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December 17, 2003

Other Illnesses

Question from Davie, Florida, USA:

I am 33 years old and have have type II MODY diabetes since the age of 11. I was not taking any insulin or oral medications until the age of 27. I currently take glucophage 850 2x per day, diet and exercise. My glucose levels are nearly always between 100 and 150 mg/dl [5.6 and 8.3 mmol/L] when I am watching closely. I have always gotten many severe colds over the years and since the age of 17, with accompanying sinus infections. During this year I have had 4 major colds, 2 within the last 2 months. Is it possible that my immune system is just not functioning properly and causing these recurrent colds/sinusitis?

Answer:

People with poorly controlled diabetes are at risk for increased frequency of bacterial infections because the white blood cells do not kill bacteria well in the presence of high sugars. However, the studies previously performed have been with sugars regularly above 200 mg/dl. I cannot say why you have had increased frequency of sinusitis. You may want to address this question to your physician and see if you have a structural abnormality within the sinuses that causes recurrent infection or consider the presence of a resistant organism.

JTL