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Diabetes and Urination - A Brief Overview

Diabetes is a common metabolic syndrome where the body becomes incapable of managing and utilizing blood glucose effectively. Sugar is carried through the blood to various organs to be broken down and used as energy by a hormone called insulin. The misregulation of this insulin, followed by organs not receiving the sugar they need is one of the chief effects of diabetes on the body

Diabetes symptoms include thirst, weight loss, exhaustion and urinary bladder problems. Due to the misregulation of insulin,  diabetes also causes our blood sugar to spike. 

Broadly, diabetes is of the following types:

Prediabetic - this is when a person is a borderline diabetic. This may be symptomised by milk urinary bladder problems. This condition can be reversed by controlling diet and lifestyle.

Type 1 Diabetes - or juvenile diabetes is when the body fails to produce its own insulin and requires a supplement.

Type 2 Diabetes - or diabetes mellitus is a condition where the body produces an insufficient amount of insulin. This usually develops with age while type-1 is usually diagnosed in one’s childhood.

With issues such as obesity rising, diabetes appears to be rising too. This is a grave concern as the disease brings with it a host of allied illnesses such as—heart disease, kidney disease and blindness.

How Diabetes Impacts The Urinary System

Insulin is one of the body’s most critical hormone systems. A change in its behaviour can result to broadly four types of urinary system issues:

    Occurring in over half the patients suffering from diabetes, this is one of the most common symptoms of the disease. Bladder dysfunction may present itself in the following ways:

    1. Overactive bladder: This is characterised as a false, or too-early urgency to pass urine. This occurs when the bladder muscles contract even when there is little/no urine for them to expel.

    2. Polyuria: This is characterised as the production of excess urine, often over 3 litres a day. This occurs when the body’s sugar levels get elevated. The excess sugar is flushed out.

    3. Nocturia: This is characterised as the need to empty the bladder several times at night.

    4. Incontinence: This is the involuntary leakage of urine due to the malfunction of a certain part of the urinary system, maybe the bladder sphincter, the nerves that connect the bladder to the brain or due to a weakening of the pelvic region.

    UTI is one more of the common type-2 diabetes symptoms. This can affect the urethra, bladder and kidneys. It may also cause the growth of bacteria that is resistant to treatment. Urine problem symptoms of someone suffering through a UTI would include burning sensation while urinating, reddish urine, frequent urination, nausea, fever and even back/side pain. This often occurs when high blood sugar creates a fertile breeding ground for bacteria.

    Frequent urination issues can also affect sexual drive and performance. This commonly happens because the nerves and blood vessels that supply or surround the reproductive organs are affected. Diabetes-led sexual dysfunction can be treated by the use of lube in women, and by medication for erectile dysfunction in men.

    This occurs if both types of diabetes remain untreated for a long time. Diabetes causes damage to the workhorse of the kidney–the nephron. Each kidney has over a million nephrons, which separate waste from the blood. When this process is interrupted, waste and toxins build up in the bloodstream. This could be very harmful, and even deadly if left untreated.

Causes, Symptoms, and Complications

If you have diabetes alongside any of these diabetes symptoms it is likely you may have bladder issues as well. 

  • overweight/obese 

  • lack of physical activity 

  • untreated high blood pressure

  • untreated high blood sugar 

  • smoke / drink too much

  • untreated high cholesterol

Key symptoms of bedwetting diabetes include:

  1. Urinary frequency:
    High blood pressure may require a patient to urinate more frequently, especially at night. This can be managed through medication, lifestyle changes and the use of adult dry pants.

  2. Leaking urine
    Diabetes when it causes nerve damage, bladder infection or obesity causes urine leakage. In this type of incontinence, small amounts of urine keep trickling out through the day as the bladder sphincter is unable to close, or because of constant pressure on the bladder from fat/other organs. Embarrassing situations caused by such weak bladder symptoms can be managed using dry pants. Friends Dry Pants are just like briefs, can be easily worn and easily disposed of. They are sleek and lightweight and can be put on comfortably underpants and skirts.

  3. Urine passage issues
    Diabetes-led nervous damage could result in the patient being unable to understand when their bladder is full. A constantly over-full bladder can cause damage to muscles in the region or the sphincter to become loose and start leaking. Urinary retention for hours together may also result in infections.

  4. Bladder infections:
    Urinary tract infections are also very common in those with both types of diabetes

Diagnosis and Potential Treatment Measures

Consult your doctor right away if you feel you have diabetes-related incontinence.

  1. Change your diet and lifestyle. Have a balanced diet, full of fibre, along with 6-8 glasses of water every day. Limit caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks.

  2. Bladder Training: This involves training the bladder to go only at fixed, pre-decided intervals of time, instead of suddenly when there is a strong urge. This helps the muscles regain control.

  3.  Catheterisation: It is a frequent diabetes treatment that entails the temporary insertion of a plastic tube into the urethra to allow for direct urine flushing.

There are numerous medicinal and surgical treatments available for diabetes. Invasive techniques are included in some, whereas minor insertions or slings are used in others. If diabetes and the resulting urine leaks are making it difficult for you to live a normal life, you should see your doctor for a detailed plan of action based on an assessment of diabetes' impact on different parts of the body.

While you await the diagnosis, you can use Friends Adult Diapers. These are super soft, super absorbent and designed for comfortable all-day wearing. While our pant-style diapers are more suited to those who intend to travel or move around, our tape-style diapers cater to those who are bedridden. Friends diapers can handle everything from a trickle to a gush of fluid, and can be your best friend in dealing with bedwetting diabetes and its many hassles!

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