Drinking the recommended eight to ten glasses of fluids daily can be hazardous to your health. This is particularly true if liquids are consumed within an hour before bedtime. You very well might be dehydrating yourself!
You ask, “How can that be”?
Hyponatremia – a low blood sodium concentration in the kidneys. The bladder is getting full too often and causing frequent urinations. Early and frequent emptying of the bladder prohibits the kidneys to concentrate the fluids and hydrate the blood system. The kidneys also need ample enough time to process out the toxins before the fluid is expelled from the system. These processes require fluids to remain in the kidneys long enough to filter out toxins and maintain fluid in the blood system to avoid dehydration.
A lot of fluid intake on a regular basis can habitually wash out the medulla, the area in the kidney that concentrates fluids to cleanse and hydrate. This can eventually result in a coma if it continues for a long period of time. The kidneys are designed to do the most work of this nature while we are asleep, which is one very important reason to avoid drinking anything an hour before bedtime and throughout the night. Another reason is to be able to stay asleep without getting disturbed by an irritable blader having to be emptied.
How many times a day is it considered normal to empty the bladder?
This will vary from one person to the next depending on many factors, however in general, six to eight times throughout the day and none during the sleep period. In general, the need to empty the bladder averages four times after consuming 33 ounces which is equivalent to either 1 liter or 4 cups of liquid.
Some of the conditions that factor in to bladder frequency are:
- age may have an effect on the elasticity of the bladder
- muscle strength of the pelvis floor
- some bladders are smaller
- bladder capacity averages two cups
- medicine that has a diuretic affect
- activity level
- thyroid and pancreas health
- caffeine and alcohol consumption
- overactive bladder and urgency
In the event your bladder frequency is over nine times a day plus once or more during sleep, and your regular intake is considered a lot, you may choose to decrease the amount. Waking up three or more times in the middle of sleeping to empty the bladder is considered excessive and referred to as “nocturia”.
Any one or all of the sensations of burning, straining, pain, or urgency can be a symptom of an infection. The council of a qualified physician is recommended particularly if it persists over a few days and includes a discharge, sudden urges, back pain, or fever and chills.
Infections do not occur nearly as often in men as they do women due to having longer urethras. Women’s are much shorter and positioned as such that an occasional infection is not unusual. Therefore, it’s suggested that men take these symptoms seriously also, if not even moreso to avoid serious complications caused by not having it checked out sooner. It’s advisable to rule out possible conditions such as an std, chlamydia, and prostatitis.
When reducing the amount of water consumption, or fluid intake in general, a weaning off process is recommended. Reduce by one glass each day the first week, then two glasses the second week, and so on. All liquid drank within an hour and a half before bedtime is suggested to omit or exclude the first week as this will allow the kidneys the time necessary to concentrate and process the fluids from the day. This is a suggestion only and the actual fluids to exclude are best decided on by the individual.
“Urinary incontinence” is an entirely other matter and has to do with bladder control, incidence and how often. Urinary control relies on the finely coordinated activities of the smooth muscle tissue of the urethra and bladder, skeletal muscle, and autonomic nervous system. It’s recommended to avoid making a habit of holding it for lengthy periods of time.
Examples of sudden onset (acute) conditions that can result in incontinence are childbirth, medicinal side effects, limited physical mobility, and urinary tract infection. Long term (chronic) conditions may be caused by brain or spinal injury, blocked urethra, a weak bladder muscle, weak pelvic floor muscles, nerve disorders, or a birth defect.
The kidneys and bladder are a major part of the system involved in filtering out toxins from the body and hydration maintenance. It is important for good health to assure that they are functioning as well as possible. If you have questions or problems in this matter, please seek the assistance of a physician or urologist about your concerns.