How STIs can affect your BGLs 10 September 2014 Any infection in the body, including sexually transmissible infections (STIs), can potentially increase blood glucose levels (BGLs) in people with diabetes. STIs are infections or bugs caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites that are passed from one person to another during sexual contact. STIs are common health issues around the world and anyone who is sexually active can catch one. Common STIs are chlamydia, genital warts, gonorrhoea, hepatitis A and B and herpes. The Melbourne Sexual Health Centre has a very informative website, which describes the activities that put people at risk of STIs. For more information go to MSHC and click on the STIs information tab. When BGLs rise above the normal range suddenly, or over a short period of time, an infection should be suspected. Other common infections that can affect BGLs are: foot or leg wounds urine or kidney infection vaginal or penile thrush (not related to sexual activity) throat or chest infection gum disease or infection Health professionals will generally investigate for the above infections when BGLs begin to rise but STIs are not often considered. Donâ€™t be embarrassed to talk to your doctor or diabetes educator if you think you might have an STI. Important points to note: STIs can infect many areas of the body and not just the genitals. STIs donâ€™t always cause signs and symptoms. STIs donâ€™t always cause symptoms but may still cause an increase in BGLs. Not all genital signs and symptoms are caused by STIs. In some cases, diabetes is diagnosed for the first time after someone has presented to the doctors with recurring thrush or urine infection despite antifungal creams or antibiotic treatment. These infections usually disappear once BGLs are lowered to the normal range. Most STIs are quickly and easily treated without too much fuss. Individuals with diabetes need to be able to get the right information in a timely way. If you have unexplained high BGLs and think that you might have an STI or other genital infection, speak to your doctor as soon as possible. You are not alone. Doctors are used to seeing patients with STIs and other genital infections regularly and talking about sexual health should be part of an overall assessment during a consultation. An online service is available to help you decide which tests you might need to check for STIs It only takes three minutes and your doctor may find this report helpful.