Night urination. If you have to get up at night to urinate more than usual, here is an article for you!
A frequent urge to get up to urinate at night is called nocturia. Getting up once to urinate is said to be normal. However, if a person has to do it 2 or more than 2 times in a night (6-8 hours of sleep), nocturia is suspected.
Nocturia is rarely a disease in itself, often a symptom of other underlying causes including certain lifestyle habits or medical conditions.
Causes of nocturia ( night urination)
- Drinking too much or too close to bedtime is one of the most common causes of nocturia.
- Consume alcohol or caffeine at the end of the day.
- A urinary tract infection (UTI) triggers the need to urinate more during the day and night, but it is rarely the only symptom and can be accompanied by pain, burning during passing of urine or lower abdominal pain, fever.
- Older age is also related to nocturia. As we age, our body produces less hormone that helps to concentrate urine, which helps us to hold urine until morning and therefore it is necessary to get up to urinate at night.
- Pregnancy and childbirth weaken the bladder and pelvic floor muscles and cause frequent urination during the day and night in women.
- Certain medications given for other health problems, such as high blood pressure, can make you urinate more, especially if they are taken close to bedtime.
- Other medical conditions such as diabetes, prostate problems, neurological problems, and ongoing pregnancy.
Diagnosing the cause of night urination can be complicated and requires a variety of investigations and hopefully your doctor will send you a detailed questionnaire. Therefore, it is very important to keep a diary if you have had the problem of excessive night urination for a long time. The important point to write down in the diary is what you drink and how much, how often you need to urinate.
Some of the questions your doctor can expect are:
- When did the nocturia start?
- How many times do you have to urinate every night?
- Are you producing less urine than before?
- Do you have accidents or have you wet the bed?
- Is there anything that makes the problem worse?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
- What medications are you taking?
- Do you have a family history of bladder problems or diabetes?
Therefore, it is important to be prepared with information for the above questions beforehand. Some of the common tests that are done to rule out the causes of nocturia are: urinalysis and urine culture, blood sugar tests to detect diabetes, other blood tests for hemograms and blood chemistry, diagnostic imaging tests, such as ultrasounds or CT scans.
Tips for dealing with nocturia
Treatment for night urination depends primarily on its cause and usually resolves once the underlying cause is discovered and treated.
Here are some tips for dealing with night urination:
- Drink your normal amount of fluids, but do so earlier in the day. Reducing the amount you drink to 2 to 4 hours before bedtime can help prevent you from needing to urinate at night.
- Cut back on drinks in the last two hours before bedtime, especially alcohol, coffee, or tea, as they stimulate urine production.
- Keep a journal of how much you drink, what you drink, and when. This can be helpful in identifying factors or situations that cause or worsen nocturia.
- Some 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.
- Paying attention to what makes symptoms worse is important so that you can try to modify your habits accordingly.
- Take an afternoon nap: If you’ve been waking up frequently due to nocturia, a nap can help you feel better during the day.
- Avoid setting excessively low temperatures in the air conditioner at night to avoid cold-induced diuresis.
Dr. Afroze Fatima
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