Those Extra Midnight Trips to the Bathroom Could Be a Warning

Full overnight bladders could translate to dormant diseases for Black men.

Posted: 04/14/2011 10:25 AM EDT
Filed Under health care

Extra Bathroom Trips

African-American men who regularly have to get out of bed more than two times per night should make an appointment for a full physical to rule out any major illnesses or diseases, according to a new study published in the Journal of Urology.

At least one in five men wake up in the middle of the night to empty their bladders multiple times every night, a disorder called nocturia. At least 30 percent of those cases are Black men, which is more than any other ethnicity.

While it is more common among older men, younger men ages 20 to 34 still make up eight percent of all cases. Of course, the frequent bathroom trips could just mean you had one too many sips of water before bed, but nocturia has been tied to the body’s inability to produce concentrated urine (what your body does so you can hold your urine through the night) or a side effect of a particular medication, particularly diuretics. If all these are ruled out by your doctor, though, this condition could be a symptom of one of countless things including diabetes, urinary tract infection, chronic heart failure or even an enlarged prostate.

Some patients were able to find some relief when they made small changes including limiting fluids before bed, daily exercise, cutting back on time spent in bed not asleep or even things as simple as keeping warm by sleeping with an extra blanket.

To learn more about nocturia, visit the Bladder and Bowel Foundation or the National Association for Continence.


(Photo: Angela Peterson /Landov)