What causes excessive urination at night?

November 12, 2012

What causes excessive urination at night?

The condition of needing to urinate excessively at night is called nocturia. But what causes it?

It is normal for urine to reduce in amount at night and it also becomes much more concentrated. This means that for most people they are able to sleep about 8 hours without waking up to go to the bathroom to urinate.

The people who suffer from nocturia which is also classed as excessive urination at night time have to wake up to urinate at night. Always waking up through the night causes many of these people to have a disturbed sleep pattern.

Some of the causes for this disruptive condition are:

  • Constant infections of the urinary tract

  • Chronic renal failure

  • Cystitis

  • Diabetes

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia

  • Too much fluid such as alcohol or caffeine before sleeping

  • Congestive heart failure

  • Levels of high blood calcium

Certain medications contribute to this condition and these are lithium, diuretics, demeclocycline, propoxyphene and phenytoin.

Disorders such as sleep apnea and other associated sleep disorders can also cause excessive urination at night.

For a period of time keep an up to date diary of how often you need to urinate. Keep a record of the levels you urinate. Also keep a record of how much fluid you are drinking throughout the day and evening. Keep a record of your weight and weigh yourself on a daily basis at the same time on the same scales.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms it is important to speak with your doctor:

The amount of time you have to get out of bed throughout the night to urinate is causing concern.

Extreme and excessive urination has continued for several days and there has been no increase in the fluid intake and you are not taking any of the medicines which can cause this.

A physical examination will be carried out by the doctor and they will question you about how you feel. Some examples of questions that you could be asked are:

  • When did the excessive urination begin?

  • How often do you have to get out of bed?

  • Have there been changes in the levels of urine produced?

  • Have you ever had an incident when you have wet the bed?

  • Do you know how much urine you produce each time?

  • Is there anything which makes the problem better or worse?

  • Do you know how much fluid you drink before going to bed?

  • Has your diet been changed?

It may be the doctor carries out the following tests:

  • Urinalysis

  • Blood sugar

  • Fluid deprivation

  • Blood urea nitrogen

  • Serum creatinine

  • Creatinine clearance

  • Osmolality

  • Serum electrolytes

  • Urine culture

  • Urine concentration

The treatment you will be given is dependent on what the actual cause of excessive urination is. If the excess urination occurs at night is because of diuretic medicines you may be advised to take this medication earlier on in the evening.

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