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How diabetes affects urological health?

A symptom of undiagnosed diabetes is frequent urination. It is because of the urine-producing effect of glucose in the urine. People who have frequent urination often consult a urologist thinking that it is related to their kidneys, bladder, or prostate. But actually, it is the sugar in the urine that’s causing the problem. Diabetes affects all the body systems, including urological health such as urinary infections, kidney and bladder conditions, foreskin issues, and sexual problems, and it also increases the risk of kidney stones.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease where glucose levels are elevated. Glucose is the main source of energy that comes from the diet. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, is responsible for moving glucose from the blood into the body’s cells. Diabetes disease either has no insulin or has plenty of insulin, but the body is unable to use it properly. Without insulin, the cells will not have glucose, as a result, it harms many organs.

There are two types of diabetes-

Type 1- is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system destroys insulin-producing cells. This is managed by insulin injections.

Type 2-. It is caused by overeating and sedentary living. This form of diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, a condition where the body cannot process insulin and is resistant to its actions. Type 2 diabetics can lead to chronically high blood glucose levels that cause serious symptoms and complications because of an unhealthy lifestyle.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Common symptoms of diabetes are

  • Frequent urination
  • Thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Recurrent infections
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts that heal very slow
  • Tingling or numbness in feet and hands

How does diabetes affect the bladder?

People with diabetes have urological problems that affect the bladder.

A common problem associated with this is impaired sensation. In which the bladder becomes numb and the person gets no signal to urinate.

Impaired bladder contractility- in which the bladder muscle does not function properly, causing an inability to empty the bladder.

Other problems with diabetics are involuntary bladder contractions or overactive bladder that causes urinary urgency, frequency, and incontinence.

Will diabetes affect the kidneys?

Kidney failure is mainly caused by diabetes. Even after controlling diabetes, the disease can lead to chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, and may sometimes need dialysis and kidney transplantation.

How does diabetes affect the urinary tract and genitals?

Diabetes causes frequent urinary tract infections because of improper functioning of the infection-fighting white blood cells, glucose in the urine, and compromised blood flow.

People with diabetes have a greater risk of asymptomatic bacteriuria and pyuria, cystitis, and kidney infections.

Diabetics have serious complications of kidney infections, including kidney abscess, emphysematous pyelonephritis (it is an infection with gas-forming bacteria), and urosepsis (a very serious systemic infection originating in the urinary tract that requires hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics).

Fournier's gangrene (necrotizing fasciitis) is a soft tissue infection of the male genitals. It often requires emergency surgery, can be disfiguring, and has a very high mortality rate.

Surgical procedures may increase the risk of infection in diabetic patients, especially those involving prosthetic implants, including penile implants, artificial urinary sphincters, and mesh implants for pelvic organ prolapse.

How is diabetes managed?

For type 2 diabetes- it's important to change the lifestyle, including diet, avoid intake of foods that have a high amount of sugar, and refined white carbohydrates.

Diabetic people should consume high-fiber foods, do regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight.


Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Address: Rao Saheb, Achutrao Patwardhan Marg, Four Bungalows, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400053

Phone: +91-98 88 66 22 00

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