What is Nocturia & How Can It Affect Your Health if Untreated?

If you’ve recently found yourself going to the bathroom two or three times in the middle of the night, you might be suffering from a condition known as nocturia. This frustrating condition can affect almost anyone and is quite common among adult women.

Although nocturia is common, it’s important to seek treatment after symptoms start appearing. Beyond being annoying, nocturia has the potential to cause disruptions to your sleep and other problems. There are many treatment options available for those suffering from nocturia, including forms of therapy and medication.

As with most conditions, it’s best to start nocturia treatment as soon as possible to prevent lasting problems. Here’s what you should know about the signs of nocturia and how the condition can affect your overall health.

Spotting nocturia

The most common characteristic of nocturia is a constant need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. While the frequency of bathroom trips can vary from person to person, the bladder condition usually causes people to go around two to three times each night. Additionally, urinating a higher volume than usual can also be a sign of nocturia.

No matter how often the need to use the bathroom arises, it can severely inhibit your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep can cause a whole slew of other issues, including irritability, depression and confusion day after day. If you’re waking up tired and spotting signs of sleep deprivation, you should examine your nighttime bathroom habits.

What causes nocturia?

There are several simple things that might cause nocturia. Drinking too much fluid before bed can sometimes cause more frequent urination as your body processes the liquids. If you believe this to be the case, then reducing your fluid intake before bed can be an easy remedy. Drinks like coffee and alcohol can also cause increase urination and should be limited before bed.

However, the condition may also be caused by a larger issue. Those suffering from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes may experience nocturia as a side effect. Fluid collecting in your legs, also known as peripheral edema, may also be a cause. After you lie down, the fluid relocates and needs to be expelled.

Other potential causes include poor kidney function, a decrease in bladder capacity and kidney stones. A trip to your doctor is the best way to narrow down these causes.

How nocturia can affect your health

Not only is nocturia an annoying condition that can interrupt your sleep, but it can also affect other aspects of your health. The condition can cause frequent insomnia, since you are woken persistently and may have trouble falling back asleep after going to the bathroom. Lack of sleep can lead to tiredness in your daily life, which can affect your work performance as well as your relationships with others. Tiredness can also increase your risk of injury, making something like getting into an accident while driving more likely.

Not getting enough sleep has also been known to cause mental health issues, with many people reporting increased anxiety and depression. Additionally, a weakened immune system, memory loss, high blood pressure and weight gain are all associated with sleep deprivation.

Nocturia treatment options

There are many nocturia treatment options available, but the type of treatment you receive will greatly depend on the cause of your nocturia. For example, if your nocturia has been caused by ingesting too much fluid, then a doctor will likely recommend that you drink less before bed. If you are suffering from peripheral edema, then elevating your legs before bed may help alleviate your symptoms.

Having a good nighttime routine may also help you sleep better, so you wake up less frequently or fall asleep faster after using the bathroom. This might include meditating or practicing some relaxation techniques before bed. Exercising earlier in the day may also ensure that you are tired when nighttime rolls around. Regulating the temperature in your room, limiting the use of electronic devices at night and keeping your room comfortable are all things that can help you get a better night’s sleep.

Treat nocturia for total-body health

Because nocturia can be caused by something benign like drinking too many fluids before bed, or it could be the sign of a more serious condition, it’s best to see your doctor after you spot symptoms. Not only that, but anything that is frequently interfering with your sleep should be treated as soon as possible.

A doctor can give you an accurate diagnosis of your condition and offer the best treatment options. Once you begin treatment for nocturia, be sure to keep your doctor updated with your progress. They may decide to adjust your treatment as necessary to ensure you stay as healthy as possible.

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