glucose levels, the cells cannot work at their normal pace and the result of such activities is that the wounds take a longer time to heal.

Ways to Boost Your Immunity if You Have Diabetes

Following are some of the ways in which you can boost your immunity in diabetes:

  • Eat those foods that boost your immunity system. You should consult your doctor for the same
  • Try to manage your weight effectively. When you are overweight, the immune system of the body is weakened to a great extent.
  • Never skip your meals and eat small portions of food at one go. Eat more frequently and not too much food at one go.
  • You should make exercise your daily habit. Not only does regular physical activity will help you maintain your weight, but it also goes a long way in boosting your immunity.
  • Regularly monitor your blood glucose and keep the same under check
  • Use probiotics to boost the immune system. Probiotics are the good bacteria that are required by the body. Apart from the probiotic supplements, there are a number of natural food items that are probiotic by their very nature. These include yogurt.
  • Some of the other important natural sources that can help boost your immunity system include herbal tea, black tea as they are known to contain essential flavonoids, polyphenols, that help a great deal in maintaining the levels of blood glucose.
  • The most important reason for weakened immunity, as suggested by various experts is stress. The hormones released when you are stressed out lead to loss of essential immunity in the body. By practicing yoga, meditation, and other activities you should try to reduce and eliminate stress from your life.
  • You need to sleep well and soundly. Whatever hard work you put in to boost your immunity system, it will all be a waste if you do not take adequate sleep at night.
  • Finally, eliminate smoking and alcohol drinking to a large amount to boost immunity.

Thus, by following the above- mentioned simple and easy to follow steps, you can boost your immunity system even in diabetes and lead a healthy, happy life!

We hope that the above post has been helpful in educating you about the relationship that exists between diabetes and the immunity system of your body. Diabetes does adversely affect immunity and that exposes you to greater risks of infections and wounds. Having said that, if you do take appropriate measures, you can strengthen your immune system even if you are a diabetic patient.

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