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Over 20% of Men May Have Bladder Problems

A new study has found that a surprising 1 in 5 US men wake up at least twice nightly to empty their bladders. This condition, known as nocturia, can contribute to poor health and may signal an underlying medical problem.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Birmingham VA Medical Center and the University of Alabama at Birmingham and published in the February 2011 issue of the Journal of Urology.

For the study, the researchers recruited 5,300 men of at least 20 years of age. The researchers found that 21% of the men said that in the past month they had gotten up at least twice per night to urinate.

These high rates are alarming because frequent overnight trips to the bathroom can be a sign of other health conditions such as diabetes, urinary tract infections, chronic heart failure and an enlarged prostate.

These sleep disruptions can also cause problems due to lack of sleep ranging from depression to a general lack of alertness throughout the day.

Nocturia becomes more common as you age. This is partly due to a higher rate of medical conditions associated with age. However, it can also be a result of the decreased bladder capacity that comes with age.

The main take away from this study is that if you frequently wake up to urinate during the night, it is important to discuss it with your doctor.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce symptoms. In fact, a recent study found that certain lifestyle changes helped more than half the participants in the study. These changes included fluid restriction, limiting any excess hours in bed, moderate daily exercise and keeping warm while sleeping.

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