Authored by R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen in Diseases
Published on 07-12-2009
Frequent urination at night, also referred to as nocturia, is a symptom that plagues many people. It can be caused by a simple and easily treated medical condition or a complex and severe medical condition. Treating frequent urination at night will involve diagnosing and treating the underlying cause or making certain lifestyle changes.
Patients experiencing frequent urination at night will wake up at least once during the night to urinate. Those experiencing this symptom are typically over sixty years of age, but it can occur at any age. Some causes of frequent urination at night only affect men and some only affect women. However, there are several causes of frequent urination at night that tend to affect both men and women almost equally.
Common causes of frequent urination at night include drinking a lot of fluids before bed, diuretics, overactive bladder, alcohol, caffeine, fluid redistribution and a decrease in nocturnal bladder capacity. Causes such as drinking a lot of fluids before bed and consuming alcohol and caffeine can be easily fixed by making simple lifestyle changes. Those who consume alcohol should severely limit or completely give up consuming alcohol. Those who consume caffeine should severely limit their caffeine intake, or give it up altogether. Those who are just limiting their caffeine intake should not consume caffeine approximately six hours before bed. Those who experience frequent urination at night due to excessive fluid consumption before bed should severely limit their fluid intake at least four hours before bed.
Diuretics, also referred to as water pills, help to purge excess water from the body. Since they are used to excrete excess water they can cause frequent urination at night. Those taking diuretics who experience frequent urination at night should consult their physician to discuss a possible alternative treatment method. They may also be able to only take diuretics during the day so that their bodies have several hours to excrete the excess water before they go to bed.
Fluid redistribution occurs when the blood stream reabsorbs fluids when a person is lying down and sleeping. This condition not only causes frequent urination at night, but swelling due to excess fluid in the fingers, ankles and legs. Those experiencing frequent urination at night due to fluid redistribution need to consult their physician for treatment. Once the fluid redistribution issue is being well treated they will notice less night urination.
A decrease in nocturnal bladder capacity is a condition in which a person’s body will produce more urine than the bladder can hold causing them to urinate frequently. Those with this condition often experience frequent urination at night as well as overactive bladder. In order to relieve the patient’s need to frequently urinate the decrease in nocturnal bladder capacity will need to be treated.
Certain medical conditions can cause frequent urination at night. These conditions include congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, diabetes insipidus, insomnia, high blood pressure, vascular disease, sleep disorders and restless leg syndrome. Patients experiencing frequent urination at night due to one of these medical conditions will need to have the underlying condition treated in order to help relieve their frequent urination.