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Diabetes

Many people with diabetes can experience issues with their bladder due to something known as diabetic neuropathy.

There are several types of diabetic neuropathy, one being autonomic neuropathy. The autonomic nervous system controls the bladder and can impact the bladders ability to function properly. The may be called having a diabetic neurogenic bladder or ‘diabetic bladder’.

What is ‘diabetic bladder’?

‘Diabetic bladder’ is caused by nerve damage to the bladder, losing its ability to sense when its full, making it hard for someone to know when to use the bathroom.

Depending on the extent of nerve damage symptoms of diabetic bladder can include loss of bladder control (incontinence), frequent or urgent urination, repeated urinary tract infections (UTIs) or trouble emptying the bladder fully (urinary retention).

Urinary Retention

Leaving urine in the bladder for extended periods of time could lead to chronic urinary retention and an increase in infections.

Someone with a severe case might end up with a bladder that holds two to three times the amount of a standard bladder. At first, the increased capacity doesn’t seem like a problem. However, as time passes, the bladder muscles become increasingly stretched out of shape and begin to lose tone, strength and the ability to empty on its own.

Treating Urinary Retention due to a ‘Diabetic bladder’

The bladder must be emptied regularly and completely, allowing it a chance to recover and to return to normal function. Most of the time, this is possible, but it may take some effort.

Treatments for urinary retention may include draining the bladder with an intermittent catheter, medicines, medical procedures or devices, surgery, and self‐care treatments.

Speaking with a healthcare professional is most important to discuss what options may be best for you.

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