Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It affects over 90% of the 26 million Americans with diabetes. Some risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being obese, having a family history of type 2 diabetes, leading a sedentary lifestyle and high blood pressure.
Type 2 diabetes means that you have high glucose levels in the blood. It is a chronic health condition and symptoms include increasing hunger and thirst even after a meal, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, blurry vision, numbness in hands or feet, skin infections and urinary tract infections. If type 2 diabetes is not treated, it can be life-threatening due to complications.
Type 2 diabetes has major complications that include retinopathy, which means eye issues such as glaucoma, and kidney damage that can lead to kidney failure. Nerve damage and poor circulation are the third complication. Poor circulation damages blood vessels and heightens the risk of heart attack or stroke. Nerve damage and hardening of the arteries lead to less sensation and poor circulation to the feet, which is why so many diabetics have foot problems. Nerve damage can also turn into digestive problems.
Nerve damage also leads to incontinenceâ€”yes, there is a link between incontinence and type 2 diabetes. Nerve damage to the bladder causes a loss of sensation, meaning you do not recognize the need to go or lack of awareness of your bladder filling. Your bladder and bowel may not empty well, putting you at risk of developing urinary tract infections (UTI), kidney damage or constipation.
If your diabetes is not under control, your body tries to regulate by getting rid of extra glucose in urine. This means an increase in the amount of urine produced. Over time, the bladder muscles can weaken to the point where the bladder does not completely empty during urination. This can cause UTIs or overflow incontinence. Overflow incontinence is when urine is involuntarily released without any urge.
Type 2 diabetes is related to obesity. Obesity can exacerbate incontinence by putting more pressure on pelvic floor muscles. The best way to prevent incontinence due to diabetes is to get your diabetes under control. This means eating healthier and trying to lose weight. It also means trying to live a more active lifestyle, and being healthier overall by doing things like quitting smoking.
It is possible to lessen the effects of type 2 diabetes through a healthy diet and exercise regime. The goal should always be to stay as healthy as possible to get rid of symptoms, and lessen the risk for life-threatening complications.
If you are experiencing bladder incontinence, with or without diabetes, contact us. Or call our discreet, dedicated Medical Concierge at 800-771-1953 to learn more or set up a consultation.