Frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom can be more than just annoying; they could be a sign of nocturia. This condition interrupts your sleep because you need to urinate often at night. Nocturia is different from having to go a lot during the day. It can make you feel very tired the next day and affect your mood, cardiovascular health, testosterone levels, memory and cognition. Boise urologist, Dr. Slade aims to help his patients understand nocturia, why it happens, and how to treat it.
What is Nocturia?
Nocturia is when you wake up often during the night because you need to go to the bathroom. It's not just a small problem; it can really affect how well you sleep. This issue is unique because it happens at night, which is different from having trouble during the day.
When you have nocturia, you might feel very tired the next day, and it can even change how you feel. It's important to know about nocturia because it can also affect your heart health, brain health, hormones and energy levels.
Common Causes of Nocturia
As we get older, nocturia can happen for several reasons.
For men, an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can be a root cause, making it hard for the bladder to work right. Additionally, people with diabetes might feel thirsty a lot and need to go more often. Other things like sleep apnea or heart problems can also lead to more frequent nighttime urination, and sometimes there could be a deficiency in a hormone that encourages the body to create less urine at night.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Nocturia
- The main symptom of nocturia is waking up two or more times at night to use the bathroom.
- When you have nocturia, you might feel an intense need to urinate.
- It can be hard to get back to sleep after you've gotten up, but returning to sleep afterwards can be a challenge, amplifying sleep disturbances.
Diagnosis and Testing Nocturia
The first step to diagnosing nocturia is to seek out the professional assistance of Dr. Slade. He will ask about your symptoms, your lifestyle, and other health history to better understand your condition.
He suggests keeping track of how much you drink and how often you go to the bathroom. In certain cases, you might need to do a urine test to check for other health problems. Dr. Slade might also check if your bladder is emptying completely, as this can offer insight into potential causes. Depending on other symptoms, a sleep study may be ordered to evaluate for obstructive sleep apnea (if you haven’t already had this done before).