Nocturia is one of the most bothering symptoms experienced by elderly men as well as women, although it can occur at any age. Nocturia is a terminology used in medicine in which the person has to wake up from sleep multiple times to urinate at night. Normally a person does not wake up from sleep for urination as the body produces less urine but in concentrated form. Hence he can get uninterrupted sleep for 7 to 8 hours.
The frequent trips to washroom at night can occur due to various different reasons. These reasons may be because of medical conditions or lifestyle issues. For example a person suffering from diabetes or an elderly men suffering from enlarged prostate can experience frequent urination at night. Lower urinary tract infection is often a reason for nocturia in women.
Symptoms include excessive urine, poor sleep, cloudy urine, burning urine, excessive alcohol or any other beverage at night etc.
What Are The Causes Of Nocturia?
Nocturia or frequent urination at night can occur due to many causes. The underlying cause can be related to a medical condition or it may be simply due to lifestyle factors. It is more common in adults especially in elderly individuals as compared to young and children.
Urinary tract infection is often the main underlying cause, but in elderly men enlarged prostate is one of the reasons. Below are given different factors that can cause nocturia:
- Benign Enlargement of prostate in old age.
- Prostate cancer
- Lower urinary tract infection.
- Over active bladder
- Prolapse of bladder mainly observed in old women or women with many children.
- Diabetes mellitus
- Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, kidney infection.
- Bladder cancer
- Medicines especially patient taking diuretics in congestive heart failure.
- Consuming too much of fluids before sleeping.
- Consuming excessive alcohol or other beverages such as coffee and tea.
Symptoms Associated With Nocturia
The primary symptom of nocturia is frequent urination at night. There are several other accompanying symptoms most of them related with the underlying conditions.
- Excess of urination during day and night as in case of uncontrolled diabetes.
- Patient has to get up frequently at night due to burning sensation in urethra and bladder in lower urinary tract infection.
- Poor sleep.
- Urine is not clear but cloudier.
- Difficulty in passing urine as in case of benign prostate enlargement. Patient has to strain a lot before he passes urine.
- Pain in lower abdomen.
- Has to urgently rush to bathroom from sleep as there is uncontrollable urge to pass urine.
Diagnosis And Treatment Options For Nocturia
Nocturia is a symptom of several conditions. Hence the doctor will first concentrate of determining the condition that is producing this annoying symptom. He will take medical history and ask for certain tests. These tests include urine routine examination, prostate specific antigen blood test, urine culture, serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen and blood sugar test. Certain imaging tests such as X-ray of kidney, ureter and bladder, sonography of lower abdomen and pelvis, CT scan of prostate are some of the tests that help in diagnosing the condition responsible for nocturia.
Nocturia is considerably common especially in older population. The disturbance that occurs due to frequent nighttime waking can affect quality of life a person. The first line of management is normally behavior modification. This maneuver is not invasive and it is also not expensive.
If lifestyle is the factor patient is advised to abstain from drinking alcohol at night. The same is true with other beverages such as coffee and tea. If patient’s fluid intake at night is more, he is advised to reduce it and just take fluids that can quench his thirst. Elevate legs in evening to move fluids.
Patient must void urine immediately before retiring to bed at night. Medications such as antibiotics and anticholinergics help to treat infection and over active bladder. In case of diabetes, patient must control his blood sugar by taking anti diabetic medicines, reducing sugar intake and exercising.
Certain home remedies are also beneficial:
- Cranberry juice if there is infection in urinary tract.
- Losing weight as obesity can increase pressure on bladder which consequently causes frequent urge to pass urine at night while sleeping.
- Take diuretic medicines in mid afternoon.
- Eat brown rice during dinner as it is known to absorb fluids.