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Diabetes Urological Care. Why People with Diabetes Need to See a Urologist.

Diabetes Urological Care. Why People with Diabetes Need to See a Urologist.

  By: Editors at DiabetesIQ  |  Published: March 28, 2021   
Published: March 28, 2021   

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Urological health issues and diabetes are closely connected. People with type II diabetes are prone to urinary tract problems, which affect anything from urgency and frequency of urination to kidney health and sexual function.

One of the most significant issues caused by diabetes is damage to the nerves that support the urinary tract. This is mainly closed by the effects of high glucose levels in the bloodstream, especially when they go on for a prolonged period of time.

There are differences between men and women when it comes to the ways type II diabetes affects their urinary system, which are to be expected given the differences in anatomy. However, it's essential to keep in mind that diabetes-related urinary tract issues affecting both men and women and can dramatically affect their day-to-day quality of life.


What are the most common urological issues for people with type II diabetes?

While there are numerous urological issues that people with type II diabetes experience throughout their life, the most common of them are bladder dysfunction, urinary tract infections, sexual dysfunction, and kidney disease.


Bladder Issues

More than 50% of adults who have type II diabetes experience bladder issues. Some of the most common problems include an overreactive bladder, which leads to urinary urgency, and polyuria, which refers to excessive urine production.

Other bladder dysfunctions that people with type II diabetes often confront include nocturia, which is the term used for waking up frequently during the night with an urgent need to urinate, and incontinence, which refers to involuntary leakage of urine.

Nerve damage is the main culprit for bladder dysfunctions caused by diabetes because it affects not only the bladder but also the urethral sphincter, which typically leads to urine leaking out involuntary.


Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections caused by diabetes can affect the bladder, urethra, or kidneys. Because they are caused by bacteria that are typically resistant to treatment, these infections are more severe and have worse outcomes for people who have diabetes than for the general population.

The main symptoms of urinary tract infections include pain or burning with urination, frequent urination, and cloudy or reddish urine. A sensation of pressure in the rectum or above the pubic bone in the case of women may also occur. Additional symptoms such as fever, back or side pain, and nausea may appear if the kidneys are involved as well.

In most cases, urinary tract infections don't go away without antibiotics, so it's essential to schedule an appointment with your urologist if you experience any symptoms. It's also vital to keep your blood sugar levels in check because high levels create a fertile breeding ground for bacteria, which is the cause of most urinary tract infections.


Sexual Dysfunction

There are multiple issues related to sexual dysfunction caused by type II diabetes. They are often the result of damage caused to nerves and blood vessels that support the reproductive organs.

The symptoms may vary from one person to another, and treatment typically depends on the nature of the problem. For men, the most common symptom is erectile dysfunction, which may be treated with medication. In the case of women, pain during sex a common symptom that can be relieved with the help of a lubricant.


Kidney Disease

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of kidney disease, and studies have shown that approximately one in four people who live with type II diabetes will develop diabetic nephropathy.

This is a condition that develops over a long time because of the progressive damage to the kidneys' structure. People with type II diabetes need to visit their urologists and undergo regular tests that can spot the signs of kidney dysfunction.

While diabetic nephropathy is not entirely avoidable for many people who lead with diabetes, managing your diabetes correctly may decrease your chances of complications. Cutting back on dietary protein, controlling blood sugar and blood pressure, and taking medication as prescribed by your doctor are the best ways to keep your diabetes in check and avoid complications related to diabetic nephropathy.


How often should someone with diabetes see a urologist?

If you experience urology-related health problems and have diabetes, you might have to work with your primary care doctor, a urologist, and an endocrinologist (diabetes expert). It's important to attend appointments at least once a year, and don't hesitate to contact your doctor to talk about bladder control or sexual function concerns when you notice issues in these departments.


Bottom Line

Diabetes can seriously jeopardize your urological heath. In some cases, a person can take action to avoid, eliminate, or decrease urinary tract issues by making lifestyle changes such as increasing activity levels, losing weight, and quitting smoking, but the most important action people with diabetes can take is to seek professional urological help. Your urologist can help you prevent or treat urinary tract issues caused by diabetes as well as decrease your chances of developing complications from diabetes-related urinary tract or kidney problems so you can enjoy a better quality of life.


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