Urology/excessive urination some nights, not others
Pleased to meet you, doctor!
Some nights, I need to urinate 5-6 times, but other nights, I urinate just once or twice.
I am 80+ years old.
What can I do to reduce the excessive trips?
Chris, there are many causes for urinary frequency. At age 80, however, by far the most likely cause is from an enlarged prostate gland. The common etiologies include urinary tract infections, excessive fluid consumption (especially coffee, tea and beer which produce an additive diuretic effect), prostate conditions in men (ie benign or cancerous enlargement, prostatitis, prostatic congestion which is most often due to infrequent ejaculation, etc.), diabetes, urinary stones, a variety of kidney disorders associated with inability to concentrate the urine properly, urinary stones, several types of urinary bladder diseases (ie neuropathic bladder, stones, interstitial cystitis, etc.), overactive bladder syndrome and anxiety. Some individuals develop frequency induced by chemical residues from soaps and detergents in the bath water that may wash up into the bladder and urethra causing inflammation. Therefore, if you are a bath person, discontinue this practice immediately and take only showers. Kidney stones that get lodged in the lower ureter can often have this effect (frequency). Although typically they cause severe pain and blood in the urine, sometimes they only cause severe frequency until passed. Inflammatory or other masses in the pelvis can rest on the bladder and produce the constant urge to void. Because frequency has so many etiologies, you are best seen by a urologist. Basic evaluation would include a history, physical examination, urinalysis and, if indicated, a urine culture. Other tests that might be needed to find the cause include imaging of the kidneys, cystoscopy and urodynamic studies.
If it is determined that your have an enlarged prostate gland, there are several prescription medications that might help such as the alpha blockers (for example Flomax) and drugs to shrink the prostate gland (such as Proscar). The natural product saw palmetto may provide relief in some men. Good luck.