Nocturia is a common condition where people wake at night to pass urine. This can be due to lower urinary tract problems or due to excessive urine production at night (nocturnal polyuria). Healthy bodies are biologically programmed to produce less urine at night to minimise the interruption of sleep.
Many people may find that they have to make a trip to the toilet at least once a night. However, if it is a continual urge that affects sleep, it can become a problem. Any more than two trips to the bathroom at night can be counted as Nocturia and besides losing some precious hours, it can also be a sign of another condition.
Nocturia is a relatively common condition, however, it can have many causes, from simple lifestyle choices to infection and illnesses, therefore, treatments can be very variable depending on cases.
There are four main types of Nocturia and each may be causal of different conditions.
Polyuria is a condition in which the urological system produces too much urine within a 24 hour period, including nighttime hours.
Nocturnal polyuria is polyuria exclusive to the nighttime hours
Bladder storage conditions may exist independent of polyuria.
Mixed nocturia is a combination of the above problems.
Lifestyle causes can have a huge impact on nocturia symptoms and simple lifestyle issues may mean that more urine is produced in the evening.
Simply drinking too much water before bed can cause too many trips to the bathroom.
Some common beverages are diuretics, meaning they cause your body to produce more urine. Examples are alcohol, tea and coffee.
Some common medications can cause more urine to be produced, including lithium, methoxyflurane, propoxyphene, demeclocycline and even excessive vitamin D.
Poor sleep and sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea can produce the need to urinate more, particularly after someone has woken up.
Anxiety and stress can upset the body’s rhythms and lead to irregular urination patterns.
While many lifestyle issues can cause Nocturia, the condition can also be a result of many infectious illnesses that affect the urological system. Some examples of these conditions include:
Inflammation of the prostate
Inflammation of the bladder
Neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or spinal cord compression
Urinary tract infection
Benign prostatic hyperplasia
Diabetes, type 1 and type 2
Congestive heart failure
As there are many possible causes of Nocturia, treatments are highly varied, however, if you suspect that you have symptoms of Nocturia, don’t hesitate to contact your urological specialist.
Dr Arianayagam is a highly skilled urological surgeon who treats many urological illnesses, including cancers and other disorders of the urinary system.