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Functional Incontinence

Functional incontinence can affect bladder or bowel control

Are you having trouble making it to the bathroom on time? If your bladder, urinary systems or bowels are working properly, but you still have urine or fecal leakage, you may have functional incontinence. This type of incontinence occurs when you have another health issue or condition that makes it difficult for you to make it to the bathroom without losing bladder or bowel control. Our Austin urologists can determine which issue is causing your problems and help you manage and treat your condition.

What causes loss of bladder or bowel control?

Your risk for developing this type of incontinence increases when you are age 65 or older, or if you aren’t able to be physically active. If you have any of the following symptoms or conditions, you are also at an increased risk.

  • Neurological problems that affect your spinal cord, brain or nerves, such as strokes, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease
  • Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions that impair your cognitive function
  • Weak bladder or pelvic floor muscles
  • Muscular or joint problems, such as arthritis, that make it hard for you to undress or get to the toilet
  • Certain medications that increase urination
  • Medications such as sleeping pills that keep your brain from receiving the “gotta go” message
  • UTIs, or urinary tract infections
  • Irritated or thinning vaginal tissues

Symptoms of functional incontinence

Loss of bladder or bowel control, even though you have functioning bladder and bowels, is the primary symptom of functional incontinence. If you or your loved one shows any signs of the following symptoms, see our Austin urologists. They have the expertise to help men and women of all ages deal with this problem.

  • Leaking urine or fecal matter
  • Being unable to make it to the bathroom before your bladder or bowels leak or empty
  • Experiencing times when your bladder completely empties involuntarily
  • The smell of urine on clothing or in the home
  • Regularly being unable to get undressed in time to use the toilet

Managing your condition

Our Austin urologists have some tips to help you manage functional incontinence.

  • Don’t consume foods or drinks that irritate your bladder, such as alcohol, carbonated beverages, caffeinated drinks, chocolate, citrus foods, or acidic drinks and foods such as tomatoes.
  • Losing weight, particularly your belly weight, can help.
  • Don’t hesitate to wear undergarments or pads to help with incontinence.
  • Wear elastic-waist pants or skirts.
  • Keep the walking path to your bathroom free of obstacles or items that could trip you up.
  • Grab bars and raised toilet seats can help with mobility issues.

For expert diagnosis and treatment, see our Austin urologists

Don’t hesitate to seek answers about functional incontinence, or any issues you are experiencing with bladder or bowel control. At NAU Urology Specialists, our team provides the compassionate care you and your loved ones need and deserve. Contact us for an appointment with one of our experienced Austin urologists.