Excessive Urination at Night (Nocturia)

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1. What is Nocturia?

Nocturia means waking up at night to empty your bladder

2. How Common is Nocturia?

  • 75% of  men and women older than 70 will wake up once to empty their bladder
  • 60% will wake up more than once per night

3. What Causes Nocturia?

  • Aging
    • Reduces the size and capacity of the bladder to store urine overnight
    • Affects the kidney’s ability to conserve salt and water overnight resulting in more urine formation
  • Caffeine intake – coffee, tea, dark chocolate etc.
  • Alcohol Intake
  • Fluid Intake in the evening
  • Edema or fluid retention – This fluid accumulates in the legs  during the day and then may return to the circulation when we lie down at night flooding the kidneys
  • Urinary problems
    • Obstruction of the urethra from a stricture or by the prostate
    • Overactive Bladder
    • Urinary Infection (If this is new Incontinence)
  • Other Diseases- E.g.
    • Diabetes
    • Diabetes Insipidus- where we lack Anti Diuretic Hormone
    • Sleep Apnea
    • Congestive Heart Failure

4. What Can I do for Nocturia?

  • Try to drink all of your fluids before 7:00 in the evening or 3 hours before bedtime
  • Avoid Caffeine
  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Treat edema by using compression stockings during the day. You may wish to lie down with your feet up in the afternoon

5. What can my Doctor do for Nocturia?

  • Your doctor may check to see there are no underlying diseases or medications causing this problem
  • The doctor may treat the edema with a diuretic to increase urination in the afternoon
  •  An anticholinergic drug may be prescribed to slow down bladder emptying over night
  • Medications to relieve obstruction may be prescribed
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