Nocturia. If you have to wake up in the night to pee more than you normally do, here is an article for you.
The frequent need to get up to urinate at night is called nocturia. Getting up to pee once is normal. However, if a person has to sleep 2 or more times a night (6-8 hours of sleep), there is a suspicion of nocturia.
Nocturia is rarely a disease in itself, it is often a symptom of other underlying causes that include certain lifestyle habits or medical conditions.
Causes of nocturia.
- Drinking too much or drinking too close to bedtime is one of the most common causes of nocturia.
- Drinking alcohol or caffeine late in the day.
- A urinary tract infection (UTI) causes the need to urinate more during the day and at night, but is rarely the only symptom and can be accompanied by pain, burning during urination or lower abdominal pain, fever.
- Older age is also associated with nocturia. As we age, our bodies produce less of the hormone that helps thicken urine, which helps hold us over until the morning and thus the need to urinate at night.
- Pregnancy and childbirth weaken the muscles of the bladder and pelvic floor and cause frequent night and day urination in women.
- Some medications given for other health problems, such as high blood pressure, can make you urinate more, especially if taken near bedtime.
- Other medical conditions such as diabetes, prostate problems, neurological problems and ongoing pregnancy.
Diagnosis of nocturia –
Diagnosing the cause of nocturia can be difficult and requires a number of tests, and a detailed questionnaire from your doctor will have to wait. Therefore, it is very important to keep a diary if you have a problem with excessive night urination for a long time. An important point to constantly note in the diary is what you drink and how much, how often you need to urinate.
Some of the questions to ask your doctor are:
- When did nocturia start?
- How many times should you urinate each night?
- Are you producing less urine than you used to?
- Do you have accidents or wet the bed?
- Does anything make the problem worse?
- Do you have other symptoms?
- What medications are you taking?
- You have a family history of bladder problems or diabetes.
Therefore, it is important to prepare in advance with information on the above questions. Some common tests done to rule out causes of nocturia are urinalysis and urine culture, blood sugar test for diabetes, other blood tests for blood and blood chemistry, imaging tests such as ultrasound or CT scan.
Tips for fighting nocturia.
Treatment for nocturnal enuresis largely depends on its cause, and it usually resolves once the underlying cause is identified and treated.
Here are some tips for nighttime urination:
- Drink your usual amount of fluids, but do so earlier in the day. Cutting back on drinking 2-4 hours before bed can help you prevent the need to urinate at night.
- In the last two hours before bed, cut back on drinks, especially alcohol, coffee or tea, as they stimulate urine production.
- Keep a diary of how much you drink, what you drink and when. This can be helpful in identifying factors or situations that cause or worsen nocturia.
- Certain foods can irritate the bladder, such as chocolate, spicy foods, acidic foods, and artificial sweeteners. Avoid them.
- Kegel exercises and pelvic floor physical therapy can help strengthen your pelvic muscles and improve bladder control.
- It’s important to pay attention to what makes your symptoms worse so you can try to change your habits accordingly.
- Take an afternoon nap. if you wake up frequently due to nocturia, sleep can help you feel better during the day.
- Avoid setting the air conditioner too low at night to avoid cold-induced diuresis.
Dr. Afroz Fatima