Does Having Diabetes Mean a Slow Recovery From Pneumonia

images (25)Having a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes is known to have an adverse effect on the immune system. According to a study reported on in the British Medical Journal, people with a diabetes diagnosis are likely to have difficulty recovering from pneumonia.

Scientists at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and several other research institutions in Portugal looked at the records of over 74,00 Type 2 diabetics hospitalized with a diagnosis of pneumonia…

  • the 2012 records showed 28.1 percent of pneumonia patients also had Type 2 diabetes.

It was also found Type 2 diabetics averaged longer hospital stays, and a total of 15.2 percent of patients with diabetes versus 13.5 percent of non-diabetic patients died from pneumonia.

From the above results, it was concluded having a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes raises the risk of developing pneumonia as well as resulting in a slowed recovery and a higher risk of death. One more good reason to prevent or control all aspects of your Type 2 diabetes.

The kind of pneumonia in the study was community acquired, meaning it began outside a hospital or as the result of being in any other healthcare setting. Ways to prevent pneumonia include…

  • staying in general good health,
  • eating a healthful diet,
  • drinking eight glasses of water each day,
  • keeping your blood sugar levels stable and within a healthy range,
  • staying away from large crowds, especially when outbreaks of communicable diseases have been reported.


The same types of viruses causing colds and flu can also cause pneumonia. Viruses can continue their progress when antihistamines and over-the-counter cold and flu medications are used to dry up a runny nose. The dryness allows the virus to stay and cause further damage. Fortunately, cases are usually mild and often resolve without treatment.


  • bacteria is often a common cause, and can be treated effectively with antibiotics.
  • bacteria-like organisms can cause walking pneumonia, so-called because it does not require hospitalization. The condition is often cured within three days when prescribed medications are taken as directed.


  • fungal pneumonia is rare in healthy people, but people with Type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of developing this form of pneumonia. The fungus is carried by birds and found in dirt. Activities that result in soil inhalation, such as archeological digs, place the professionals and volunteers at the digs at high risk. Some types of fungal infection can be deadly, but antifungal medications are curative.

Signs and symptoms of pneumonia include…

  • fever,
  • chills,
  • sweating or a clammy skin,
  • fatigue,
  • loss of appetite,
  • shortness of breath,
  • fast breathing,
  • shallow breathing,
  • a cough, often producing mucus or sputum, may be green or blood-tinged,
  • sharp chest pain, often made worse by inhaling or coughing,
  • fever.

If signs and symptoms point to you having pneumonia, do not hesitate to go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.