Diabetes complications

Pneumonia in diabetes mellitus: treatment and symptoms of complications

Diabetes occurs on the background of a failure in metabolic processes, in which the patient is constantly overestimated indicator of sugar in the blood. There are 2 leading forms of the disease. In the first case, the pancreas does not produce insulin, in the second - the hormone is produced, but it is not perceived by the cells of the body.

The peculiarity of diabetes is that people do not die from the disease itself, but from the complications that chronic hyperglycemia causes. The developmental consequences are interconnected with the microangiopathic process and the glycosylation of tissue proteins. As a result of such a violation, the immune system does not fulfill its protective functions.

Also in diabetes, changes occur in the capillaries, erythrocytes and oxygen metabolism. This makes the body susceptible to infections. It can affect any organ or system, including the lungs.

Pneumonia in diabetes occurs when the respiratory system is infected. Often, the transmission of the pathogen is carried out by airborne droplets.

Causes and risk factors

Often, pneumonia develops against the background of a seasonal cold or flu. But there are other causes of pneumonia in diabetics:

  • chronic hyperglycemia;
  • weakened immunity;
  • pulmonary microangiopathy, in which pathological changes occur in the vessels of the respiratory organs;
  • all sorts of related diseases.

Since elevated sugar creates a favorable environment in the patient's body for diabetics to penetrate the infection, it is necessary to know which pathogenic microorganisms can provoke pulmonary inflammation.

Staphylococcus aureus is the most common pathogen of nosocomial and non-hospital pneumonia. And bacterial pneumonia in diabetics causes not only a staph infection, but also Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Often, in patients with chronic hyperglycemia, atypical pneumonia caused by viruses develops first. After it is joined by a bacterial infection.

The peculiarity of the inflammatory process in the lungs in diabetes is hypotension and a change in the mental state, while in ordinary patients the symptoms of the disease are similar to those of a simple respiratory infection. Moreover, in diabetics, the clinical picture is more pronounced.

Also with ailments, like hyperglycemia in diabetes mellitus, pulmonary edema occurs more often. This is due to the fact that the capillaries become more insightful, the function of macrophages and neutrophils is distorted, and the immune system is weakened.

It is noteworthy that pneumonia caused by fungi (Coccidioides, Cryptococcus), staphylococcus and Klebsiella in people with impaired insulin production, is much more difficult than in patients who do not have problems with metabolic processes. Also significantly increases the likelihood of tuberculosis.

Even metabolic disruptions have an adverse effect on the immune system. As a result, the likelihood of lung abscess, asymptomatic bacteremia and even death is increased.


The clinical picture of pneumonia in diabetics is similar to the symptoms of the disease in ordinary patients. But elderly patients often lack temperature, as their bodies are greatly weakened.

Leading symptoms of the disease:

  1. chills;
  2. dry cough, over time it becomes wet;
  3. fever, with temperatures up to 38 degrees;
  4. increased fatigue;
  5. headache;
  6. lack of appetite;
  7. dyspnea;
  8. muscle discomfort;
  9. dizziness;
  10. hyperhidrosis.

Also in the affected lung pain may increase during coughing. And in some patients, clouding of consciousness and cyanosis of the nasolabial triangle is noted.

It is noteworthy that a diabetic cough for inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract may not pass more than two months. And breathing problems occur when fibrotic exudate accumulates in the alveoli, filling the lumen of the organ and preventing its normal operation. Fluid in the lungs accumulates due to the fact that immune cells are sent to the inflammatory focus to prevent the generalization of infection and destroy viruses and bacteria.

In diabetics, the posterior or lower parts of the lungs are most often affected. And in most cases, inflammation occurs in the right organ, which is explained by anatomical features, because the pathogen is easier to penetrate the wide and short right bronchus.

Pulmonary edema is accompanied by cyanosis, shortness of breath and a feeling of constriction in the chest. Also, the accumulation of fluid in the lungs is a reason for the development of heart failure and swelling of the heart bag.

In the case of progression of edema, symptoms such as:

  • tachycardia;
  • labored breathing;
  • hypotension;
  • severe cough and chest pain;
  • profuse discharge of mucus and sputum;
  • suffocation.

Treatment and Prevention

The basis of therapy for pneumonia is a course of antibacterial treatment. Moreover, it is extremely important that it be completed to the end, otherwise relapses may occur.

A mild form of the disease is often treated with drugs that are well accepted by diabetics (Amoxicillin, Azithromycin). However, during the reception of such funds it is important to more closely monitor the indicators of glucose, which will avoid the development of complications.

More severe forms of the disease are treated with antibiotics, but it should be remembered that the combination of diabetes and an antibiotic is prescribed exclusively by the attending physicians.

Also, for pneumonia, the following medications can be given:

  1. antitussive;
  2. painkillers;
  3. antipyretic.

If necessary, antiviral drugs are prescribed - Acyclovir, Ganciclovir, Ribavirin. It is important to comply with bed rest, which will prevent the development of complications.

If a large amount of fluid accumulates in the lungs, it may be necessary to remove it. To facilitate breathing, a respirator and an oxygen mask are used. To facilitate the discharge of mucus from the lungs, the patient needs to drink plenty of water (up to 2 liters), but only if there is no kidney or heart failure. The video in this article will talk about pneumonia in diabetes.

Watch the video: Pneumonia. Nucleus Health (April 2020).