Health Watch -- Fluids and Elimination: Nighttime Risks

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we've been talking about fluids as they go into and out of your body. Previously, we discussed the disruption that having to go to the bathroom during the night can cause. In many cases, avoiding fluids before bedtime can help. But there may be other causes.

Dr. Philippe Zimmern, a urologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says these causes can include increased fluid production at night or reduced bladder capacity. More serious causes include diabetes, congestive heart failure and sleep disorders. Doctors can find the cause by tracking your fluid intake, medications and your bathroom habits, in addition to other tests.

Nighttime bathroom breaks can be serious for the elderly because they increase the risk for falls. Keep floors clear, use nonskid flooring, and make sure there's adequate lighting.


May 2006

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