Urinary incontinence and diabetes seem to be more connected than previously thought. Urinary incontinence is involuntary leakage of urine when laughing or coughing. It is also characterized by a sudden and strong urge to urinate that can often lead to accidents. Recent studies show that urinary incontinence in women with diabetes is really quite common. A study, which is noted in Forecast.Diabetes.org, researching overweight women with type-2 diabetes found that many of them experience urinary incontinence diabetes at least weekly.

It has been found as well that urinary incontinence and diabetes are more commonly found together than diabetes retinopathy, neuropathy, or micro-albuminuria (which is a precursor to kidney disease). Previous studies show that this connection between urinary incontinence and diabetes is probably due to micro-vascular damage. Obesity may play a role in diabetes and urinary incontinence as well.


Urinary Incontinence and Diabetes-Related Factors


Just like obesity, there are certain diabetes-related factors which can cause urinary incontinence. For example, chronic high blood glucose levels create the need to urinate more often, creating the chance for more ‘accidents’. Also, medications which a person takes with diabetes may cause or contribute to urinary incontinence. Other contributing factors may be vaginal yeast or bladder infections or nerve damage in the bladder.

Many of these problems are completely treatable. Schedule a visit with your doctor to explore the cause and find various way of treating the source of the problem. In the meantime, make sure to stay as clean and dry as possible to avoid infections or possible skin injuries. It is recommended that underwear, pads, and protective bed pad be used.

If a family member or loved one is experiencing problems with diabetes urinary incontinence and diabetes, remember that it is an embarrassing problem. Try and be sensitive to your loved one’s dignity. Never scold or humiliate them. Let them know that accidents happen and it is not their fault. Make them understand that they shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk with you about the problem (BD.com, 2012).

If you live with or are the caretaker of someone with urinary incontinence and diabetes, BD.com offers the following advice:

  • When using absorbent underwear, pads, or anything of the like, try to store them in a private location that they can access on their own.
  • Change soiled underwear, linens, and pads immediately to prevent skin injuries and preserve the person’s dignity.
  • Make sure your loved one washes with soap and water after an episode of incontinence.
  • Use barrier cream as a protective coating to prevent further skin irritation.
  • Check for wetness every 2 hours and address any episodes immediately.
  • Look for non-verbal cues such as facial expressions or tugging and pulling on clothing.
  • Give your family member a code word or phrase that they can use in public or social situation that lets you know that they need help getting to the bathroom.