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Frequent Urination at Night

Several papers show that having to urinate frequently at night is often caused by low levels of antidiuretic hormone (1,2) and that taking that hormone can control this condition (3).

During the day, your kidneys clean your body by producing large amounts of urine. When you go to sleep at night, your brain produces large amounts of a hormone called anti-diuretic hormone or ADH for short, that shuts down your kidneys so you can sleep at night. As you age, your brain produces less ADH at night, so many older people have to urinate at night. Taking antidiuretic hormone nasal sprays or pills can help these people sleep through the night.

Even men who have frequent night-time urination after prostate surgery have reduced levels of ADH and can be cured by taking that hormone at bedtime (1). A potential serious side effect is seizures from taking too much water with ADH (4). So, if you take a 400 mg ADH pill or a single ADH nasal spray at bedtime, do not drink fluids after 6 PM.
Also see the report on Chronic Prostatitis

1) G Bodo, P Gontero, C Casetta, M Alpa, G Brossa, R Russo, A Tizzani. Circadian antidiuretic hormone variation in elderly men complaining of persistent nocturia after urinary flow obstruction removal. Scandinavian Journal of Urology and Nephrology 32: 5(SEP 1998):320-324.

2) JG Ouslander, SZ Nasr, M Miller, W Withington, CS Lee, M Wiltshireclement, P Cruise, JF Schnelle. Arginine vasopressin levels in nursing home residents with nighttime urinary incontinence. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 46: 10(OCT 1998):1274-1279.

3) R Asplund, B Sundberg, P Bengtsson. Desmopressin for the treatment of nocturnal polyuria in the elderly: a dose titration study. British Journal of Urology 82: 5 (NOV 1998):642-646. Desmopressin 0.1 mg given at bedtime. 4) MB Donoghue, ME Latimer, HL Pillsbury, JH Hertzog. Hyponatremic seizure in a child using desmopressin for nocturnal enuresis. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 152: 3(MAR 1998):290-292.

Checked 11/19/16

May 16th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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