Your Health: When to drink water

It's important to drink water to have healthy kidneys, according to doctors.
It's important to drink water to have healthy kidneys, according to doctors.

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - As the temperatures rise and outdoor activities increase, it is important to drink lot of fluids.  But many people complain that when they drink a lot of water they feel the urge to urinate long after bedtime - some even several times per night.

Dr. Samuel Trotter is a urologist who says not to stop drinking just because the urge is more frequent. He says the kidneys have a special job at night.

"When you're upright during the day, you tend to retain fluid in the legs, in the lower extremities, and then what happens at night - that fluid is mobilized back into the system, if you will," said Trotter.

He says that kicks the kidneys into overdrive.

"The kidneys will auto regulate the system and regulate the fluid at night. And as people, men and women, get a little older, they will find themselves getting up more at night," he added.

Trotter says there are a variety of reasons for this, including a basic need to go more often and sleep patterns changing. In men, he says the prostate gets larger and interferes with the flow, and the bladder muscle has to work a little harder.

"A lot of people may notice their shoes are tight, socks are making marks on their ankles, and they get up in the morning and their legs look entirely different and that's from mobilizing that fluid," he said.

He says other health problems can also affect urine output.

"A lot of people when they get older will start developing heart problems, congestive heart failure. The heart pump is not as efficient and one of the treatments becomes diuretic. And what diuretics are really doing, in a simplistic sort of way, is kicking the kidneys into overdrive and making them make more urine," Trotter said.

He says many people take their diuretic at night. He says it's a multi-factorial problem needing a multi-factorial approach. So if you have concerns - see your doctor.

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