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Thread: 'Functional' incontinence

  1. #1

    Default 'Functional' incontinence

    I've just been out for a walk, came back, and was unable to get the door key turned in the door rapidly enough - and wet myself.

    This is the first time this has happened, but I've been noticing recently that when I'm taking a shower, the sound of the water running causes me to lose control.

    Reading up quickly on the condition, I self-diagnose myself as 'functionally incontinent', because I don't have any of the other conditions - this is not markedly stress associated, nor are there dribbles, etc. But I'm not senile, nor do I have Alzheimers, dementia, confusion, arthritis, or low mobility. In fact I'm fit.

    It is not always super-obvious to me in advance that I will 'need to go', because it seems to me that the good bladder control that I had when I was younger is not there any more. I can't tell my body: "stop!" Not even for the half-minute it would take to get a tricky key turned.

    I recently had a prostate test and came out OK.

    I do drink a heck of a lot of coffee.

    So what next?
    1. See my doctor, obviously
    2. Do Kegel exercises help? They seem to better suited to other kinds of incontinence
    3. What else?

  2. #2


    First of all, welcome to the site (as I see this is your first post).

    Second, you should absolutely make an appointment to see your doctor. "Self-diagosing" is never a good idea, unless you happen to be an MD yourself...and even then, you should probably still see a doctor. Make an appointment with your GP and explain your situation. I'm sure he/she will know how to handle the situation, whether to send you to a specialist, etc.

    In the interim, if you are worried about having accidents in public, you should consider using incontinence products. There's no shame in wearing protection if you feel that you need it.

  3. #3


    Since you say that you drink a heck of a lot of coffee, then I think you should give this a quick read;
    The Effects Of Caffeine On The Bladder | LIVESTRONG.COM

    I also agree with yahoocdk, you should definitely see your Doctor as soon as possible.

  4. #4


    I'm not an MD, but I am a lay expert. That doesn't fit the definition of functional incontinence. For that to occur you'd need to be unable to correctly identify the needed response or appropriately respond to the need to urinate. (IE dementia or impaired mobilty as you mentioned). While you didnt offer enough detail to be sure, what you're describing sounds like either urge, or less likely overflow or reflex incontinence. "Key in door" urgency is a hallmark of certain causes of urge inco, and heavy coffee consumption is a contributor to urgency and bladder irritation resulting in OAB. The simple answer is stop the coffee and see what happens, which i'd probably do before seeing a Dr., but since the party line seems to be see a Dr (which by the way isn't a bad idea) I'll go with that first. The caveat is that the first thing they will do is ask you to keep track of what you drink, when you pee and when you wet. . . and then they're going to tell you to quit drinking coffee, and pee before you leave the house. Still a change in bladder function can indicate other health problems, so getting a check up and some tests isn't a bad idea.

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