Diabetic Neuropathy: Treatment for Urinary Problems

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Topic Overview

Treatment for urinary problems caused by diabetic neuropathy depends on the exact problem. Typical problems and their treatment include:

  • Not being able to know when the bladder is full. Urinating on a regular schedule is the usual approach to treating this problem. For instance, you might urinate every 4 hours, whether you think your bladder is full or not. If neuropathy is causing you to urinate involuntarily (incontinence), medicines such as oxybutynin (Ditropan) or tolterodine (Detrol) may help. Men with urinary incontinence caused by neuropathy may be helped by medicines such as alfuzosin (Uroxatral), silodosin (Rapaflo), or tamsulosin (Flomax).
  • Straining to urinate and not being able to empty the bladder completely. This problem may be treated with medicine, such as bethanechol (Urecholine). In more severe cases, a thin tube may be used to empty the bladder on a regular basis. This is called periodic catheterization. Trouble emptying the bladder may be worse in pregnant women.
  • Disruption of the proper emptying of the bladder. This may cause urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs may be treated with antibiotics. Drinking more fluids each day can help prevent UTIs.

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology

Current as ofMarch 13, 2017