How Diabetes and Incontinence Go Hand in Hand
Diabetes can certainly take its toll on various parts of the human body. However, people may not be aware that it is also linked to incontinence. Incontinence is the involuntary lack of control over urination or defecation. Of course, this can cause many challenges for the individual and impact their ability to participate in everyday activities. Understanding the link between diabetes and incontinence may go a long way in helping people regain some control over their health.
The Relationship Between Diabetes and Incontinence
There are numerous studies that support a relationship between diabetes and incontinence. Still, the exact link between diabetes and incontinence is unknown. However, studies indicate that it can likely be linked four different ways:
- Obesity. Obesity is prevalent in diabetic patients. Being overweight may put pressure on the bladder, thus making it more difficult to control frequent urination.
- Nerve damage. Nerve damage can sometimes be a result of diabetes. When this occurs, it may impact the nerves that control the bladder and the bowel.
- Compromised immune system. A compromised immune system can lead to more cases of UTI, which in turn can lead to incontinence.
- Diabetes medication. Some diabetes medication can cause diarrhea which makes it harder to control the bowel.
- Frequent urination. High blood sugar can make a person feel thirstier and in turn, drink more water. This can lead to more urination which may be difficult to control over time.
How to Treat or Manage Incontinence
The appropriate treatment or management plant for incontinence comes down to the reason you are experiencing it. For instance, if you are taking a diabetic medication that causes diarrhea, then your doctor may be able to prescribe something different for you. In some instances, lifestyle changes do work to reduce the problem, such as a regular workout routine, eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep. However, management and lifestyle changes may not be enough. When this happens, there may be other treatment solutions.
This type of exercise focuses on strengthening your pelvic floor. You can accomplish this by contracting the muscles you use to hold your urine. Squeeze for 10 seconds at a time before relaxing. Repeat these five times per day to strengthen your pelvic floor and enhance your ability to control urination.
There are a variety of herbs that may help with symptoms of incontinence. Known options include pumpkin seeds, cepacian, khoki tea.
Insertion devices are best for women who need a little assistance with managing stress-related incontinence.
There are a variety of medications that may be able to help. Ask your doctor for which medications are right for you.
It is good practice to try urinating more after you stop in order to empty your bladder completely.
Keep a Journal
This may sound like an odd part of treatment. However, it is proven that keeping track of your urination can help you learn to control your bladder. The idea is to “retrain” your bladder so that you can go longer and longer without the need to urinate. You can do this by adding just a minute or two in between your regular bathroom breaks. This slow and steady method will allow you to build up resistance over a period of time slowly.
A high-fiber diet may help with constipation.
It is critical that you manage your blood glucose levels if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Your doctor will be able to help you through this process. However, it is up to you to monitor your blood sugar and report accurate findings to your doctor.
When to Seek Help
Incontinence can be a difficult thing for people to discuss. It may feel embarrassing or like something you can manage on your own. However, it is often a treatable condition that will help people get back to living their most meaningful life. Know that many people living with diabetes also struggle with incontinence, so you are not alone. If you experience regular occurrences of frequent urination, inability to hold your urine or bowel, leakage, or difficulty eliminating, then it is time to talk to your health care provider.
Incontinence can certainly take its toll on a person, but it does not have to control your life. There are options that may help. Diabetes may have a link to incontinence, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to learn the best way to manage your glucose. If you are regularly experiencing high blood sugar, then you need to talk to your doctor about ways to manage it. This could make a difference in your overall health and could help you avoid other conditions, such as incontinence. Talk to your doctor today to learn more.