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How Does Diabetes Affect The Immune System

Fatty Seafood Offers Immune

The Effects of Hyperglycemia on the Immune System

The omega-3 fatty acids found in some types of fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel enhance the functioning of immune cells, says the Sparta, New Jerseybased Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES, author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet and a consultant for Swisse Wellness.

Although a review and meta-analysis published in August 2019 in the BMJ found that omega-3s have little or no effect on type 2 diabetes directly, Palinski-Wade says they can have significant benefit when it comes to better immune function. EPA, a component of omega-3s, may enhance the activity of white blood cells, which strengthens the immune benefits, she notes. A past study suggests this effect can not only be significant, but can also happen fairly quickly within a week, those researchers found.

Plus, these seaworthy choices offer established heart benefits, notes a review published in the MayJune 2013 issue of the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. Fatty fish appear to lower inflammation, thereby improving blood vessel function and decreasing triglycerides, according to the Mayo Clinic.

When prepared without sauces, fatty fish can be a great low-carb food to add to your diabetes diet. According to the USDA, a 5-ounce serving of salmon contains only 5 g of carbs.

Brazil Nuts Help Support Thyroid Function Thanks To Their Selenium

Selenium is another important mineral for those with type 2 diabetes, says Cunningham, because it supports thyroid health. According to the American Diabetes Association, both diabetes and thyroid disease are endocrine issues, so those who grapple with thyroid issues could have a more difficult time with blood glucose control.

Selenium plays a critical role in regulating thyroid hormones, the NIH says. Because research has found that those with diabetes have a higher prevalence of thyroid disorders, it’s helpful to keep your thyroid function up to scratch with good nutrition.

Cunningham recommends a small serving of Brazil nuts to get what you need. According to the Cleveland Clinic, that’s 4 medium-size Brazil nuts . In addition to being a single protein serving, the USDA notes that 4 Brazil nuts offer 383.2 mcg of selenium, or nearly 7 times the DV. That same serving size of Brazil nuts contains only 2.35 g of carbs.

How to enjoy them Because it takes so little to get benefits from Brazil nuts, Cunningham suggests including one in your snack rotation, or you can also slice a Brazil nut in thin strips and put it on a salad or over steel-cut oatmeal.

Excess Blood Sugar Disrupts Immune System Proteins And Promotes Atherosclerosis

Heart rate graph using sugar on red background. Credit: Shutterstock

Excess sugar in the blood, the central feature of diabetes, can react with immune proteins to cause myriad changes in the immune system, including inflammatory changes that promote atherosclerosis, according to a new study from scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine and University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The study, published March 15 in the journal Immunity, advances the field of diabetes research by revealing molecular pathways through which the disorder may cause other serious health problems for patients. In principle, these newly revealed pathways could be targeted with future diabetes drugs.

Our findings showing how hyperglycemia can contribute to atherosclerosis by altering the adaptive immune response should have broad clinical implications, said co-senior author Dr. Laura Santambrogio, professor of radiation oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine.

The American Diabetes Association has estimated that in 2018, more than 34 million people in the United States had either type 1 diabetes or the more common, adult-onset and obesity-related type 2 diabetes. In both conditions, the body loses its normal ability to keep bloodstream levels of glucose within safe limits, resulting in chronically high glucose levelshyperglycemia.

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Effects Of T2dm On The Susceptibility Of Patients To Infections

T2DM is usually associated with an elevated risk of asymptomatic bacteriuria, urinary tract infections , pyelonephritis and non-sexually transmitted genital infections, such as balanitis and vulvovaginal infections . The incidence of infections with a complicated course is significantly higher in diabetic patients compared to healthy controls . It seems that it is principally defects in the innate immune responses of diabetic individuals that are responsible for the increased susceptibility and prevalence of infections .

Table 3. Dysfunctional immune system in T2DM patients promotes the pathogenesis of infections.

Study Population And Diabetes Diagnosis


All individuals with unspecified or types other than type 2 diabetes were excluded from analysis . HbA1c concentration was determined in all remaining subjects using a standardized high-performance liquid chromatography assay. Study participants were categorized according to the International Expert Committee, i.e., < 6.0% as with normal glucose homeostasis, 6.06.4% as having increased risk for diabetes or prediabetes, and 6.5% as having diabetes . Analyses were performed in a centralized laboratory setup. Information on duration and complications of type 2 diabetes, concomitant diseases, and family history were collected during a comprehensive computer-assisted personal interview. All individuals brought their drugs to the study center for recording current drug intake and, if available, medical records. CVRFs were assessed by clinical examination and laboratory measurements. Individuals with diabetes were classified according to no treatment/dietary treatment, insulin-dependent diabetes, and noninsulin-dependent diabetes.

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Quick Tips For Helping Increase Your Immunity

The following are quick tips to help you increase your immune system response if you have diabetes. Follow these tips for a healthier you with less colds, viruses and nasty microbes to fight off in your system.

As you age, your immune system response can become slow. When you have diabetes, this is doubly true.

  • Get enough exercise
  • Get the right amount of sleep
  • Eat the right portions of carbohydrates, proteins, fats
  • Stop any bad habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Managing your stress levels can also play a big role

Get A Proper Diagnosis And Treatment

Many of these health conditions can be linked directly to unchecked, undiagnosed and untreated adult-onset diabetes. Once a proper diagnosis has been made, the effects of high blood sugar on the body tend to diminish noticeably. Prescription diabetes medications help remove excess sugar from the bloodstream and reduce stress on the pancreas and kidneys. Simply being treated for diabetes can improve your immune system naturally.

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Scientists Show How Sugar

Case Western Reserve University
Scientists may have uncovered a molecular mechanism that sets into motion dangerous infection in the feet and hands often occurring with uncontrolled diabetes. It appears that high blood sugar unleashes destructive molecules that interfere with the body’s natural infection-control defenses.

Case Western Reserve scientists may have uncovered a molecular mechanism that sets into motion dangerous infection in the feet and hands often occurring with uncontrolled diabetes. It appears that high blood sugar unleashes destructive molecules that interfere with the body’s natural infection-control defenses.

The harmful molecules — dicarbonyls — are breakdown products of glucose that interfere with infection-controlling antimicrobial peptides known as beta-defensins. The Case Western Reserve team discovered how two dicarbonyls — methylglyoxal and glyoxal — alter the structure of human beta-defensin-2 peptides, hobbling their ability to fight inflammation and infection.

Their laboratory in vitro findings, which appear in PLOS ONE, could ultimately contribute important insights into developing and enhancing antimicrobial peptide drugs for people with diabetes who have hard-to-control infections and wounds that are slow to heal.

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Walnuts Supply Vitamin E And Healthy Fats

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Another important micronutrient is vitamin E, says Schrager, because it’s a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the immune system. Research has further noted that this vitamin can improve glycemic control in people with diabetes.

“Walnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, as well as a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation,” she says. “Walnuts contain very little carbohydrates, and therefore have a minimal impact on glucose levels.”

If you’re aiming to lose or maintain weight, walnuts are for you. According to a small study published in January 2018 in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, walnuts may activate a part of the brain involved with appetite and impulse control.

According to the USDA, 1 oz of walnut halves offer 0.198 mg of vitamin E, which is about 5 percent of the DV.

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How Does The Body Of A Healthy Individual Work

In a healthy individual who is not affected by diabetes, the body keeps the blood glucose within the range through a number of mechanisms. If the body experiences low levels of glucose, the pancreas reacts to the situation by lowering down the total secretion of the hormone insulin. In some other cases, where the level of blood glucose is too low, the pancreas secretes the hormone glucagon in order to enable the liver cells to secrete more of glucose which is then let out in the blood of the body.

Apart from that, when blood glucose becomes low, the adrenal in gland also tends to secrete another hormone which is known as epinephrine. The hormone helps in stabilizing the situation in two different ways:

  • It stimulates the liver to increase the production of glucose and
  • Epinephrine prevents the tissues of the body to use more glucose so that enough glucose is remaining for the flow of the blood of the individual

How Diabetes Affects The Digestive System

11 April, 2019

Diabetes is currently one of the most common health conditions. This illness arises when the body is not capable of producing insulin, something that usually helps regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. Diabetes varies in type and severity, but regardless of these details, they all pose health risks. While it continues to be incurable, it is treatable. For this reason, we are about to explain in detail how diabetes affects the digestive system.

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Heart + Blood Vessels

These face the biggest threat from diabetes. It can be deadly.

Diabetes affects your heart and your whole circulation. That includes small blood vessels in your kidneys, eyes, and nerves, and the big ones that feed your heart and brain and keep you alive.

The damage starts with high blood sugar and insulin levels. This sets off chain reactions that force your body to work harder to correct high blood sugar. But years of diabetes will break down those defenses.

Diabetes changes how the blood vessels in your muscles work. That can weaken your heart, your most important muscle. And if your body cant use or get glucose and nutrients very well, your heart may have problems drawing enough energy. This can put you at risk for heart failure, which is when the heart doesnt pump blood as well as it should.

Plus, you can have inflammation in blood vessels and throughout the body. It can lead to thicker blood and raise the risk of blood clots. Your blood vessels get inflamed and harmful cells may enter their inner lining. The damaged endothelium doesnt expand or relax normally.

On top of that, most people with diabetes also have too much triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and too little HDL cholesterol. Inflamed blood vessels can trap cholesterol and form plaque, making your arteries harder and narrower. This is called atherosclerosis. The buildup of cholesterol in the arteries lowers blood flow. All of these changes make a heart attack more likely.

What About Physical Activity

What role does insulin play in immunity?

Its always important to get regular exercise when you have diabetes. Making sure that you get up and move more should be your goal. Aiming for about 30 minutes of physical activity about five days per week is a good long-range goal to start with.

Make sure that you plan regular exercises into your calendar. Mark the days you will exercise and see if a friend or family member can come along. Take a walk down by a river or lake, take a mountain hike, or bike along the many bike paths cropping up all over to increase the general populaces exercise levels.

Once youve found some great activities to participate in that you enjoy, it wont seem so much like work anymore. It also helps to keep you from getting illnesses. It boosts the bodys immune system.

On top of these benefits, you will enjoy a steadier weight. If you are trying to lose weight, increasing your activity to increase your lean muscle mass and burn more calories will help along with reducing portion sizes and carbohydrates. Its easier to lose weight when you are exercising, also.

After youve got your cardio workouts going, add in strength exercises three days per week with a days break in between. This will also help to increase the lean muscles and boost your immune system.

You can use canned goods, resistance bands or look up routines on YouTube or online. There are many different exercise programs to choose from.

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Effects Of T2dm On The Immune System

The immune system is generally classified into two main arms, innate and adaptive immunity. Adaptive immunity is mediated by B cells, which produce antibodies and T cells, which are classified into CD4+ helper cells and cytotoxic CD8+ cells. A considerable literature has discussed the dysfunctional immune responses in diabetic patients . Abnormal immune cell activation and subsequent inflammatory environment has an essential role in the progression of T2DM . In this regard, chronic inflammation due mainly to the activation of the myeloid cell lineage , is directly related to the induction of IR . Fang et al. have shown that patients with T2DM have elevated numbers of circulating leukocytes that express high levels of inflammatory gene products but glycemic control can reverse the situation . De Souza Prestes et al. have indicated that exposure of leukocytes to MGO changes their morphology by making them larger and more granular, increases their ability to produce ROS and decreases their expression of antioxidant genes . They further demonstrated that treatment with MGO increases the expression of the pro-apoptotic gene BAD, while decreasing the expression of anti-apoptotic gene BCL-2, and hence promotes apoptosis of leukocytes .

Table 2. Effects of T2DM on the immune system.

What Is The Immune System

The immune system plays an important role in your body. It protects you from harmful agents that could make you ill.

The main tasks of the bodys immune system are to:

  • Fight disease-causing bacteria, viruses or parasites and remove them from the body
  • Recognize and neutralize harmful substances from the environment
  • Fight disease-causing changes in the body, such as cancer cells

If your immune system stops working properly because its weak or cant fight germs you have a higher risk of illness. Read on to learn more about diabetes and the immune system.

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Urinary Tract Infections Including Bladder Infections And Kidney Infections

Urinary tract infections are common complications of diabetes. Thats because high blood sugar can lead to sugar in your urine, and sugar is a breeding ground for bacteria. If your bladder doesnt empty completely when you urinate, bacteria can hang around in your urinary tract even longer.

The urinary tract includes the kidneys and the bladder. Most UTIs occur in the bladder, but more serious UTIs can turn into kidney infections. Symptoms of a bladder infection may include fever, frequent urination , burning during urination, or pain in the abdomen when urinating. Kidney infections can be much more dangerous and can cause more complications in people with diabetes. Symptoms of a kidney infection are often more painful and include abdominal pain, pain in the groin, fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting.

How Often Do Immune System Problems Occur With Pembrolizumab

Alzheimer’s and Diabetes

Cancer treatment is always individual, and what you experience may be different from someone else.

In clinical studies, researchers looked at a large group of patients to better understand how frequently and how quickly these side effects might occur, but these numbers have a wide range.

Your outcome may be different based on your cancer type, overall medical condition, other treatments you are receiving, and many other factors. Always discuss the potential for drug side effects with your doctor, who knows your medical history and treatment plan best.

Lung problems :

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • new or worsening cough

In studies with pembrolizumab used for various cancers, pneumonitis occurred in 94 of 2799 of patients. These side effects most commonly started 3.3 months after beginning treatment, but ranged between 2 days and 19.3 months. They lasted 1.5 months . Pneumonitis was resolved in 55 out of the 94 patients and 36 patients had to stop treatment.

Intestinal problems can lead to tears or holes in your intestine. Signs and symptoms of colitis may include:

  • diarrhea or more frequent bowel movements
  • stools that are black, tarry, sticky, or contain blood or mucus
  • severe pain or tenderness in the stomach area

Colitis occurred in 48 of 2799 of patients receiving pembrolizumab, and started most commonly in 3.5 months . Symptoms most commonly lasted about 1.3 months . Colitis was resolved in 41 out of the 48 patients but 15 patients had to stop treatment.

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Immune System And Type 2 Diabetes

The immune system also plays a part in type 2 diabetes Researchers have linked insulin resistance to high levels of cytokines, which are released in response to inflammation in the body.

The immunes systems response to inflammation leads to fat cells being unable to respond well to insulin and sees the fat cells releasing fatty acids into the blood, leading to higher than normal levels of cholesterol

How Does Diabetes Cause Infections

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it means that your blood sugar levels are too high. Fortunately, its possible to bring your blood sugar down to normal levels by exercising regularly, eating well, and taking any prescribed diabetes medications consistently. But if your blood sugar levels remain uncontrolled, they can keep your bodys immune system from working the way that it should.

Your immune system consists of white blood cells that protect your body from unknown substances like germs. Since white blood cells are a part of your blood, they rely on your blood vessels to transport blood throughout the body to get where they need to go. But because diabetes can cause blood vessel disease, your white blood cells cant always get where they need to be to fight off germs. This allows germs like bacteria, viruses, and fungi to invade your body and cause infections that make you sick.

In addition to suppressing your bodys immune system, diabetes also makes it more likely that you will have slow-healing wounds and nerve pain . Neuropathy makes it harder to notice open cuts and sores. Together, both of these complications can increase the risk of infection.

Now that you understand how diabetes can increase your risk of certain infections, lets learn what some of those infections are.

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