Nocturia with a grain of salt
What is Nocturia
Nocturia is a type of sleep disruption which is triggered by the need to urinate repeatedly throughout the night. It is a chronic medical condition that typically affects people over the age of 50. This condition disturbs both men and women in a similar proportion, though the cause of the problem may differ between sexes.
The disruption of healthy sleep patterns that results from nocturia can greatly affect a person’s quality of life. These repeated and unavoidable disruptions often have a significant impact on the individual’s health and well-being. Nocturia is not a problem to be taken lightly, and certainly not with a grain of salt.
Nocturia could simply be the result of a high level of fluid intake. However, it can also be the result of a bladder or prostate condition, the side effect of drugs such as lithium or diuretics, an excess of vitamin D in the system, a sleeping disorder such as sleep apnea, or even untreated diabetes. In all these cases, the individual affected should consult with a health professional, as self-diagnostics can be misleading and lead to even bigger problems.
A recent study conducted by a team of Japanese scientists suggests that in many cases, and regardless of the medical cause of nocturia, reducing the amount of salt in a person’s diet can be beneficial. It should be noted that the said study excluded functional abnormalities affecting urination — such as a neurogenic bladder. The subjects of the study who adhered to a regimen that reduces the salt intake also reduced the number of nocturia occurrences by over 50% — from 2.3 to 1.4 — on average. The results of the study, which have not been published yet, were announced during the 32nd Annual EAU Congress. The authors concluded that reducing the overall salt intake can be beneficial, especially for those who suffer from nocturia and have responded poorly to medication.