What Are the Causes of Nocturia?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2018
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There are many potential causes of nocturia, because the problem is a symptom rather than a disease or illness itself. If a person has an issue with his or her fluid balance, which can be caused by a number of problems ranging from diabetes to kidney failure, then this may result in nocturia. A swollen prostate, conditions affecting the brain and problems with the urinary tract also are common causes of nocturia.

Nocturia is the name given to a group of symptoms that makes a person need to urinate multiple times during the night. It is considered a symptom rather than a condition in its own right, because it can be caused by a number of problems and doesn’t occur on its own. Nocturia is not the correct term for a person who unintentionally wets the bed while sleeping.

There are many potential causes of nocturia. One of the most common is if the person has a problem with his or her fluid balance. This can lead to the patient needing to urinate excessively during the night. Problems with fluid balance can be caused by a variety of problems, including diabetes, increased amounts of fluid intake and kidney failure. If a person drinks large amounts of alcohol before going to bed at night, then this also is likely to cause the problem.


Another of the most common causes of nocturia is a swollen prostate. This is a condition known as a benign prostatic hyperplasia, and it is frequently seen in older men. When the prostate becomes enlarged, it can press on the tube leading from the bladder to the penis, known as the urethra. This means the bladder can’t empty completely and forces the person to visit the restroom more often. Although this is a common cause of nocturia, the problem is seen just as much in women, in whom it can be caused by other conditions.

There are a number of other potential causes of nocturia. These can include problems in the brain that affect control of the bladder, and conditions affecting parts of the urinary tract. Conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis are known to cause this symptom in some situations. Pregnancy, inflammation of the urinary tract or a urinary tract infection (UTI) can all result in nocturia. The exact cause of the condition needs to be carefully determined by a doctor, because treatment depends on what’s causing the symptom.



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