When you are experiencing the effects of diabetes on urinary incontinence, it can leave you wondering how you can best manage symptoms to continue leading an active and healthy lifestyle. Often, the best place to start is to understand more about diabetes and its relationship to specific symptoms and urinary incontinence; this can help you determine the best way to move forward and inform discussions with your doctor.

This blog will overview diabetes and urinary incontinence and discuss how methods like using incontinence supplies for management may help.

What Is Diabetes And Its Causes?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 34.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes. An estimated 1 in 3 Americans is pre-diabetic, meaning they are at risk of developing diabetes.

But What Is Diabetes, Exactly?

Type 2 diabetes is considered a chronic medical condition as it is long-lasting. Patients diagnosed with diabetes indicate that their bodies are no longer appropriately turning food into energy.

Consuming practically any food turns into glucose (aka sugar) and filters throughout your bloodstream. Your pancreas then converts this sugar into energy by releasing insulin. For people with diabetes, this critical bodily process is impeded by the pancreas not making enough insulin to restore the appropriate amount of sugar into energy. Instead, too much sugar stays in the patient’s bloodstream, which can lead to severe conditions, such as: 

  • Fatigue
  • Increased and frequent urination
  • Increased irritability
  • Increased thirst and appetite
  • Slow-healing infections and sores
  • Weight loss

So, What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

Certain risk factors can lead to an increased risk of developing diabetes. These risk factors can include the following: 

  • Age
  • Family history of diabetes
  • History of pregnancy-related gestational diabetes
  • Low exercise levels or inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Uneven fat distribution

What Is Urinary Incontinence?

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there are 13 million Americans estimated to be currently diagnosed with urinary incontinence. These numbers indicate that incontinence is a common medical condition experienced by many.

Diabetes and incontinence go hand-in-hand, and various types of urinary incontinence can occur. The main types of incontinence can include: 

  • Fecal Incontinence: Also known as bowel incontinence, patients cannot control their bowel movements.
  • Functional Incontinence: The patient experiences uncontrolled urination or defecation, which their current medical condition can cause. This condition may prevent the patient from having timely access to the bathroom or facilities.
  • Mixed Incontinence: A patient experiences both urge incontinence and stress incontinence at the same time.
  • Stress Incontinence: When patients sneeze, laugh, cough, exercise, perform heavy lifting, or other actions that put stress on their bladder.
  • Urge Incontinence: A patient experiences urine leakage due to a sudden urge to urinate.

What Causes Urinary Incontinence?

Each patient’s experience with incontinence is different, but there are common underlying medical conditions that can lead to incontinence. These medical conditions can include:

  • Certain Medications
  • Childbirth
  • Constipation
  • Diabetes
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hysterectomies
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Menopause
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscle damage or weakness
  • Nerve damage
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Prostate conditions or cancer
  • Smoking
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

What Are the Effects of Diabetes on Urinary Incontinence?

For those with diabetes, there can be an increased risk of urinary incontinence for several reasons:

  •  Diabetic Medication: Certain diabetic medications cause urinary and fecal incontinence.
  • Neurogenic Bladder: Sometimes, diabetes can cause bladder incontinence due to nerve damage from diabetic neuropathy. When this happens, a condition known as Neurogenic Bladder can occur, leading to urinary incontinence.
  • Obesity: When a patient has diabetic-related obesity, there can be an increased chance of urinary incontinence due to an inflated bladder and abdominal pressure.
  • Urinary Tract Infections: Diabetics are at increased risk of infections, which means that there is a chance of increased urinary tract infections (UTIs). Damage caused by repeated and prolonged UTIs can lead to urinary incontinence.

How Incontinence Supplies Can Ease The Effects of Diabetes on Urinary Incontinence

 Fortunately, diabetic-related urinary incontinence can often be well managed. Your doctor can help establish a plan that works for you and your needs. Some solutions your physician may prescribe or recommend include pelvic exercises, incontinence supplies, surgery, medications, or diet changes.

Prescribed incontinence supplies can provide an effective method for controlling bladder leakage throughout the day. Some of the medical supplies your doctor may recommend can include: 

  • Adult diapers or briefs
  • Cleansing spray wash
  • Cleansing wipes
  • Pads or liners
  • Pull up underwear
  • Skin protectant barrier cream
  • Underpads or chux

By using incontinence supplies to help manage the effects of diabetes on urinary incontinence, individuals can help control leakage and odors, maintain cleanliness and prevent skin irritation or breakdown.

 Does My Insurance Cover Incontinence Supplies?

Medical insurance, such as Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California), Medicare, or private insurance, will cover some or all of the cost of incontinence supplies for those with a medically necessary need. Coverage varies from state to state, and there will be different stipulations and requirements. Still, you can reduce daily supply needs costs by seeking coverage through your insurance.

How Active Life Medical Products Can Help With Catheter Supplies

You need a trusted catheter product supplier when you require catheter supplies. Active Life Medical Products makes ordering the entire catheter supply process easy. Our Product Specialists can help you get your prescribed catheter covered through most insurances. Everything will be delivered directly and discreetly to your front door.

Call Active Life Medical Products at (800) 319-2336 to place your order.