Incontinence and Diabetes - How They’re Linked & Product Recommendations

People with diabetes can experience challenges with bladder and bowel control. Here’s why that happens and our product recommendations to manage incontinence.

Incontinence and Diabetes - How They’re Linked & Product Recommendations

People with diabetes can experience challenges with bladder and bowel control. Here’s why that happens and our product recommendations to manage incontinence.

While incontinence is linked to a number of health conditions, you might be surprised to learn that diabetes can also cause bladder and bowel control issues.

These issues can range from accidental urine leakage, incomplete emptying, frequent urination or feeling the urge to rush to the toilet.

In fact, one Norwegian study found that incontinence affected 39% of women with diabetes [1].

Keep reading to find out how diabetes can cause incontinence, and what our product recommendations are to manage incontinence should you experience it.

How does diabetes cause incontinence?

While there’s no one reason as to why diabetes causes incontinence, there are four ways experts believe diabetes contributes to incontinence.

1. Weight

Diabetes can cause weight gain due to a number of factors like insulin resistance, poor glycemic control, and changes to the metabolism.

Excess weight can put pressure on the bladder, weaken pelvic floor muscles, and disrupt the normal functioning of the urinary system. There are two main types of urinary incontinence associated with weight gain in diabetes are stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

Stress incontinence occurs when physical actions, such as coughing, sneezing, or lifting, put pressure on the bladder and can cause urine leakage. The added weight from excess body fat intensifies this pressure, making the pelvic floor muscles less able to support the bladder properly.

Then there’s urge incontinence, also known as overactive bladder, which is characterised by a sudden and intense urge to urinate and often leads to involuntary leakage. Excess weight can exacerbate this condition by placing additional strain on the bladder muscles, triggering uncontrolled contractions.

2. Nerve damage

Long-term diabetes may eventually cause damage to nerves that impact bladder and bowel function and control.

Nerve damage to the bladder and/or bowel essentially causes a loss of sensation, which can mean that a person has less awareness of the bladder or filling and needs to empty one or both. Not only can this lead to leaks, but it can also increase the risk of developing urinary tract infections, constipation or kidney damage.

3. Medication

Medication used to manage Type 2 diabetes can cause diarrhoea. If someone with diabetes is having diarrhoea and also has a weak pelvic floor - whether due to their weight or other factors such as pelvic floor dysfunction - it can lead to faecal incontinence.

If you have Type 2 diabetes and you are experiencing diarrhoea, you can speak to your doctor and/or a dietitian about adding more soluble fibre (peeled fruit and vegetables, oats, barley for example) to your diet to firm up the stool and slow down bowel motions.

4. Impacted immune system

Diabetes can interfere with the immune system, increasing the person’s susceptibility to infections - which include urinary tract infections (UTIs). Recurring UTIs can be expected in those with diabetes due to the combination of a compromised immune system and incomplete bladder emptying.

Product recommendations for incontinence

Living with incontinence doesn’t need to be isolating. With the right products you can go about your daily life confidently and comfortably. These are our product recommendations for diabetes incontinence based on different levels of need.

Light bladder leakage

If you’re an active person with only light bladder leakage, our pads and guards will be a great option for you.

For women with light bladder leakage, our range of Dailee Lady Pads comes in four different absorbency options, ranging from 120mL up to 1000mL. Featuring an ultra-dry core technology for fast absorbency, these pads are a slimline, discreet design making them extremely comfortable to wear. They’re also dermatologically tested and latex-free so they’re gentle on the skin.

For men with light bladder leakage, our Dailee Mens Guards are anatomically designed to fit discreetly while still offering the ultimate defence against leaks. Their fast-acting absorption core and double leak barriers will keep you feeling dry and secure between changes. These also feature active odour lock technology thanks to their odour-neutralising material.

Moderate urinary incontinence & faecal incontinence

Our range of Dailee Pull-Ups is designed for moderate urinary incontinence and some faecal incontinence. With absorbency level options 1700mL and 2200mL, these unisex pants provide higher protection with patented Magical Tubes, which are a three-channel technology for fast-acting absorbency. Their leakage barriers and leg cuffs make for a great last line of defence.

Low mobility and/or full loss of bladder or bowel control

Our Dailee All-In-One Slips - or adult diapers - are designed for high leakage and are recommended for those with low mobility and/or no bladder or bowel control. With absorbency levels ranging from 1900mL to 3200mL, these slips are easily applied, readjusted and removed with their velcro side tabs. The breathable, dermatologically-tested material makes them gentle on the skin and also features a wetness indicator - a helpful addition for carers.

If you need guidance when choosing which product is best for your needs, don’t worry, we have a team of dedicated product specialists ready to answer any questions. They’re available to speak with from Monday to Saturday, so don’t hesitate to contact us.

You can also take our free Help Me Choose quiz which will suggest products based on the information you provide.

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