Nocturia (Night Time Urination): Causes, Diagnosis, Complications, Treatment and Prevention
What is Urination?
Urination is the process by which the body gets rid of waste materials in fluid form. Urine is composed of water, urine acid, urea, toxins and waste materials flushed out from the body. The kidneys play a vital role in this process.
What is Urinary Frequency
Urinary frequency can be defined as one having an urge to pass out urine more than 7 times in a day or more often than usual. Frequent urination can affect one’s daily routine, disrupt the sleep cycle and can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
What is Polyuria?
When a person urinates more than 3 liters of urine daily, this condition is referred to as Polyuria.
What is Nocturia?
Otherwise referred to as Nocturnal Polyuria. It is an health condition for urinary frequency at night.
Causes of Nocturia?
Nocturia can happen at any age but often common in older adults (Elderly and Aged inclusive).
Several medical conditions can cause nocturia.
A common cause of nocturia is:
Urinary tract infection (UTI) or Bladder Infection:
They cause frequent burning sensations and urinary frequency both during the day and night as well. Antibiotics can be used in treating this medical condition.
Other medical conditions that can cause nocturia include:
· Infection or Enlargement of the prostate
· Overactive bladder
· Bladder tumor
· Kidney infection
· Edema or swelling of the lower legs
· Obstructive sleep apnea
· Neurological disorders
People diagnosed of an organ failure such as heart or liver failure also experience nocturia.
A possible early symptom of pregnancy may be nocturia as it can develop at the first trimester of pregnancy and also later on as the fetus grows and the womb enlarges which leads to it leaning on the bladder.
Some medications may have nocturia as a side effect such as diuretics (water pills), which are used in the treatment of high blood pressure.
Urgent medical care and attention from a doctor is needed if one loses the ability to pass out urine or if one can no longer urinate.
This is another common cause of nocturia. One’s choice of living such as excessive fluid consumption can cause nocturia. For instance, Diuretics such as alcohol and caffeinated beverages. They cause the body to produce more urine. Excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeinated beverage can lead to an urge to pee at night.
Most people who have nocturia have developed a habit of waking at night to pee.
Diagnosis of Nocturia
Diagnosis for the cause of nocturia can be quite hard as the doctor will need to ask a lot of questions. Maintaining a diary for a couple of days to record what you drink and how much drink is taken into the body, alongside with how often you feel the urge to urinate.
Some questions you may be asked by your doctor may include:
· When did the nocturia start?
· How many times per night do you feel the urge to pee?
· Are you producing less urine than you normally do?
· Have you wet the bed before?
· Do you have any other symptoms?
· What medications are you currently taking?
· Do you have a family history of bladder problems or diseases such as Diabetes?
Tests may also be carried out such as:
· Blood sugar test to check for diabetes
· Blood counts and blood chemistry
· Urine culture
· Fluid deprivation test
· Imaging tests, such as CT scans or Ultrasounds
· Urological tests such as cystoscopy
If one’s nocturia is caused by a medication, taking the medication earlier during the day is quite helpful. Medication used in the treatment for nocturia include:
· Anticholinergic drugs: This helps reduce the symptoms of an overactive bladder.
· Desmopressin: This medication causes one’s kidneys to produce less urine at night.
Complications that could arise from Nocturia
Nocturia can be a symptom of a more severe condition such as:
· Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
These complications resulting from the effects of nocturia could worsen or spread if not treated. However, if treated successfully, nocturia stops.
Prevention of Nocturia
Below are actions that can be taken to reduce the effects of nocturia:
· Reduction of the amount of fluid intake before bed to prevent urges to pee while asleep at night.
· Drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine should be avoided.
· Also urinating before you go to bed can be very much helpful.
· Food items that can be bladder irritants such as chocolate, spicy foods, acidic foods, and artificial sweeteners should be avoided.
· Kegel exercises and pelvic floor physical therapy should be carried out regularly as they can help strengthen your pelvic girdles and improve bladder control.
· Paying rapt attention to what worsens your symptoms so to change and modify habits.
· Also keeping track record of what you drink and when you take them using a diary can be quite helpful.
Due to the fact that nocturia affects sleep cycle, it can lead to sleep deprivation, fatigue, drowsiness, and mood changes if not treated on time. Talking to your doctor to discuss lifestyle changes and treatment options is highly recommended and advised as it can be much helpful.
Also, urgent medical care and attention should be sought if you can’t urinate anymore or can no longer control your urination.