A Single Nightly Trip to the Bathroom Could Signify This Health Issueby Lara DeSanto Health Writer
Everybody wakes up in the wee hours to pee, right? Well, a new study shows that having to urinate even just once at night — a condition called nocturia — could be a sign that your blood pressure is high.
The study, presented at the 83rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Circulation Society, assessed 3,749 Japanese adults who had an annual health check in 2017 that measured blood pressure and noted whether patients had nocturia. The study’s authors found that nocturia was significantly associated with high blood pressure, or hypertension (140/90 mmHg or higher).
"We found that getting up in the night to urinate was linked to a 40 percent greater chance of having hypertension," said study author Satoshi Konno, M.D., in a press release. "And the more visits to the toilet, the greater the risk of hypertension."
While the study results don’t prove that nocturia directly causes high blood pressure, the authors still recommend anyone with that nighty need get their blood pressure checked — in addition to their salt intake. Past research has found high salt consumption to be linked with nocturia as well — although salt may not be as big of a problem in the U.S. compared with Japan, where the study was done and people tend to eat more salty foods, like seafood.
In the meantime, there are proven steps you can take to lower your blood pressure if it’s moving up-up-up. They include:
Follow the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. This means focusing on fruits, veggies, and whole grains; fat-free and low-fat dairy products; and fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Cut down on your sodium intake. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends you get less than 2,300 mg per day. Remember, that’s only about a teaspoon of salt.
Drink less alcohol and quit smoking.