Bladder Problems and Diabetes: Understanding the Correlation

If you are suffering from diabetes, you may also have problems with your bladder. This is a common problem to have and understanding the correlation is important to keeping everything under control.  Common bladder problems include an overactive bladder as well as urinary tract infections. Bladder symptoms can get worse with age, and diabetes can only add to the overall severity of symptoms that you are experiencing. There are other issues that you may be dealing with in regards to your bladder. These are less common but can be more severe – such as a complete failure to empty your bladder and difficult urinating. Fortunately, there are a few different diabetic accessories that can help make life easier for you if you are experiencing bladder problems.



What Causes Bladder Problems in Diabetics?

The most likely reason for bladder problems among diabetics is nerve damage. When you have damage in the nerves that control the function of the bladder, you may experience incontinence, a feeling of urgency when it comes to urination, frequent urination, and getting up in the middle of the night to urinate. All of this is going to understandably have a negative impact on your life. You may feel that you are suddenly being run by your bladder and this is no way to get through life. It’s important to visit a doctor when you have any issues with your bladder to determine what is going on. Depending on the damage to the nerves, you may be urinating when you don’t intend to or be unable to release the urine from your bladder, which can force it back into the kidneys, causing an infection.

For some with diabetes, controlling their blood sugar can help to reduce issues. For that reason, it is particularly suggested that diabetics monitor their blood sugar closely and make sure to take their medication properly. However, if there is permanent damage to the nerves, you may need some additional assistance from a doctor. Solutions can include medication or surgery.

If you are unable to urinate when you need to, there is a treatment that you can do from home (with assistance and instruction from a medical professional), known as timed urination. This is where you will insert a catheter through the urethra and into your bladder to drain the urine. Catheters are a readily available diabetic supply, and fairly inexpensive from a variety of companies that sell diabetic accessories.



Why You Should Look Out For Bladder Problems

It’s important for you to get the situation under control because it can lead to infections within the urinary tract, also known as a urinary tract infection (UTI). If it continues to go untreated, it can cause a number of problems not just for the bladder but also the kidneys. The further it travels through the body, the harder it will be to treat. UTI symptoms include reddish or cloudy urine, fatigue, a pain or burning during urination and a frequent urge to urinate. If the UTI has spread to your kidneys, you may also have a pain on your side or in your back, run a fever and be nauseous.

Frequent urination is one of the symptoms of high blood glucose. This means that your doctor will ask to see what your most recent glucose monitoring results look like. If you suddenly have high blood glucose, there may be additional issues as a result of your diabetes that have caused you to suffer from your bladder problems.


It’s no coincidence that doctors will ask if you are urinating frequently when you are tested for diabetes for the first time. It’s one of the first diabetes symptoms, and an indication that blood-glucose control is not as strict as it should be. There is a strong correlation between bladder problems and diabetes and if you suffer from problems, it’s time to talk to your doctor about them. It is also a good idea to discuss the possibility of bladder problems with your medical provider if you have diabetes and have not developed them yet, to have an idea of what to look for, and to know when you might need additional diabetic accessories to help you maintain your lifestyle.


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