An illustration to symbolize how diabetes can impact your urologic health

Diabetes is a common condition that affects 34.2 million Americans. Unfortunately, diabetes can have significant implications for various systems of the body, including the heart, kidneys, eyes, ears, and more. The urologic system, including the bladder and urinary tract, is also subject to complications from diabetes. Today, we are explaining just how diabetes can impact your urological health by focusing on specific parts of the genitourinary system sharing the individual effects that diabetes can cause.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that causes elevated glucose levels in the blood. Glucose is derived from the foods we consume and serves as our body’s primary fuel source. Insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, is responsible for transporting glucose from the blood to the cells. Diabetes occurs when there is either no insulin being produced or too much of it, resulting in the body’s inability to use it correctly. Without insulin, the glucose remains in the blood, and it’s not supplied to the cells that need it, creating damaging effects for many essential organs. 

How Diabetes Can Impact Your Urological Health


Numerous bladder conditions can occur in people with diabetes. Examples of specific bladder conditions include “impaired sensation,” where the bladder does not signal when it’s time to urinate, and “impaired bladder contractility,” when the bladder muscle does not function properly, leading to an inability to empty the bladder completely. Overactive bladder is also common among patients with diabetes.


Elevated glucose levels can damage small blood vessels in the body, and when these small blood vessels are damaged in the kidneys, the kidneys cannot clean the blood properly. When the kidneys are unable to filter the blood, this can lead to a build-up of wastes in the blood, ultimately leading to chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. The effect of diabetes on your kidney health is significant, which is why diabetes is responsible for 44% of new kidney failure cases. 

Urinary Tract

One of the first signs of diabetes is increased urination, which naturally puts more stress on the urinary tract. In addition, diabetes also leads to problems with the way infection-fighting white blood cells function and a compromised blood flow and glucose in the urine. These factors create a greater risk of bladder infections and kidney infections. The previously mentioned impaired bladder contractility can also lead to potential infections. When the bladder does not empty completely, it can cause kidney abscesses and other infections.

Managing Diabetes

Taking steps to manage your diabetes is vital for a healthy life. Not only can diabetes impact your urological health, but it can lead to other serious health conditions. One of the most important parts of managing your diabetes is through dietary changes. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains should replace sugar and refined white carbohydrates in order to maintain a balanced sugar control. The next step in managing your diabetes is through regular exercise. Lifestyle changes are the first course of action when addressing type 2 diabetes, though your doctor may prescribe other drugs to help control diabetes and get you on a healthy track.

Make an Appointment

To diagnose and treat any common problem related to your urological health, schedule an appointment with one of our providers. Our team has years of experience treating issues of the urinary tract and bladder. Alliance Urology Specialists is here to answer your questions for those of you wondering how diabetes can impact your urological health. For questions and inquiries, please call our office in Greensboro at (336) 274-1114.