Metabolic Health
Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Antibiotics Use and Risks in Diabetes

Antibiotics are probably one of the best finds of medical science that have helped millions worldwide recover from several infections. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with respiratory ailments in the past or chest infections, the doctor must have prescribed you some antibiotics to recover fast from the condition. While antibiotics are excellent for curing infections, have you ever thought about trying to control diabetes with the help of antibiotics? As rare as it sounds, some people contemplate using antibiotics for diabetes. But is it safe? Or is it recommended?

Whether or not you should use antibiotics for diabetes should only be prescribed by your doctor. The answer will vary significantly as not everyone has the same health conditions. But if you’re diagnosed with diabetes, knowing the relation between antibiotics and diabetes can sure help. To ensure you learn better, read it until the end. 

What are Antibiotics and their Uses?

In simple terms, antibiotics are medicines prescribed to fight bacteria-induced infections. The antibiotics kill or prevent the bacteria from growing or multiplying within the host body. Owing to the nature of antibiotics, they are considered very powerful but should be used properly. Although the primary use of antibiotics is the same, the different antibiotics work great on other bacteria or serve different purposes. Different antibiotics are used for different uses. For example, Tetracyclines are antibiotics used to treat rosacea and acne. Cephalosporins, on the other hand, are used to treat skin infections, Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), respiratory diseases, and more. 

What is Antibiotic Resistance?

Antibiotics have always been valuable, but their improper use has led to several problems. Approximately 2 million people get infected with bacteria each year, and roughly 23,000 people die from the infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. It is believed that widespread and improper use of antibiotics leads to antibiotics resistance. For the uninitiated, antibiotic resistance refer to the event where bacteria start resisting the drug effects. It implies even taking antibiotics doesn’t reduce the bacteria growth or multiplication. 

Since antibiotics are widely prescribed worldwide and often prescribed inappropriately or consumed incorrectly, it has given rise to antibiotic resistance. Parasites, bacteria, fungi, or viruses, can become drug-resistant, rendering antibiotics of little to no use. Bacteria resistant to antibiotics are often referred to as superbugs. What makes matters worse is that superbugs or bacteria strains resistant to drugs can spread from person to person.

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Antibiotics and Diabetes

Now that you understand what antibiotics and antibiotic resistance mean, it’s time to learn whether or not does antibiotics increase blood sugar. Since having diabetes makes a person more vulnerable to certain infections, taking antibiotics can be an option.

But it should be always noted that not all antibiotics are the same, and can cause different reactions in different people. Fluoroquinolones, for example are a type of antibiotic that can influence your Blood Sugar Levels. Ciprofloxacin and Gatifloxacin are two other antibiotics that cause significant fluctuations in blood sugar prompting the FDA to issue warning against their use for people with diabetes.

How Can people with Diabetes minimize the risk of developing Antibiotic Resistance?

Antibiotic resistance negates and defeats the purpose and positive benefits that antibiotics can offer you will not reap the benefits of antibiotics. Many people have failed to get the desired result because they took antibiotics incorrectly. If you don’t want to experience something similar, adopt the following tips to minimize diabetes risk. 

Be Informed of Your Infection

Rushing to doctors to get antibiotics is not always a good option. Not all infections are because of the virus; hence, antibiotics won’t work. You may develop antibiotic resistance if you start taking antibiotics for stomach flu, common cold, or sinus infections. 

Always Take Steps for Prevention

You should always follow precautionary measures to stay away from infections. Things like washing your hands, maintaining hygiene in your surroundings, avoiding junk food, and being active can keep you protected from any infection. 

Always Consult a Doctor

If you feel the need to take an antibiotic, always consult a doctor. Self-medication is harmful and can land you in more trouble. A doctor will prescribe you antibiotics based on your health conditions, ensuring you don’t experience any side effects. 

Frequently Check Blood Sugar Levels

Whether you’re taking antibiotics or not, a great way to prevent risks of unusually high blood sugar levels is by using a glucose meter. Monitor the changes whenever you take an antibiotic, and report to the doctor, if necessary.

To maintain a healthy state, you should follow the four tips above. 

Can People with Diabetes Take Antibiotics?

The relationship between antibiotics and diabetes can be both beneficial and harmful, depending on the type of antibiotic a person takes. It should be noted that not all available antibiotics are safe for consumption, making it essential to consult a medical practitioner before taking them.

FAQs

Can Diabetics Take Antibiotics?

A person with diabetes can take antibiotics, provided a practicing doctor prescribes them. Not all antibiotics are safe for people with diabetes, and improper use can lead to unhealthy blood sugar level fluctuations. A doctor will suggest antibiotic that doesn’t result in any side effects in your body. 

What Antibiotics Should Diabetics Avoid?

The list of antibiotics can vary as not everyone has the same health condition. Although the use of antibiotics like Fluoroquinolones, Gatifloxacin, Ciprofloxacin, and others should be strictly monitored for people with diabetes, it is suggested to take personalized consultation from doctors for best results. 

Can you take Metformin and Antibiotics at the same time?

Metformin has been used with antibiotics in various studies, and the results have been satisfactory. However, a person should not pair the two without doctor’s recommendation because not every human body may react to it similarly. 

References

  • https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/antibiotics-and-diabetes-do-the-two-mix/

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