There are many different types of urinary incontinence. Most forms of urinary incontinence are the result of other urinary, muscular, or neurological conditions, but this is not the case for functional incontinence.
Functional incontinence is recognized as a situation in which physical barriers or mental disabilities prevent an individual from being able to make it to the restroom in time to properly urinate. This can be a result of not knowing where to find a toilet or not knowing how to get into a suitable position for urination.
Causes of Functional Incontinence
There are several possible reasons as to why a person may suffer from functional incontinence. Some of the most common causes are:
- Psychological difficulties
- Cognitive issues such as dementia or an intellectual disability
- Poor vision
- Environmental barriers to using the restroom
- Muscular or neurological limitations caused by another medical condition such as arthritis
Diagnosis of functional incontinence usually involves a consultation with a urology specialist. During this consultation, the specialist will ask you many questions about your current health and daily habits that may be contributing to your functional incontinence. They are also likely to perform simple tests such as a urinalysis.
Treatment for Functional Incontinence
There is no way to prevent functional incontinence from developing, but there are several ways in which an individual can manage their symptoms to improve their overall quality of life. These symptom management methods include:
- Improve bladder control:
- Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption
- Avoid tomatoes, apples, citrus fruits and spicy foods
- Reduce consumption of artificial sweeteners and corn syrup
- Exercise your pelvic floor muscles (kegels)
- Visit the bathroom at the first sign of an urge to urinate
- Install extra lighting in your home to improve visibility
For more information on functional incontinence, or to request an appointment with a female urinary incontinence specialist of Genesee Valley Obstetrics & Gynecology, please contact our office today at (585) 641-0399.