The Effects of Diabetes on Urinary Incontinence
The Effects of Diabetes on Urinary Incontinence
When you’re experiencing the effects of diabetes on urinary incontinence, it can leave you wondering how you can best manage symptoms in order to continue leading an active and healthy lifestyle. Often, the best place to start is to understand more about diabetes and its relationship to certain symptoms and urinary incontinence; this can help you determine the best way to move forward and inform discussions with your doctor.
In this blog, we’ll give and overview of diabetes and urinary incontinence as well as 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)there are approximately 34.1 million Americans that have been diagnosed with and currently have diabetes. Furthermore, it’s estimated that one in three Americans are also considered 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. When patients are diagnosed with diabetes, it indicates that their bodies are no longer properly turning food into energy.
When you consume practically any food, it’s turned into sugar (or glucose) and is filtered through your blood stream. Your pancreas then converts this sugar into energy by releasing insulin. For diabetics, this extremely important bodily process is impeded by the pancreas not making enough insulin to convert the appropriate amount of sugar into energy. Instead, too much sugar stays in the patient’s blood stream which can lead to serious conditions, such as:
- Slow healing infections and sores
- Increased thirst and appetite
- Increased irritability
- Weight loss
- Increased and frequent urination
- Low exercise levels or inactivity
- Family history of diabetes
- Uneven fat distribution
- History of pregnancy-related gestational diabetes
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
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. But, there are various types of urinary incontinence that can occur. The main types of incontinence can include:
- Urge Incontinence, which occurs when a patient experiences urine leakage due to a sudden urge to urinate.
- Stress Incontinence, which occurs when patients sneeze, laugh, cough, exercise, perform heavy lifting, or other actions that put stress on their bladder.
- Functional Incontinence, which diagnosed when a patient experiences uncontrolled urination or defecation due to a medical condition that prevents timely access to the bathroom or facilities.
- Mixed Incontinence, diagnosed when a patient experiences both urge incontinence and stress incontinence at the same time.
- Fecal Incontinence, which is also referred to as bowel incontinence and means patients are unable to control their bowel movements.
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
- Prostate conditions or cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage or weakness
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
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What Are the Effects of Diabetes on Urinary Incontinence?
So, 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:
Neurogenic Bladder: Sometimes, diabetes can directly cause bladder incontinence; this is due to nerve damage that can occur from diabetic neuropathy. When this happens, a condition known as neurogenic bladder can occur, which can lead to urinary incontinence.
Diabetic Medication: Certain diabetic medications have been known to cause urinary and fecal incontinence.
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.
Obesity: When a patient has diabetic related obesity there can be an increased chance of urinary incontinence due to increased bladder and abdominal pressure.
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 individual needs. Some solutions that your physician may prescribe or recommend can include pelvic exercises, incontinence supplies, surgery, some medications, or diet changes.
When incontinence supplies are prescribed, they can provide an effective method for controlling bladder leakage throughout the day. Some of the supplies your doctor may recommend can include:
- Pull up underwear
- Adult diapers or briefs
- Pads or liners
- Underpads or chux
- Cleansing wipes
- Cleansing spray wash
- Skin protectant barrier cream
Are Incontinence Supplies Covered by My Insurance?
There are many insurances nationwide, such as Medi-Cal or other Medicaid or private insurances, that will cover some or all of the cost of incontinence supplies for those who have a medically necessary need for them. Coverage varies from state to state and there will be different stipulations and requirements, but by seeking coverage through your insurance you can potentially reduce the costs of daily supply needs.
How Active Life Medical Can Help
The representatives at Active Life Medical understand the effects of diabetes on urinary incontinence and can walk you through the entire process of getting the supplies that you need. Our associates are knowledgeable about insurance, can explain the differences between incontinence products, and can help you get the supplies you need fast and discreetly delivered to your door. We’ll gather all needed paperwork from your healthcare providers, coordinate coverage with your insurance company, and handle all billing efforts. You can relax knowing that you’re working with a supplier who’s got your back.
Are you ready to see the Active Life Medical difference? Give us a call today at 800-319-2336 and let us work to take care of all of your incontinence supply needs.