Is Waking Up To Pee At Night A Health Warning? This Person Thinks It Could Be


Men's Health |

Something got you stumped? Check out these questions on issues every guy can relate to and watch us knock ’em out the park.

Some days I’m just too tired for the gym. Is there something else I can do? – James

Sure there is. Ride a bike for 20 minutes – it’s a proven lethargy buster. In a recent University of Georgia study, low-energy but otherwise healthy people who took time out for a 20-minute stationary bike ride three days a week reported an impressive 20% boost in energy over the course of six weeks. If cycling isn’t your thing, you can replicate the study’s results by choosing any exercise that increases your resting heart rate by 50 beats a minute, says exercise physiologist Dean Somerset.

I hear chia seeds have omega-3 fats. Can I just eat those instead of fish? – Marcus

We’d rather you didn’t – chia seeds are no substitute for seafood. Omega- 3s come in three varieties: EPA, DHA and ALA. Those first two, which are plentiful in salmon and tuna, fight inflammation and help build every cell in your body. ALA is found in canola oil, walnuts and chia seeds. To use it, your body has to convert it to DHA or EPA. But the process is inefficient, and only about 10% of the ALA you eat actually makes the switch, says nutrition expert Alan Aragon. So to meet your DHA and EPA quota, be sure to eat 14 to 21 ounces of fatty fish a week. (One palmsized serving is about 170 grams.)

My girl has genital herpes. If we’re safe, what are the odds I’ll get it? – Tony

Very slim, if you’re clever about it. While no form of protection against genital herpes is totally foolproof, you can dramatically lower the odds of transmission with two easy steps: first, ask if she’ll talk to her doctor about taking an antiviral medication. Research has shown that it reduces the odds of becoming symptomatic – as in, dealing with painful lesions – and it cuts the risk of transmission in half. Second, use condoms: they’ll drop your risk even more. (A touch of lubricant outside the condom will make things feel better for both of you.)

I’ve been waking up often to pee. How much nighttime peeing is too much? – Braam

How old are you? It’s not common for young guys to get up more than twice a night to pee, but up to half of men in their seventies do. Generally, it’s nothing to worry about. But in some cases, excessive nocturnal urination can signal a weak heart, diabetes or a kidney infection, says Jesse Mills, director of the Men’s Clinic at UCLA. A simple urine test can rule those problems out. You might also have an enlarged prostate, which is usually easily treatable. To stem your nighttime flow, impose an hour-long no-drink buffer before bedtime. Meanwhile, double down on your gym time: In a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, men between the ages of 55 and 74 who were active for an hour a week were 34% less likely to wake up three or more times a night to relieve themselves. Maintaining a healthy body weight and limiting internal inflammation – two benefits of exercise – may give you more bladder control.

I stood up quickly and the room started spinning. I was so dizzy that I hit the floor. It was scary. What happened? – Phil

Maybe it was dehydration. Maybe it was that fourth old-fashioned. Maybe watching Mad Max: Fury Road on your 75-incher was just too much. No? Chances are you experienced something called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. The key word here? “Benign.” That’s good. It’s different from dizziness, which generally passes in seconds after you stand quickly. It’s also different from orthostatic hypotension, a blood-pressure problem that worsens the longer you stand. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is brought on by dislodged calcium carbonate crystals in your inner ear, says Carol Foster, director of the Balance Laboratory at the University of Colorado Hospital. These crystals relay motion signals to your brain, but if they migrate to the wrong place, you get dizzy. It can take months for the condition to clear up, but you can coerce the crystals back into place with a series of poses that mimic yoga. Ask a doctor to show you how.

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