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Frequent Urination

Although not a serious condition in and of itself, frequent urination can be annoying, particularly when it is disruptive to sleep. Frequent waking in order to urinate is known as nocturia and may cause the sufferer to need to urinate five or six times during the night.

In addition, frequent urination can be an indication of a more serious underlying problem, such as a urinary tract infection, diabetes or a prostate problem.

Causes

There are several conditions that can cause frequent urination. In many cases, it indicates a urinary tract infection. Diabetes, or a problem with the bladder or prostate, may also result in frequent urination. It can also be a side effect of some medications or excessive caffeine intake. Nocturia often occurs in men with enlarged prostates.

Diagnosis

First, your doctor will probably perform a physical exam with particular attention to the abdomen, pelvic and rectal areas. A urine sample may be analyzed for signs of diabetes or urinary tract infection, and blood tests may be used to check for abnormal functioning of the kidneys or other organs.

Treatment

Treatment for frequent urination depends upon the cause. A urinary tract infection will most often be treated with antibiotics. If an underlying condition such as diabetes or enlarged prostate is found, a treatment program will be developed to manage the problem and alleviate the symptoms. Changes in medication or lifestyle habits are sometimes suggested as well.

FAQ

What are some steps I can take to help prevent frequent urination?
Frequent urination is usually a symptom of an underlying problem that may not be preventable. However, you can make lifestyle choices to improve your overall health and reduce risk of serious illness:

  • Keep your weight at a healthy level
  • Stay physically active
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid excessive use of alcohol
  • Reduce your intake of caffeine