Sepsis in diabetes patients: Causes, risk factors, precautions and treatment | Health


Sepsis is a dysregulated host response to any infection, meaning it is human body’s extreme response to an infection and can be life threatening. Every human body catches infection but the way human body responds to any infection is individualised, depending on their immunity, nutrition, key vitals etc and patients with good immunity fight back and responds quickly.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Bharesh Dedhia, Chief, Department of Critical Care at PD Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Centre in Khar, talked about whether patients with diabetes have high risk of Sepsis and said, “Patients with diabetes have high risk of catching an infection and this may precipitate into Sepsis, as they have innate dysfunction of immunity. Due to low immunity, their response to any infection – like UTI, pneumonia or diabetic foot is disproportionate. With this, the infection cascades and spreads from one organ to multiple organs, and the inappropriate body’s response to this infection causes Sepsis.”

Risk factors of Sepsis in Diabetes

According to Dr Mansi Dandnaik, Intensivist and Consultant, Critical Care at KD Hospital in Ahmedabad, one of the biggest risk factors for Sepsis is when immunity is on lower side. She shared, “Patients with Type 1 Diabetes and with uncontrolled sugar of Type 2 Diabetes are at huge risk factor of Sepsis. Moreover, patients with affected organs and chronic medical conditions are also at high risk of Sepsis. Diabetic patients have kidney dysfunction or cardiac dysfunction, which can eventually lead to Sepsis from the affected organ to multiple organs. When a person has uncontrolled sugar levels for long time, bacteria proliferates and multiplies faster”

Precautions and treatment:

Suggesting some precautions, Dr Mansi Dandnaik advised, “It is imperative to control sugar levels, monitor sugar levels regularly. Immunity and response to infection is better with controlled sugar. Consult your family physician when you notice any changes in your regular routine like gut health, appetite, passing urine etc. Patient with diabetes and uncontrolled sugar levels should keep a close watch on their symptoms and not ignore any slightest infection like eye infection, UTI, minor injuries etc.”

As for the treatment, she highlighted, “Depending on the severity of the situation, the treating doctor may opt for antimicrobial therapy or antibiotic dosage for treating the infection. Today, we have high-end antibiotics that are effective against variety of bacteria and infection. Moreover, over-prescribing antibiotics can worsen the situation for the patient’s health. Hence, depending on sugar levels of the patient, the doctor may advise appropriate antibiotics and IV fluids. As a part of treatment, the doctor may also opt for source control like ensuring proper drainage for collected puss/ infection.”

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