Thrush and balanitis

When you have type 1 diabetes, you're more likely to suffer from thrush and balanitis

Thrush is a yeast infection caused by excessive growth of a fungus (known as candida albicans) which lives on and in the body.

Although more common in women, men can also get thrush orally and on the penis and outbreaks could be caused by high blood glucose levels.

Symptoms of oral thrush include redness and white spots coating the surface of the tongue. Symptoms of penile thrush include inflammation of the head of the penis. This inflammation is often referred to as balanitis. In this condition the head of the penis becomes red and sore. Irritation and itching are also common. Small red spots may appear and a penile discharge can occur.

Antibiotics and some asthma inhalers can also increase the risk of infection. Your pharmacist can provide over-the-counter remedies to treat both oral and penile thrush. Your partner should also be treated to prevent reinfection. However, if the infection persists, you should see your GP for further advice.