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Were there ever moments when you had to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet? Surely there were. But what if that happens almost every night? Well, then it might be a case of nocturia.
Nocturia is a condition characterized by the need to urinate at night. It can disrupt your sleep and make you feel tired and cranky the morning after. It can also be a sign of an underlying health problem.
Nocturia tends to affect older adults the most frequently, but it can happen at any age. According to one study, clinically-aged nocturia tends to affect 2%-18% of people aged 20-40. That figure shoots to 28%-62% when studied on people aged 70-80.
Nocturia is not a disease in itself, but it can be a symptom that can have many different causes. In most cases, it is caused by an underlying condition that can be treated.
Let’s learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for this sleep-disrupting condition.
Causes of Nocturia
Nocturia is a multifactorial disease that has multiple causes.
Here are some of the most common causes of this condition.
A variety of medical conditions can lead to increased urination at night. While age-related changes are a large contributor to this condition, some underlying health conditions such as undiagnosed lower urinary tract symptoms may also be at play.
Some of the most common medical conditions associated with nocturia include:
- Urinary tract infections
- Bladder prolapse
- Prostate cancer
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
- Overactive bladder syndrome
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney infection
- Prostate infection
- Multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
- Urinary tract infection
One of the most commonly complained aspects of this illness is the BPH-nocturia link. BPH enlarges the prostate gland, which causes pressure in the lower urinary tract and can inadvertently lead to urinary retention and block urine flow.
A few prescription pills and supplements can also lead to the rise of symptoms of nocturia due to their inherent side effects.
Some of the medications to watch out for include:
- Too much vitamin D
- Cardiac glycosides
- Phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Demeclocycline (Declomycin)
If you have difficulty urinating frequently and are on any of these medications, consult your doctor. They may be able to change the dosage or switch you to a different drug.
In some cases, nocturia can be caused by an unpleasant byproduct of lifestyle choices that you may or may not be doing intentionally. One of the most common and preventable causes is drinking fluids before going to bed.
While it’s important to stay hydrated, avoid drinking fluids, specifically alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, two hours before sleep. This will help minimize trips to the restroom at night.
Another bad habit that you may have adopted as a pattern is training your body to wake up in the middle of the night and try to urinate, even when you don’t need to actually do so.
Sleep disorders can also be an observable characteristic in patients with sleep disorders. However, in insomnia cases, frequent urination is an incidental side effect rather than a cause.
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea also had a 50% chance of suffering from nocturia, according to one research study.
According to a study by the European Respiratory Journal, patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome have an 82% chance of having nocturia, while those with only mild symptoms have a 2% chance of having nocturia.
Symptoms of Nocturia
If you have nocturia, you will have the urge to urinate more than once during a regular night’s sleep. For some people, this may be as many as four or five times.
The main symptoms that may be associated with this condition include:
- Waking up frequently at night to urinate
- Sleepiness and fatigue during the daytime
In some severe symptoms, a higher volume of urination may also occur in patients with nocturia. This is the case if the type of nocturia a patient has is polyuria, where there’s an excessive volume of fluids that the kidney needs to filter.
While this can be mitigated by decreasing your fluid intake to moderate levels, this condition is often a side effect of diabetes, which will need proper medical care.
Diagnosis of Nocturia
Your healthcare provider will ask you a few questions about your sleep habits and any urinary symptoms that you may have been experiencing.
These questions may include:
- How often do you wake up at night to urinate?
- Do you feel the urge to urinate during the daytime?
- Have there been any changes in your urine volume and frequency lately?
- Do you have any other urinary symptoms, such as incontinence?
- Do you drink fluids before going to bed?
- Do you wake up tired and irritated?
- Do you drink alcohol and caffeine late in the day?
In addition, a medical history test and urinalysis will be conducted to check for any underlying causes of the condition.
If nocturia is believed to be caused by an underlying medical condition, additional testing may be required to make a diagnosis.
Treatment for Nocturia
Treating the source of the problem is the best way to manage nocturia. If an underlying health condition is causing your nocturia, such as sleep apnea, diabetes, or heart failure, your healthcare provider will work with you to develop a treatment plan catered to those conditions.
If no underlying health condition is causing your nocturia, there are still some steps that you can take to manage your symptoms and get a good night’s sleep. These include:
- Restricting your fluid intake before bed
- Rescheduling your diuretic intake
- Take medical therapy like Anticholinergic medications
- Make up for sleep by napping in the afternoon
- Elevating your legs
- Bladder surgery
By following the proper treatment plan prescribed by your doctor, it’s possible to get your nocturia under control and improve your personal and sex life.
Consult a Men’s Clinic for Medical Guidance about Penile Irregularities
Nocturia can be a stressful condition, with its effects capable of spilling over to your personal life, professional life, and even your bedroom performance.
With the right lifestyle changes and treatment plan, however, your nocturia symptoms can be managed effectively.
If you want to improve your quality of life, talk to your healthcare provider today. They will help you get on the path to better sleep.
The medical professionals at Premier Men’s Medical Center in Orlando specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, low testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.