Bladder leaks are no laughing matter, and although cases of them are on the rise, many people are still too embarrassed to talk about them. Another health concern on the rise is type 2 diabetes, and as cases of this continue to grow, so do cases of bladder leaks. Why? Because type 2 diabetes can increase your risk of bladder leaks.
A big symptom of type 2 diabetes is excessive thirst, which leads to more frequent urination. This is because as glucose builds up in the kidneys, they must work harder to filter it out. This causes more glucose to be released through urine, which triggers frequent urination.
You guessed it, it leads to more thirst. It’s an endless cycle, really.
In its early stages, incontinence in diabetes isn’t as pronounced. But as diabetes worsens, so does incontinence. Some patients may experience an overactive bladder, which means not only is there a strong urge to urinate, but with such a strong urge, a person may not make it to the bathroom.
Another reason for incontinence in diabetes is a result of nerve damage. If glucose levels continue to remain high, then it can cause damage to the nerves. When nerves are damaged, signals can’t be sent to the brain. This means the signals from the bladder that tell the brain you need to urinate happen too late, so leaks occur.
Furthermore, when urine isn’t completely expelled, it can stay in the bladder, which becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. This can result in urinary tract infections, which in turn can lead to more urinary frequency along with burning sensations while urinating. Urinary tract infections must be treated with antibiotics in order to reduce the risk of complications.
Something else that is seen to be common among diabetics that can lead to bladder leaks is constipation. Constipation can result in extra pressure put on the bladder along with making it more difficult to completely empty the bladder.
Tips to prevent incontinence in diabetes
- Control your blood sugar levels as best as possible – work closely with your doctor to achieve this
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
- Drink plenty of water each day
- Practice good perineal hygiene to prevent infection
You don’t need to be ashamed of bladder leaks and there are things you can do to better treat it. Speak to your doctor if you are suffering with bladder leaks to uncover your options.
Related: Are you at risk for this serious bladder problem?