What is functional incontinence?
Functional incontinence is a disorder characterized by involuntary loss of urine in which the losses are caused by the inability of those affected to reach the bathroom, either by motor problems or structural problems.
Patients with osteoarthritis who are unable to stand or Alzheimer’s patients who are not aware of the need to empty the bladder would be two representative types.
It is a type of incontinence that mainly affects the elderly and it requires great attention from the caregivers.
Symptoms of functional incontinence
- Inability to control urination
- Involuntary and very large losses of urine during day and night
- No sense of need to urinate, etc.
Consequences of functional incontinence
- Psychological: Loss of self-esteem, depression, sexual problems, etc.
- Physical: Ulcers, irritations, infections, falls, etc.
- Social: Social isolation, familiar dependence, hospitalization, among others.
Causes of functional incontinence
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Impossibility to reach the bathroom.
- Architectural factors
Diagnostics and treatment of functional incontinence
Before the onset of symptoms that may indicate a urinary incontinence, we recommend a visit to the specialist who will diagnose the possible existence of this ailment and the most appropriate treatment to follow.
How to prevent functional incontinence
Among the advice to treat functional incontinence we would have:
- To improve the conditions of accessibility to the bath:
- To properly treat the disease that causes the disorder:
- Exercises to train the bladder: It consists of trying to prolong the time of evacuation progressively, so that, after a period of time, one is able to alleviate the problem by avoiding the necessity to urinate so many times.
- Avoid the excessive ingestion of liquids : This does not imply that you should not drink the necessary fluids, which would be worse since you will dehydrate yourself. It is better for you to drink in the morning and to take into account those foods that are very diuretic early in the morning, in order to stimulate kidney function producing a large quantity of urine during the first part of the day. Do not drink too much o do not eat too much diuretic food before going to bed.
- To provide urination tools that can substitute the toilet: urinals, bottles and others,
- To use sanitary towels or sanitary wipes: Although they do not improve the problem, they can provide temporary help for people who can not control incontinence with the previous methods. They should only be used in extreme cases.
More information on incontinence
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8 July, 2020