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September 28, 2020 6 min read

Diabetes & UTIs

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When you live with diabetes, you're twice as likely to be prone to UTIs. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, those with Type 2 diabetes tend to have more harmful issues than the rest. Their UTIs are often the result of resistant pathogens, making infections more challenging to manage.

Diabetes & Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): What Is It?

"When blood sugar is high, the excess sugar is removed through the urine," explains The American Urological Association. "This makes a favourable environment for bacterial overgrowth."

People with diabetics can have a more challenging time resisting infection and are already at risk for kidney damage, worsening if it spreads. Standard prevention methods are always advisable and will help to minimize the chances of getting UTIs. 

When all else fails, there's always an option to go natural and try a cranberry supplement. Be careful, though, because not all cranberry supplements are created equal.


effects of diabetes on utis
  • People with diabetes are prone to UTIs, bladder problems, and sexual dysfunction. 

  • Diabetes can often worsen urologic conditions as the disease can affect blood flow, nerves, and sensory function. 

  • Roughly 29.1 million people in America are living with diabetes.

  • Poor circulation reduces the body's ability to send white blood cells to fight off infections.

  • UTIs have a higher probability of occurring with high blood glucose.

  • A bladder that does not empty results in a breeding ground for bacteria.

What Causes a UTI?

Bacteria, usually from the bowels, cause a UTI. Typically, the urinary tract system protects against infection, such as the ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), one-way valves to prevent urine from backing up into the kidneys. 

The process of emptying your bladder completely also helps to flush out bacteria and other microbes. This is why it is commonly encouraged for both men and women to pee after sex.

What Are the Symptoms of a UTI?

Common symptoms of a UTI include: 

  • Pain or burning sensation when you urinate
  • The need to urinate constantly 
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Urine that is cloudy, dark, or bloody
  • Fever or chills
  • Pain in your back or abdomen

UTIs and Bladder Conditions

"Diabetes can affect the function and structure of the lower urinary tract, which in turn may play a role in patients with diabetes having more UTIs, overactive or underactive bladder, and problems with urination," explains Michael J. Kennelly, MD, Professor of Urology and Obstetrics & Gynecology at Carolinas Medical Center.

What's more, those living with diabetes may lose sensory function, making it harder to know when you have to go to the bathroom. If you wait too long to go to the washroom, a bladder or kidney infection can occur. 

Why Does Diabetes Increase The Risk of a UTI?

People with diabetes are more prone to UTIs as they have issues with urination and high blood sugar levels. The high sugar levels in their urine make for a breeding ground for pathogens. Early diagnosis and proper medication are necessary for the management of UTIs in diabetic patients.

How Can Diabetic Patients Prevent UTIs

Simply put, managing your diabetes well will help prevent UTIs. Having high blood glucose levels can increase your UTI risk, so keeping blood sugar levels in check is essential! 

When you urinate, make sure you empty as much of your bladder as possible. This can be an issue for people with diabetes and can ultimately contribute to infectious bacteria growth. 

Other UTI prevention tips:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Do not hold your pee.
  • Wipe front to back after going to the bathroom.
  • Wear cotton underwear.

Can Cranberries Really Help Prevent UTIs?

Cranberries can help prevent UTIs

Cranberries contain a natural bioactive ingredient called proanthocyanidins (PACs) that have been scientifically proven to be effective in preventing UTIs. 

Unfortunately, most cranberry supplements don't mention the volume of proanthocyanidins within their ingredients, which means there's not enough to help prevent UTIs.

9 Cranberry Pills = 1 Utiva Pill

500mg high dose cranberry capsules typically have less than 1% PACs (<5mg). One Utiva pill has 240mg of cranberry with 15% PAC concentration = 36mg PACs!

“I have suffered with UTI’s for over 20 years and especially over past 5 became chronic and lived on antibiotics. I am a type 1 diabetic so prone to UTI’s. I had tried very many other products and supplements .My very respected Dr at Sunnybrook personally called me when she became aware of SZIO and recommended to me. I have been using faithfully every day now for over 6 months and still clear for the first time in a very long time. Thanks making this excellent product available.”

Lynne, Toronto

Many doctors recommend cranberry supplement containing the required 36 mg of PACs to prevent recurring urinary tract infections. Here's what Dr. Colleen McDermott, a Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgeon from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto had to say about it:

“Natural remedies can help with reducing UTIs. Although cranberries have been reviewed, it is important to check for 36mg of Proanthocyandins (PACs) within the supplement. These are the active molecules from within cranberries that help to keep bacteria from adhering to your urinary tract and bladder wall. Given the impact that recurrent UTIs can have on a one's life, patients should choose products that are supported by scientific evidence.”

Dr. Colleen McDermott, Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery
Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto

 How Are UTIs Diagnosed?

UTIs can be identified by urine sample. The urine is examined under a microscope for bacteria or white blood cells, signs of infection. Your health care provider may also take a urine culture. This test detects and identifies bacteria and yeast in the urine, which may be causing a UTI.

Those with diabetes should also routinely monitor their UTIs with Utiva Test Strips. These are incredibly beneficial for those with chronic UTIs, as they are the same type of tests that most doctors use to diagnose. 

Utiva UTI Test Strips have two tests in one and can be done from the comfort of your own home. It checks for both Leukocyte (white blood cells) and Nitrite (presence of E. Coli), and gives you results in just 2 minutes! 

Why Choose Utiva's UTI Control Supplements? 

If you or a loved one are considering cranberry supplements, Utiva Cranberry PACs Supplement provides a clinically-proven option to help reduce UTIs. Utiva is a 15% concentration providing 36mg of PACs in a 240mg capsule – the required dose to be clinically effective.

Each capsule of Utiva Cranberry PACs Supplement is: 

  • Antibiotic-free
  • Vegan & Halal
  • Non-GMO and Gluten-Free
  • Doctor Recommended
  • One pill a day
  • Made in Canada


Are UTIs a Symptom of Diabetes?

While not all those who have diabetes will suffer from a UTI, they are twice as likely to. When faced with a UTI, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can have serious implications when the body cannot fight off infection and is up to twice as likely to develop urinary tract infections. 

Can High Sugar Cause UTIs?

Yes, high blood glucose levels can raise the risk of a UTI. Like any other living organism, E. coli, a significant player in recurring UTIs, needs something to feed off of. High sugar levels are something that this bacteria loves. When you ingest sugar, your urine's acid level becomes more hospitable for E. coli, enabling the infection to progress rapidly.

Can People With Diabetes Drink Cranberry Juice for a UTI?

Doctors are generally hesitant to recommend cranberry juice to those with diabetes. It has a high amount of sugar and has the potential to increase glucose levels. For reference, there are 28 grams (7 teaspoons) of added sugar in one cup of Ocean Spray cranberry juice. 

Many doctors recommend a cranberry supplement containing the required 36 mg of PACs to prevent recurring urinary tract infections. 

Fortunately, you can still reap the benefits of cranberries by introducing Utiva's Control Supplement into your daily routine as 1 Utiva pill equals the same benefits of 3-4 glasses of cranberry juice! 

One 8oz glass of cranberry juice has < 9mg PACs and > 30g of sugar. 

One Utiva pill has 240mg of cranberry with 15% PAC concentration = 36mg PACs.

Want to hear what other doctors have to say about Utiva and PACs?

See what healthcare professionals think

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