What is Nocturia and how can it be treated?

pasindukrisantha wickramarachchi | 10:36 PM | 0 comments

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It’s quite normal to wake up once or twice at night to go to the toilet to urinate but if you are frequently experiencing disturbed sleep, then this is nocturia. Nocturia is annoying and tiring and is a common symptom, not a diagnosis. There are several reasons why nocturia can occur and has underlying contributing factors.

Nocturia is more common in the over 60’s and there are a number of reasons why. When you’re asleep at night your body makes a hormone which slows down your kidney function whilst you sleep. Yet when you get older, less of this hormone is produced and as a result your bladder continues to fill up in the same way it does in the day.

Nocturia can occur in both men and women but in men the prostate gland becomes enlarged as men get older called - Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Over half of men aged 60 and over have enlarged prostate glands. When the prostate gland becomes enlarged, it then restricts the bladder and causes difficulty passing urine which means the bladder has difficulty fully emptying. This means that as the bladder is always partially full, it takes less time for the bladder to fill up again. In this instance using catheters  would drain the excess urine from the bladder and be an effective way of tackling this cause of nocturia.

There are a range of other reasons why nocturia may occur:

· Taking medication which is a diuretic  
· Diabetes - when more sugar occurs within urine, it stimulates the production of extra urine. 
· Cystitis 
· Overactive bladder 
· Chronic Urinary Retention - Causes frequent and small volumes of urine to be passed during the day and at night. 
· The body produces a large volume of urine (nocturnal polyuria) 
· Insomnia 
· Neurological - The bladder is controlled by the brain and as a result neurological conditions will affect how the bladder works. This can occur in multiple sclerosis, spinal cord syndrome and cervical cord compression.

How can Nocturia be treated?

Keep a diary of how much you drink throughout the day so you can notice any patterns between your consumption and how frequently you urinated during the night. Drink earlier the day and have a cut-off point in the evening where you don’t consume any liquids 2-3 hours before bed.
Avoid drinking caffeine laden drinks as these act as a diuretic, tea coffee and fizzy drinks could for instance be changed to decaffeinated versions.

Medication such as Bumetanide or furosemide can help to regulate urine production and control the amount of urine produced at night. Darifenacin causes the kidney to produce less urine and stops bladder spasms. Imipramine may decrease the amount of urine produced. Medications to relax the muscles in the bladder and reduce the need for night-time urination are ocybutynin, solifenacin or tolterodine. Trospium chloride can be used to block those receptors within the bladder wall that result in an overactive bladder. Depending on the reason why you are suffering with nocturia, your doctor will advise on the best course of medication.


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