I don't have to pee now, but in 8 hours I probably will
July 16, 2008 8:48 PM   Subscribe

I know YANMD, but wondering if others may be able to shed some light on the way my body stores/uses/retains water during the summer.

Summary: I drink a lot of water, but barely have to pee during the day - it all catches up to me at night, waking me up to pee every couple of hours.

Longer: On an average day, I drink about 80 oz. of water, throughout the course of the day. In the mornings, I'll have one cup of coffee. Throughout the day, despite frequent intake of water, I rarely have to pee. It's like my body stores the water for perspiration and cooling during the Boston summer and the active part of my day. When I'm mostly inactive (say, 10:30pm or later, and when I'm sleeping), the water catches up to me and I have to pee, every couple of hours. This is just totally irritating, because I frequently have to get up to pee (with a full bladder every time), several times a night. Even shortly before normal wake-up time, my bladder would be full - even if I haven't had anything to drink, since 9pm the night before.

As far as my activity levels during the day, I'm a grad student - I research, study, work, etc. I don't "work out" in the conventional sense, but I don't have a car, so I walk a decent amount almost every day, carrying books/groceries/randomstuff. I also go for an hour walk in the evenings, three times a week. So I don't break into big sweats, but it's not uncommon to have a constant mild perspiration walking about, a few times throughout the day. I'm in my mid-20's, otherwise healthy, and don't feel any complications from this, other than the fact it interrupts otherwise blissful moments of sleep. When it's colder out (hence, less perspiration, less body cooling) I pee as normal, throughout the day. But I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions to, maybe re-train my have-to-pee moments? (How????). Stopping drinking water earlier in the day isn't an option - even if I don't drink anything past 7pm, and go to bed at midnight, I'll still have to get up during the night to pee out any excess. How can I not be woken up by needing to pee 3-4 times a night??
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
My doctor (endocrinologist) solved this for me a few weeks ago...after years of annoyance. He said I'm storing it in my tissue during the day (i.e. fluid retention from not having the smallest girth) and that when I lie down, I remove it. He said to put my feet up as much as possible during the day.

From what I know about fluid retention... salt is also bad. So.... I try to put my feet up during the day, lower my salt intake and not drink too much after about 8.30pm.

I'm not cured, but it's a lot better. Largely because I know why it's happening, I'm sure.

I'm also pregnant... which is why I was seeing my endocrinologist... but I've had the night time wee wee problem for years.

Best of luck with it possum.
posted by taff at 9:03 PM on July 16, 2008

I've had bladder issues before. The durn thing runs on automatic most of our lives, but it annoyingly has a psychological component. You can literally "teach" yourself to have bad urination habits. Sometimes there are things you can do to your diet (as taff notes). But you can also start doing things like making sure you have a really good pee before you go to bed, and peeing thoroughly whenever you do so. It's like a rechargeable battery with "memory" problems -- do it too often the wrong way and your bladder's nervous system signals can get bollixed up and either the "gotta go" signal comes when you have only a small amount or the "whew, all done" signal comes when you have a bunch still in there.

But be aware that the bladder can be affected by the prostate. If you're over 35, you should have yours checked out. It may be enlarged or even (gulp) malignant. You may also want to look at blood glucose (diabetes) and other glandular things.

Or you could simply have grown a paunch recently and your belly is putting too much pressure on the bladder. (Maybe not, if lying down makes it worse and sitting up doesn't. But it should be mentioned.)
posted by dhartung at 12:32 AM on July 17, 2008

IANAD. In a recent Danish study, sleep deprivation was found to be a cause of excess night time urine production. Other things that could be contributing to your issues are increased blood pressure, and decreased production of urine inhibiting hormones or the efficacy of such hormones on the kidney's function (ADH - anti-diuretic hormone), which are a frequent effect of aging in men, too. Tests exist to check for and classify the cause of diabetes insipidus, which is a label for various chronic versions of a condition producing some of your symptoms.
posted by paulsc at 4:04 AM on July 17, 2008

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