A man tests his blood glucose levels

Nocturia and Diabetes: What's the Link?

A normal body produces about two liters of urine a day, and at least two thirds of that are excreted during the waking hours. During sleep, the body automatically increases the concentration of urine, so that less fluid is produced while still getting rid of the same amount of waste product.

Nocturia, in which you urinate more than normal during the sleep cycle, is not itself considered a diagnosable condition. Rather, it is generally a result of something else or a symptom of an underlying illnesses. Diabetes mellitus is an underlying condition nocturia often occurs with. Here is a look at just why diabetes causes nocturia. 

What is Nocturia?

Nocturia is defined as having more than about a third of urine production occur at night. This leads to multiple wake ups to go to the bathroom. Nocturia may result from excessive urine production in general, excessive urine production at night, a low bladder capacity, or a combination of these things. 

What is Diabetes?

There are a few different types of diabetes, most of which have a similar basis. Diabetes mellitus consists of types 1 and 2. In diabetes type 1, the cells in the pancreas responsible for making insulin are mistakenly destroyed by the immune system. The pancreas cannot produce a sufficient amount of insulin, which normally keeps blood sugar levels in check by turning glucose into energy.  

Diabetes type 2, on the other hand, either means insufficient insulin production or that the insulin is produced, but the body fails to use it efficiently. The glucose is left to sit in the blood and cause problems.

Gestational diabetes is when diabetes mellitus occurs during pregnancy. 

The Link

Nocturia often results from conditions that create fluid imbalance in the body. With the presence of of untreated diabetes, blood glucose levels get extremely high. When this sugar stays in the blood, a whole host of other problems can occur.

The higher level of sugar in the urine actually prompts the body to make more urine, thus causing excessive urine production that results in nocturia. When diabetes is managed, glucose levels are generally maintained at a normal level, which means there is no extra sugar that has to be disposed of, thus eliminating the overproduction of urine. 

Last Updated: July 26, 2016