Nocturia: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention
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What is nocturia?
Nocturia, also known as nocturnal polyuria, is the medical word for urinating an abnormally large amount during the night. While you sleep, your body generates less urine overall, but the urine that is produced is more concentrated. Because of this, the majority of individuals won’t have to get up to urinate in the middle of the night, and they’ll be able to sleep for anywhere between six and eight hours without waking up.
It’s possible that you have nocturia if you have to get up to urinate more than twice in the middle of the night. Nocturia, or nighttime urination, can be a symptom of an underlying medical disease in addition to being a sleep disorder in and of itself.
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Nighttime urination can have a variety of causes, ranging from lifestyle decisions to medical issues. Although nighttime urination is more prevalent in elderly persons, anyone of any age is at risk of developing the condition.
Nocturia can be brought on by a wide range of medical disorders. Infections of the urinary tract (also known as UTIs) or the bladder are common causes of nighttime urination. The burning feelings and the need to urinate frequently that these infections produce are present throughout the day and night. Treatment requires antibiotics.
In addition to these other medical disorders, nocturia can be caused by:
a prostate infection or enlargement could be the cause.
hyperactive bladder (OAB)
neoplasms affecting the urinary bladder, prostate, or pelvic region
infection of the kidneys
swelling or edema of the lower legs and feet
obstructive sleep apnea
a variety of neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord compression
In addition, nocturia is common in patients who are suffering from organ failures, such as liver or heart failure.
A possible early sign of pregnancy is nighttime urination. This can happen as early as the first few weeks of pregnancy, although it most commonly occurs later in the pregnancy as the expanding womb presses against the bladder.
Nocturia is a side effect that can be caused by some drugs. This is especially the case with diuretics, sometimes known as water pills, which are typically prescribed for the treatment of hypertension.
If you lose the ability to urinate or if you can no longer maintain control over your urination, you should contact an emergency room physician immediately for assistance.
Alternative ways of living
Consuming an excessive amount of fluids is another typical cause of nighttime urination. Both alcohol and beverages containing caffeine are diuretics, which means that drinking them will cause your body to generate more pee than normal after you consume them. Excessive use of alcohol or caffeinated beverages can result in waking up throughout the night to urinate as well as the need to do so.
Some persons who experience nocturia have just gotten into the routine of waking up multiple times throughout the night to urinate.
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How the condition is identified
It can be challenging to diagnose the underlying cause of nighttime urination. Your doctor will likely have a number of questions for you to answer. It may be helpful to keep a journal for a few days to note what you drink, how much you drink, how often you have to urinate, and how often you feel the need to urinate.
The following are some examples of questions your doctor might ask you:
When did the nighttime awakenings begin?
How many times do you have to get up during the night to urinate?
Have you noticed a decrease in the amount of pee you produce recently?
Do you ever find yourself in embarrassing situations, such as wetting the bed?
Is there anything that could make the situation even more dire?
Do you experience any other symptoms besides these?
What kinds of medications do you typically take?
Do you have a history of diabetes or difficulties with your bladder in your family?
They could also subject you to tests such as the following:
a test of one’s blood sugar to screen for diabetes
further blood tests, including those to determine blood counts and blood chemistry
fluid deprivation test
diagnostic imaging procedures, such as ultrasounds and computed tomography scans
Urology examinations, such as a cystoscopy
If you suspect that your nocturia is caused by a medicine, trying to take the prescription earlier in the day could be helpful.
Medication, such as the following, is sometimes used in the treatment of nocturia.
anticholinergic medications, which are helpful in reducing the symptoms of an overactive bladder
desmopressin, which reduces the amount of urine that your kidneys generate while you are asleep.
If left untreated, nocturia can be a sign of a more serious ailment, such as diabetes or a urinary tract infection (UTI), which can become more severe or even spread throughout the body. When an underlying ailment is properly treated, nocturia, which is caused by the condition, will typically stop occurring.
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How to protect oneself from it
There are measures that you can do to reduce the negative effects that nocturia has on your life.
It is possible to eliminate the desire to urinate throughout the night by reducing the amount of liquid you consume two to four hours before going to bed. Aside from avoiding beverages that include alcohol and caffeine, another thing that might be helpful is to urinate right before you go to bed. Chocolate, foods that are hot or acidic, foods that are artificially sweetened, and artificial sweeteners are examples of foods that have the potential to irritate the bladder. Your pelvic muscles can be strengthened with Kegel exercises, and pelvic floor physical therapy can assist improve your ability to regulate your bladder.
Pay close attention to the factors that contribute to the worsening of your symptoms so that you can make adjustments to your routine in response. Keeping a record of what they consume and when might be helpful to some people, therefore they keep a diary.
If treatment is not sought for nocturia, the condition can lead to sleep loss, exhaustion, drowsiness, and changes in a mood since it disrupts your natural sleep cycle. Talk to your primary care provider about making adjustments to your way of life and exploring the various treatment choices that are available to you.