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Julie  Stachowiak, Ph.D.

Q. I have to get up several times during the night to visit the bathroom. Is this related to my MS?

By May 21, 2007

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A. Probably. It is estimated that 96% of us will experience some form of bladder dysfunction at some point. The clinical name for what you are describing is “noturia,” which is defined by different sources as “excessive urination at night,” “needing to rise from sleep to urinate” or “getting up two or more times during the night to urinate.” I think this is a little misleading, as it is the urge to urinate, and not the volume that gets us up, as often there is just a little "dribble" after all that effort.

I know that this can be a very frustrating symptom. Spending time in the middle of the night not sleeping makes fatigue worse, and for me that can aggravate my other MS symptoms. If this problem significantly interferes with sleep, see a doctor.

Some tips which may help:

  • Stay cool at night. Getting hot will aggravate all symptoms, including urinary frequency.
  • Do NOT try to manage this by cutting back on liquids, as this may make things worse, as well as lead to a urinary tract infection (UTIs).
  • Drink cranberry juice to prevent UTIs. I have also found that for some reason it helps these symptoms at night.
December 2, 2012 at 10:06 pm
(1) Kendra says:

I’m a fast reader and fairly ruthless when I detect evidence that the commenter has not read the post. Gee whiz, it’s not that hard.
All it really takeѕ is a little PRΕTENDIΝG tо have
read the article.

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