Nighttime Urination (nocturnal diuresis)

Frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate at night will interrupt the normal sleep pattern and frequently results in poor attention span and cognitive performance the following day. Often patients will dismiss their frequent urination at night as part of the aging process or related to diuretic therapy (fluid pills) or water consumption. In patients with leg swelling related to the high venous pressure of venous insufficiency, water and protein (serum) leak through the thin-walled veins into the surrounding tissues. The onset of leg edema may be subtle, taking years to accumulate and the number of bathroom trips may slowly increase over the same course of time. The serum which leaks out during the hours of leg dependency (sitting, standing or walking) returns to the venous circulation through the lymphatic system when the legs are elevated even with or above the heart. As this serum is mixed with the venous blood, the kidneys filter the excess water from the blood and store it as urine in the bladder. Once the bladder reaches its capacity, sensory nerves alert one to urinate. The amount of fluid accumulation in the legs usually positively correlates with the number of trips to the bathroom required.

Dr. Magnant Speaking on Nighttime Urination

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