Can Diabetes Cause Incontinence? Effects On Diabetic Patients & More!

Incontinence, or the unintentional emission of urine or feces, can be brought on by diabetes. People with diabetes, also known as diabetic neuropathy, may develop bladder issues, including incontinence, due to the condition’s nerve damage. 

This nerve injury may impact the nerves and muscles that control the bladder, making bladder control problematic. Moreover, elevated thirst and urination from high blood sugar levels in diabetes might worsen incontinence.

Urinary incontinence in women with diabetes is more likely to be severe and symptomatic. Incontinence is three times as common in people with diabetes than in people without the disease. 

Reasons For Incontinence In People With Diabetes

The following are typical reasons for incontinence in people with diabetes:

  • Neurogenic bladder: Diabetic neuropathy, commonly known as nerve damage from diabetes, can cause bladder issues in individuals. 
  • This nerve injury may impact the nerves and muscles that control the bladder, making bladder control problematic.
  • High blood sugar levels: Diabetes-related high blood sugar levels can increase thirst and urine, worsening incontinence. 
  •  Urinary tract infections, often known as bladder infections or cystitis, are more prevalent in people with diabetes. A weakened immune system makes people more susceptible to urinary tract infections, which can lead to incontinence. 
  • Obesity: Being overweight and obese may worsen bladder issues like urinary incontinence.
  • Other UI: People with diabetes are likelier to experience stress incontinence and other UI. 
  • Bladder control issues are frequently connected to nerve damage, obesity, and bladder infections linked to diabetes. 
  • Constipation, decreased rectal feeling, and fecal incontinence due to altered internal anal sphincter tone are examples of gastrointestinal problems of diabetes that can also result in incontinence. 

How Prevalent Is Incontinence In People With Diabetes?

  • Persons with diabetes experience incontinence more frequently than persons without the disease. According to studies, age and BMI have only a tenuous relationship with urine incontinence (UI), while diabetes is linked to a 2.5-fold risk increase for the condition. 
Persons With Diabetes Experience Incontinence
  • This study involved 910 women. UI was present in 41.0% of people with diabetes and 22.1% of non-diabetics.
  • Weekly incontinence during two years in the Nurses’ Health Study was 5% in those without diabetes and 9% in those with type 2 diabetes.
  • In a study of postmenopausal women, women with diabetes had a higher prevalence of incontinence (39% vs. 26% of women without diabetes). More urge and mixed incontinence were present in the diabetic ladies. 
  • Urinary incontinence was more common among type 2 diabetic women in a different study than non-diabetic women. 
  • Overall, those with diabetes have a threefold increased risk of incontinence compared to those without the disease. 

Diabetes Patients’ Stress Incontinence Symptoms

  • People with diabetes may have stress incontinence, a kind of urine incontinence. People with diabetes may experience the following symptoms of stress incontinence:
  •  Urine leaking when exercising: Stress incontinence happens when the bladder is compressed, like when you cough, sneeze, or laugh. 
  • Due to the increased pressure on the bladder, people with diabetes who are overweight or obese may have stress incontinence. 
  •  People with diabetes who routinely have high blood glucose levels may experience frequent urination, known as urine frequency.
  • Urgency incontinence: Even diabetic men and women who keep their blood sugar levels within their goal range occasionally experience the urgent urge to urinate. This condition is referred to as urgency incontinence. 
  • Even at night, this is a possibility. Stress incontinence can also cause leakage during sexual engagement. 
  • To find out whether incontinence is directly linked to diabetes or if there is another underlying cause, it is crucial to speak with a doctor about it.

Can Exercise And Dietary modifications help people with diabetes manage their incontinence?

Yes, lifestyle adjustments like exercising can help people with diabetes control stress incontinence. Exercise can occasionally make incontinence worse.  Here are several lifestyle modifications that can help people with diabetes with stress incontinence:

☑️ Kegel exercises: You can maintain a strong pelvic floor by performing exercises. During kegel exercises, the muscles that govern urination are contracted and relaxed. 

☑️ Changes to a healthy lifestyle can reduce the incidence of stress incontinence and alleviate symptoms. Examples include quitting smoking, decreasing weight, and treating a chronic cough. A balanced diet and regular exercise are key components of a healthy lifestyle that can help prevent and control diabetes, which can help with incontinence. 

☑️ When dealing with mixed incontinence, a healthcare professional may suggest bladder training. Urinating more frequently may lessen the frequency or severity of urge incontinence episodes.

☑️ Incontinence can be managed with the help of some drugs, but they may have negative effects.

Read More:- Fasting Blood Sugar Levels: Everything You Need To Know


Diabetes can lead to incontinence since it can damage nerves and lead to excessive blood sugar, urinary tract infections, obesity, and digestive issues. Those who have diabetes are three times more likely than those who do not to develop incontinence. People with diabetes may develop urge incontinence, stress incontinence, overflow incontinence, and mixed incontinence, among other types of urine incontinence. 

It is unknown exactly how diabetes and incontinence are related. However, both conditions can result in it. 

Numerous studies have demonstrated that individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to experiencing bladder issues, such as urine incontinence (UI). 

About the Author

Nicole Carter is a dedicated and passionate nutritionist, committed to helping individuals achieve their health and wellness goals through the power of proper nutrition. With a Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Science and years of practical experience.

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