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What Can Cause Fever When You Have Diabetes?

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 13, 2023

What Can Cause Fever When You Have Diabetes?

Is there such a thing as diabetes fever? Medically, there isn’t – as diabetes, on its own, cannot cause fever. However, conditions or symptoms that might result from diabetes may lead to increased body temperature. What are the common causes of “diabetes fever”? Find out here. 


Infections are the most common cause of fever in people with diabetes. That’s because poorly controlled blood sugar levels can make you more susceptible to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.

If you have diabetes, watch out for the following; they are the most common infections that can afflict you:

  • Ear, nose, and throat infections. If you have “diabetes fever” as well as ear pain and discharge, please talk to your doctor right away. 
  • Urinary tract infections. Experts say uncontrolled diabetes is a common cause of UTIs. Sometimes, they also lead to bladder and kidney infections. 
  • Skin and soft tissue infections. For instance, diabetic foot ulcers are a common source of infection in people with poorly controlled diabetes. 

If you suspect an infection, a doctor’s appointment is a must for proper diagnosis and treatment. You might need antibiotic therapy and only a doctor can give you the prescription for the right medicine. 


Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids than it takes in. And according to experts, people with diabetes are more prone to experiencing dehydration, largely due to increased urination. 

If you don’t replace lost fluids, it can cause a fever and escalate to other health problems. Signs of dehydration include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Thirst
  • Dark yellow urine with a strong smell

If you have any of these signs, talk to your doctor right away. They can tell you if you need medical care for dehydration or if the signs are caused by something else. 

Dehydration is often treated by drinking lots of fluids. Your doctor might instruct you to drink more water, consume electrolyte drinks, or take oral rehydration solutions. 


Ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes that can occur when your body doesn’t have enough insulin to break down high levels of blood sugar. Because you cannot break down sugar for energy, the body uses fat instead, and causes high levels of ketones, the by-product of fat metabolism, to circulate in your system. 

Reports indicate that fever is among the symptoms that present with DKA6, along with vomiting, increased urination, weakness, abdominal pain, and breathlessness. Because DKA is associated with increased sugar levels of greater than 300 mg/dl, it is a medical emergency and should be managed as such. Left untreated, it can be fatal. 

Note that DKA or diabetic ketoacidosis mostly occurs in Type 1 diabetes patients, but may also occur in people with Type 2 DM during unusual physiologic stress. 

Can You Prevent Diabetes Fever?

There’s no telling when you’ll have a fever, but you can take steps to reduce your risk of dehydration, infection, and DKA. Consider the following measures:

  • Practice frequent and proper hand washing. 
  • Talk to your doctor about vaccines against influenza and pneumonia. Also, avoid being exposed to people who are visibly sick. 
  • Be proactive in avoiding injuries, particularly diabetic foot ulcers. In case you develop a wound of any sort, take care of it, preferably under the guidance of your doctor, so it won’t get infected. 
  • Don’t forget to hydrate. Try setting reminders to drink water. 
  • Keep a close watch on your blood sugar levels through monitoring, proper diet, exercise, and, of course, medications. Missing a mealtime insulin dose, for instance, can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. 

Key Takeaways

The most common cause of fever in people with diabetes is infection. Reports say UTIs, ear, throat, and nose infections, as well as skin infections (such as diabetic foot) are the most common infections that might affect you. Besides that, diabetes fever can also occur due to dehydration and diabetic ketoacidosis. If you have a fever, please get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible.

Learn more about Diabetes Complications here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 13, 2023

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