Have you ever had one of those nights where you felt like you should move your pillow and blanket to the bathroom? One of those nights where it seems like you are just walking back and forth having a wee? Your not alone. 1 in 3 adults over the age of 30 make at least two trips to the bathroom every night. And while the majority of those who are dealing with nocturia are usually over the age of 60, it can happen at any age. If you are experiencing this problem, it is best to address it now as the occurrences of bathroom trips increase with age.
Researchers have identified two major causes of nocturia:
- Nocturnal Polyuria. This occurs when there is an overproduction of urine at night. According to the International Continence Society, this type of nocturia is defined by a nighttime urine volume that is greater than 20-30% of the total 24 hour urine volume.
- Global Polyuria. A major cause of nocturia that consists of both day and nighttime urine overproduction.
Due to obvious anatomical differences, men and women experience nocturia for different reasons. Women generally experience nocturia as a consequence of childbirth, menopause, and/or pelvic organ prolapse. In men, nocturia can be directly attributed to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate. Additional factors that can contribute to nocturia in both sexes include:
- Behavioral patterns. This is something you have conditioned your body to do as a routine
- Diuretic medications
- Overactive bladder treatment
- Excessive fluids before bedtime
- Diminished nocturnal bladder capacity. Urine production exceeds the bladder capacity causing the individual to be awakened in order to void.
- Fluid redistribution
- Watermelon acts as a diuretic
- Celery acts as a diuretic
- Cucumber acts as a diuretic
POSSIBLE UNDERLYING CONDITIONS OF NOCTURIA
Nocturia, as described above, can be a result of excess fluids before bedtime, medications, alcohol, caffeine, reduced bladder capacity, or diuretic medications. Yet, while nocturia can occur because of these factors, sometimes it is a symptom of a greater problem. Certain conditions can alter the way in which your body functions causing urine to be passed in the evening and during sleep. Such conditions include:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Diabetes insipidus
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Vascular disease
- Restless leg syndrome
- Sleep disorders
Natural Remedies for Nocturia:
Witch hazel, also known as Hamamelis virginiana, is an herb that may be helpful in treating your nocturia. A member of the hamamelidaceae family, witch hazel is a shrub that grows throughout the eastern United States and Canada. Witch hazel has an astringent taste and possesses cooling and drying tendencies. The bark of the shrub is used to help treat numerous health complaints, including nocturia.
Gotu kola is an herbal remedy that may be beneficial in treating your nocturia. Also known as Centella asiatica, gotu kola is an herbaceous perennial plant native to India, China, Indonesia, Australia and Madagascar. Gotu kola is a slender, creeping plant that has a spicy taste and possesses cooling tendencies. The entire plant is used for medicinal purposes. According to Ed Smith, an herbalist and author of the book “Therapeutic Herb Manual,” gotu kola has been used to enhance the integrity and vascularization of connective tissue, including the connective tissue that composes the innermost lining of the bladder.
Saw palmetto, also known as Serenoa repens, is an herb that may be helpful in treating your nocturia. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, saw palmetto is a small palm tree whose fruit was used for centuries by the Seminole Tribe of Florida for medicinal purposes. Saw palmetto, a member of the palm family, has a sweet taste and drying tendencies. The whole ripe fruit of the plant is used to help treat many health problems, especially problems of your urinary tract.
Grapefruit functions as a powerful antioxidant. The fruit and the natural juice contain an enzyme that detoxes the blood and circulatory system and relieves symptoms of nocturia. The fruit also delivers important nutrients to the body supporting general health at the same time.
Rice vinegar offers a number of healthful benefits that also help treat nocturnal urination. Vinegar is a powerful antiseptic, so it cleanses the system of any bacteria that may be contributing to the condition. Also, the compound contains nearly 20 amino acids which support cell function and regulation as well as general circulatory health.
The truth is not only can nocturia prevent you from getting a great nights sleep, it can also have an under lying cause you are not aware of. As a precautionary measure speak with your family health practitioner and let him/her know what you are going through so they can rule out any other health issues.
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