What is Nocturia?
Nocturia is also known as night time urination and is literally defined as the need to wake up during the night to urinate. It is a condition that is most frequent in older people, in particular men who are suffering from an enlarged prostate. There are however other causes of nocturia and women are just as likely to suffer from the condition as men are.
Aside from the enlarged prostate mentioned above there are some other nocturia causes. These include:
• Diabetes and gestational diabetes (when not controlled correctly)
• A disoriented body clock
• Diuretic medications
• Swollen legs
• A high fluid intake (before sleep time)
• Congestive heart failure
• Sleep disorders
• An excessive intake of Vitamin D
Symptoms of Nocturia
The main symptom of nocturia is excessive urination during the night time. Most people should be able to sleep for between six and eight hours without disturbance so when the need of urination at night occurs and disrupts the sleep, nocturia is usually diagnosed. Sometimes people with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea may also be woken during the night to urinate however in these cases it is usually the sleep disorder than needs to be treated rather than nocturia.
If you are experiencing excessive urination at night your doctor will ask you to keep a fluid and urination diary. They may also give you a physical examination and take blood and urine samples. Once nocturia has been diagnosed you will begin nocturia treatment.
The nocturia treatment you will be given will usually begin with making changes to your lifestyle. The nocturia remedies you may be asked to try include:
• Monitoring your diet and avoiding foods that seem to cause frequent urination such as caffeinated drinks, spicy foods and citrus.
• Increasing your fiber intake to maintain bowel regularity.
• Losing or gaining weight so that you have a normal BMI.
• Quitting smoking.
• Drinking fewer fluids during the night time before you go to bed.
• Retraining your bladder through a series of exercises – you may be referred to a professional who can help you with this.
• Taking diuretic medicines in the morning if required.
A new nocturia treatment called Interstim is also becoming more widespread. This involves implanting an electrical stimulator into the body which helps to control the bladder and prevents constant urination. Although this is currently only being offered to patients who have had no success with the conventional nocturia remedies described above, the success rate is said to be as high as 75%.
Tip: Nocturia and Urinary Incontinence are different conditions. Do not confuse them. As mentioned above nocturia describes the frequent need of pissing during then night, while urinary incontinence is the condition when urine is passed unintentionally during the urinary tract.