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Nobel Hygiene

What is Diabetic Bladder

Incontinence or urine leakage is a common but often overlooked symptom of diabetes. In this article, we’re going to explain to you what happens in diabetes, why diabetes is dangerous and how diapers for adults can be effective in managing urine incontinence.

Diabetes mellitus is a condition that affects the secretion and function of the hormone insulin. Secreted by the pancreas (a leaf-shaped organ under the stomach), insulin helps regulate blood sugar or the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. In case for some reason the amount of insulin produced by your body is insufficient, glucose doesn’t move from your blood to your cells. This results in a sugar build-up in your blood and as a result, cells might not get enough energy for their daily function.

One of the effects of diabetes is the malfunctioning of the nervous system.

Excess glucose inflames the nervous tissue, which causes burning, stinging, numbness, tingling and even pain. When the nerves that control the bladder are affected, the condition is called a diabetic or neurogenic bladder.

What Causes Diabetic Bladder

Wondering what happens in diabetes? The bladder nerves’ ability to signal when the bladder is full and needs to be emptied is hampered. This means that the bladder is either unable to empty itself completely, or the patient loses their ability to sense when they need to use the washroom. The result? Sudden or unexpected urine leakage.

What makes the effects of diabetes on the body worse is that the excess sugar in the blood leads to excessive thirst and thus higher urination. Since the bladder nerves are damaged, the bladder overfills, which causes urine leakage.

The repeated overfilling of the bladder stretches bladder muscles further, weakening the body’s system to expel urine. Since the bladder loses sensation and strength to expel all urine, a small amount of urine is retained in the body at all times. This becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi leading to all sorts of urinary tract infections.

Effects of diabetes on the urine system are thus:

  • Inability to sense when to void

  • Weakening of bladder muscles

  • Possible infections

It is important to note that such advanced neuropathic urinary complications usually develop only if diabetes is left unchecked and untreated for long. So why is diabetes dangerous? Because of the effects of diabetes on the body and what their combination could imply.

Telltale Symptoms of Diabetic Bladder To Watch Out For

Depending on the extent of damage to the bladder nerves, diabetes may cause an overactive or underactive bladder.

Overactive bladder is characterised by:

  • Frequent urination - frequent trips to the toilet often (8+ times) without the feeling of satisfaction after urination.

  • Sudden, urgent need to urinate

  • Complete loss of bladder control - urge, stress or overflow incontinence

An underactive bladder is characterised by:

  • No urine for prolonged periods of time

  • Bladder leaking or dribbling small amounts as it is overfull

  • Inability to recognize whenever the bladder is full

  • UTIs

Diapers for adults or adult pull up pants can help manage the condition of the diabetic bladder. Our leak-proof diapers and adult diapers for women are built with Super Absorbent Polymer, which turns liquid into gel-form and holds it in. Friends adult disposable diapers are easy to use and dispose of, soft on the skin and allow diabetes patients to resume their everyday life without any need for embarrassment or fear of unwanted urine leakage.

8 Ways to Manage the Effects of Diabetes on your Bladder

  1. Keeping a bladder diary
    Your doctor may ask you to monitor what you are consuming and keep track of how much and how often you are urinating. The doctor may also recommend ultrasounds to monitor the amount of urine retained inside the bladder post voiding.

  2. Double voiding
    This is a practice where one forces themselves to urinate 10-15 minutes after natural urination. This helps retrain the bladder to empty itself.

  3. Timed voiding
    This helps if one has an overactive bladder because of diabetes. In this, your medical practitioner may recommend bladder training--where you time your urination instead of being overcome by sudden urges.

  4. Massaging the bladder
    In this method, you gently massage and push in the region in which your bladder is located - which is the pelvic region, behind your pubic bone. This may help void completely.

  5. Kegels
    Pelvic floor exercises - which involve clenching and unclenching the muscles of the lower abdomen can help improve the condition of the bladder muscles.

  6. Treating diabetes
    The diabetic bladder is often a consequence of untreated or unchecked diabetes. Often having a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly and quitting smoking/alcohol can help treat diabetes.

  7. Adult diapers
    Adult pull-up diapers can help with managing the stress caused by a diabetic bladder. Friend’s diapers with tabs for adults who may be bedridden and adult diapers for women are comfortable and easy to use. They can soak 8+ hours of urine easily and prevent soiling of furniture or embarrassment. While there is still a stigma around the use of adult disposable diapers, leak-proof adult diapers can help simplify life and allow the diabetic to go about their life instead of being anchored to the toilet the whole day.

FAQ: How to wear an adult diaper?

Friends adult disposable diapers come in pant style or are made as diapers with tabs for adults. These can either be pulled up just like one wears an underpant, or be manually put on in the case of tape-style diapers. For this, have the patient recline on a flat surface. Turn them to one side and position the adult disposable diaper under their bottom. Have them turn on their back so that their posterior is now on the diaper surface. Then pull the front of the diaper up through the space between their legs and tape the sides securely.

FAQ: How to use adult diapers?

Friends adult disposable diapers must be used once only. They can be purchased from our website and used up to the number of hours recommended. Once soiled they must be wrapped and disposed of. Diapers too have a ‘best before’ date. Pay attention to the expiry date mentioned on your pack.