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Why do I have to go to the toilet during the night?

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Nocturia, having to get up during the night to go to the toilet, is more likely to occur as people get older. The problem is extremely common among older men because it can be caused by an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia). The prostate presses on the tube called the urethra and prevents the bladder from emptying completely. Therefore, there is a need for more frequent trips to the toilet.

Other causes of nocturia:

  • Swollen legs associated with a heart condition
  • Taking a diuretic drug that causes more urination
  • Having a different  ‘body clock’ which causes a normal daytime urination pattern to occur at night. For example, if you work many night shifts and then try to get back on a sleeping at night schedule.
  • If the bladder is unstable or irritated as a result of cystitis (infection of the bladder).
  • Diabetes, if it is not controlled. This leads to sugar appearing in the urine, which stimulates extra urine to be produced.

How do I deal with nocturia?

  • Drink your normal liquid intake but earlier in the day
  • Avoid drinking late at night, especially tea, coffee or beer.
  • Keep a diary of how much you drink, what you drink and when. This will help you identify situations that may make the nocturia worse.
  • See you doctor or urologist.

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