Neuropathy and Bladder Problems

Neuropathy is a complicated — and often misunderstood — condition affecting millions of people. In fact, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes estimates that 20 million people have some form of neuropathy, often brought on by diabetes.

At Utah Musculoskeletal Specialists, Dr. Daniel Preece and Dr. Darren Groberg know that diabetic neuropathy isn’t just a foot issue — it affects every part of your health. We’re giving you the best information on neuropathy and its impact on your bladder health so you can get the care you need. 

A closer look at neuropathy

Your body contains a complex system of nerves. Your brain and spine make up the central nervous system, and nerves that control the rest of your body are called peripheral nerves. 

Neuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, occurs when your peripheral nerves become damaged or irritated.

You have a few different types of peripheral nerves that can be affected by neuropathy: sensory, motor, and autonomic nerves. 

Sensory nerves are the one that help you feel pain and cause you to respond to temperature and texture. Motor nerves control muscle movement, and they also play a role in toning and strengthening muscles. Your autonomic nerves control your involuntary functions, like heart and respiratory rate and your bladder function.

There are lots of ways your nerves can become damaged, but one of the most common culprits of peripheral nerve damage is diabetes. 

Neuropathy can also be caused by:

Depending on which nerves are damaged, you might experience muscle weakness, loss of sensation in your extremities, or loss of control over involuntary functions like bladder emptying. 

Neuropathy and your bladder

If your autonomic nerves have been damaged, you can lose control of your bladder function. This presents in two main ways: bladder infections and urinary incontinence.

Bladder infections

Because you have less control over your bladder due to nerve damage, you might not empty it completely when you urinate, which can lead to more frequent bladder infections. 

Urinary incontinence

The nerve damage in your bladder can also make you unaware that your bladder is full, causing you to urinate involuntarily. 

Our team uses advanced technology to identify nerve damage by testing for sensory deficits. Once we locate and diagnose your neuropathy, we can get you started on a treatment plan that will ease your symptoms.

Treating your neuropathy

While there’s no cure for neuropathy, there are plenty of treatments and therapies. To regain control of your bladder and manage your other symptoms, you have to first address the underlying condition. 

Most often this means staying on top of your diabetic care by controlling your blood sugar levels, monitoring your diet, adjusting your lifestyle habits, and consulting your primary care physician or endocrinologist about any medications you’re taking. 

Our team of doctors can help you identify your symptoms and get the treatment and management strategies you need to find relief from your neuropathy. 

Call our office in Salt Lake City, Utah, at 801-285-6332, or schedule your appointment online to get started. 

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