What causes nocturia?
Your likelihood of having nocturia increases with age. This is because your bladder capacity decreases and urine production increases as you grow older. Lifestyle practices, such as drinking large amounts of fluid late in the day or consuming caffeinated drinks, can also cause nocturia. In women, nocturia often occurs in conjunction with pregnancy, menopause, or uterine prolapse. Nocturia in men is sometimes associated with an enlarged prostate.
Urologic conditions, such as bacterial or viral infections of the urinary tract, bladder, or kidney, can cause nocturia. In addition, prolapse of the bladder or problems with sphincter control decrease the bladder’s ability to hold urine, resulting in frequent nighttime urination. Conditions that affect other body systems can also lead to nocturia, including diabetes and congestive heart failure.
Common causes of nocturia
Nocturia may have common causes including:
- Consuming caffeinated or alcoholic drinks at night
- Drinking a lot of fluids before going to sleep
- Medication side effects
Other causes of nocturia
Nocturia can also have other causes including:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate)
- Bladder infections
- Congestive heart failure (deterioration of the heart’s ability to pump blood)
- Prolapse (slipping out of place) of the bladder
- Type 1 diabetes (chronic condition where the pancreas produces too little or no insulin, so your body cannot process sugar properly)
- Type 2 diabetes (chronic condition in which your body is either resistant to insulin or your pancreas does not produce enough insulin, so your body cannot process sugar properly)
- Tumor of the bladder, ureters or urethra
- Urinary tract infections
- Uterine prolapse (condition when the uterus slips out of place)
Serious or life-threatening causes of nocturia
In some cases, nocturia may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. These include:
- Malignant tumor of the bladder
- Malignant tumor of the prostate
Questions for diagnosing the cause of nocturia
To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your nocturia including:
- How often do you have nocturia?
- When did you start having nocturia?
- Do you have any chronic medical conditions?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
- What medications are you taking?
What are the potential complications of nocturia?
Because nocturia can be due to serious diseases, failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Spread of cancer
- Spread of infection
Nocturia. National Association for Continence. http://www.nafc.org/bladder-bowel-health/nocturia/. Accessed May 24, 2011.
Frequent urination at night. National Sleep Foundation. http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-related-problems/nocturia-and-sleep. Accessed May 24, 2011.
What is nocturia?
Nocturia is the need to urinate during the night. It can occur at any age, but becomes more common with advancing age. Causes of nocturia can be as straightforward as drinking fluids just before bedtime, consuming a large amount of fluid late in the day, drinking beverages with caffeine, or pregnancy.... Read more about nocturia introduction