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The increased consumption of salt can affect our nightly urination
Many older people in particular are likely to be familiar with the problem: they cannot sleep through the night because they often feel the urge to use the toilet. Researchers have now found that the cause of this often lies in the nutrition of those affected and is due to their salt intake.
The scientists at Nagasaki University in Japan discovered in their study that disturbed sleep caused by nightly urination (nocturia) is related to too much salt in the diet. The doctors published the results of their study at this year's European Society of Urology congress in London.
Nocturia affects the quality of life of many older people
Nocturia or repeated urination at night leads to sleep interruptions. The problem rarely affects younger people. But nocturia often causes older people over the age of 60 to experience sleep problems, the experts say. Of course, this greatly affects the quality of life of those affected.
Lack of sleep leads to negative effects
Most people over the age of 60 (and a significant minority under 60) wake up one or more times a night to go to the bathroom. The problem is actually not that serious, but lack of sleep can lead to other negative effects. Stress, irritability and fatigue have a significant negative impact on the quality of life of those affected, the researchers add.
Japanese generally tend to have an above-average salt intake
The Nagasaki University research team led by Dr. Matsuo Tomohiro has studied a group of 321 men and women with an increased salt intake. The experts analyzed whether salt intake leads to problems when sleeping. Japanese often tend to have above-average salt intake, the authors say.
Participants were monitored medically for twelve weeks
The researchers used the study to find out whether reducing the amount of salt leads to a significant increase in urination, both during the day and while sleeping. The patients received guidance and support to reduce salt consumption, the doctors explain. The participants were monitored medically for twelve weeks, and the salt consumption was measured biochemically.
Decreased salt intake leads to a reduction in urination
The advice was quite successful. 223 members of the group were able to reduce their salt intake from 10.7 g per day to 8.0 g per day, the authors explain. 98 subjects increased their average salt intake from 9.6 g to 11.0 g. As a result, the average nighttime urination rate increased from 2.3 times in one night to 2.7 times in one night. The researchers found that reduced salt intake reduced daily urination.
Larger studies are needed
The reduction in the need to go to the toilet at night resulted in a significant improvement in the quality of life of the participants. This is the first study to examine the effects of salt intake on the frequency of urination, says author Dr. Tomohiro. The results have yet to be confirmed by larger studies. Urination at night is a major problem for many older people.
Previous research has mostly focused on the drinks consumed
The results show that simple dietary modification could significantly improve the quality of life for many people, the Japanese scientists explain. This is an important aspect in reducing frequent urination. So far, researchers have generally focused on reducing the amount of drinks consumed. The salt intake was usually not taken into account, the experts add. (as)