Those that wake up more than once per night to visit the bathroom may suffer from this lesser-known medical condition.
A new Harris Poll has revealed that one of the leading causes of sleep loss is a medical condition that 72 percent of Americans have never heard of: nocturia.
According to WebMD, people that have to urinate more than once per a typical night’s rest, which is six to eight hours, may have nocturia. It can occur when the kidneys make too much urine, or the bladder cannot hold enough urine, or because of both.
The medical condition can cause sufferers to have irritating and/or severe symptoms, including not being able to fall back asleep after trips to the bathroom, tiredness during the day, trouble concentrating, and an increase in the risk of falls and injury. Additionally, it can lead to many other medical problems, including those related to insufficient amounts of sleep like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and depression.
Nocturia may affect more than a third of adults 18 years of age and older in the United States, noted the Harris Poll. However, not enough people know about it to seek proper help from a doctor.
Those that were questioned in the August survey simply thought that their need to visit the bathroom more than once per night was just a part of the aging process, and 27 percent of the people believed there was nothing that could be done about the issue.
“We see patients who have suffered with nocturia for many years, as it slowly progresses from getting up twice to over four times per night to urinate,” said Benjamin M. Brucker, M.D., a urology and female pelvic medicine specialist at NYU Langone Health.
“Nocturia can have serious implications for an individual’s emotional state and daily life, due to sleep disruption, if not diagnosed and treated. Up until recently, we didn’t have an approved treatment specifically for nocturia.”
So how does nocturia get treated?
The National Association for Continence has many suggestions that are easy to incorporate into daily life, including not having anything to drink, especially caffeine and alcohol, the last three hours before hitting the sheets; eating fruits and vegetable that have natural diuretic properties such as lemons, watermelon, cantaloupe, pears, and peaches; lying down in the late afternoon and elevating legs so that they are higher than the chest for about an hour every day; and wearing compression stockings during the day if there is swelling or edema in the feet or ankles.
For more serious cases, a doctor can issue a prescription for medicine.
The Harris Poll’s online survey of 2,040 Americans is endorsed by the Caregiver Action Network, the National Association for Continence, the Prostate Conditions Education Council, and the Simon Foundation for Continence.
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