Exactly how diabetes increases the frequency and severity of incontinence isn’t known, but there’s no doubt it does, especially in women. Some research suggest women with diabetes are 70% more likely to experience urinary incontinence than women without the disease.
High blood sugar can trigger increased urine production which in turn can create the need to urinate more frequently. This is especially disruptive during the night.
Damage to the bladder nerves is also a possible contributor. The nerves send messages to the brain when the bladder is full and from the brain to the bladder muscles to hold or release the urine. If this information is compromised, urine may not be held well or over held causing over flow. It could also mean the bladder is not emptying completely, contributing to urinary retention.
Controlling blood glucose to improve urinary incontinence among women with diabetes is currently being researched.