Infinity Spine Center Blog

Part 3 (and final): Underrated Indicator of Your Health

How many times did you wake up last night to go pee?

Remember when you were a kid and you pulled an all-nighter?

No, the all-nighter I’m talking about is sleeping all night without waking up to go pee. 

What’s changed?

You’re getting older?

I’m not buying that as the reason and neither should you. 

Our medical friends call nighttime peeing nocturia. And they say that the following can cause nocturia: 

  • diabetes
  • weak pelvic floor
  • bladder prolapse
  • chugging too many fluids before bed
  • kidney infection
  • pregnancy or post-partum (female)
  • enlarged or infected prostate (male)
  • swelling in lower legs
  • overactive bladder
  • dis
  • dat

Nighttime peeing, like your poop and your snot, is one of the major indicators of your state of health. If you are waking up 2-5 times per night to pee, this is a sign that something is out of balance. The challenge is becoming aware of the subtle clues your body is telling you so you can make changes to improve your health. Ultimately, you should be able to make it through the night without having to wake up once to pee.

Food or water is the issue?

Most of the time we hear drinking water too close to bedtime can cause nighttime peeing. What we don’t hear is that food can do it too. That’s because we produce water from the electrical energy in food when it combines with oxygen (air you breathe) and hydrogen (fat and water). If you have electrons and hydrogen entering your cells at night after crushing some Benny’s Pizza, you’ll be creating more water in your cells and you’ll be waking up to pee. 

Don’t get overwhelmed by the science here. All you need to know is that when you eat food and breathe your cells make water. 

IMPORTANT!!!

If you’re ever in Marysville, Ohio, you have to go to Benny’s Pizza. They have the best pizza in the world. 

Benny’s back in the day. You know they have to have the best pizza in the world if they have a Frosttop Root Beer mug on the roof. 

Note: eating cauliflower crust pizza has electrons and hydrogen too. 

Electrolytes, salt, pee, and some other stuff

Sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium are all electrolytes. Electrolytes allow your cells to generate energy and in the perfect balance, your cells function at a higher level. When electrolytes are out of balance the movement of water in and out of your cells is compromised leading to things like swelling, weakness, irregular heartbeat, twitching, and confusion.

Salt, including sea salt, is frequently consumed in high levels and has huge implications on the electrical activity of your cells as well as water movement in and out of your cells. The changes in water movement directly affect your peeing. 

In the scientific literature, there’s a lot of back and forth regarding data on salt.

There’s a popular book which discusses the idea that a diet low in salt causes health issues such as weight gain. One of the studies used to support this claim is a study involving rats on a high-salt diet that experienced weight loss. So humans could also be at risk of weight gain if they to eat too little salt, right? 
Study here

Let’s look a little deeper at this study…

In the study, the rats that were fed a diet low in salt did not gain weight. Instead, rats that were on a high salt diet had malabsorption and poor absorption of fatty acids. If you have poor absorption or malabsorption you’re gonna lose weight! Just like if don’t feel well you have it coming out both ends–you’re gonna shed some pounds. 

Salt, lemon, and water in the morning for your adrenals–
does it work?

A popular piece of advice that you can find on the internet for adrenal health is adding salt to lemon water in the morning. Have a look here at nearly a million results on this at Google. 

While consuming salt can act as a short-term solution, the real issue is likely long-term.

Instead, we may want to ask:

Is your body’s cortisol low because you can’t make cortisol, or is your body choosing not to make cortisol? 

How do you know if your body is choosing not to make cortisol?

-peeing 12 times in a night (you shouldn’t have to wake up to pee)
-anxiety
-poor sleep
-frequent urination
-crave salt
-lack joy or enthusiasm
-afternoon fatigue
-teeth grinding
-sighing
-irritability
-hangry if you are 10 minutes late to lunch
-chug coffee
-loose or hard to pass stool–3 and 4, we adore!
-hard to concentrate
-fidgeting
-heartburn
-poor memory

If you have any of the above due to your psyche getting in the way, go paint a freakin’ picture or do some yin yoga, or somethin’ somethin’!

Dump your psyche!

Is there such a thing as too little salt?

Sure, but this is not the challenge for most when it comes to salt. Scared of too little salt? Have a read

How about sea salt?

Sea salt has very similar sodium levels as table salt. The difference between sea salt and table salt is that sea salt has a LITTLE bit of magnesium and some other minerals making sea salt a poor choice for minerals.  

Should you use sea salt instead of table salt?

IF you use salt, I would recommend that you avoid table salt due to anti-caking agents and other possible additives. 

“But I work out a lot so I need salt.”

Bottom line is that the more salt you consume, the more salt you excrete. 

Your body is smart. If your salt intake is lower, your body will not excrete as much salt. If you are concerned with the possibility of too little salt, I recommend that you track your salt intake and shoot for 1600-2400 mg daily. 

Mining salt with Uncle Bob in Khewara. 

4 Actionable steps to help the nighttime pees

1. Avoid eating dinner too late. Cornerman 101. 

2. Avoid processed foods. They are loaded with salt. Also, if you salt your foods, cut back. This includes sea salt.  Even if you mined your sea salt with Uncle Bob on summer vaca when you were in the foothills of Khewra in Pakistan.

3. Instead, eat foods that have more electrolytes, including vegetables, fruits, seafood, vegetable and bone broth (make your own in your Instant Pot, most in stores are loaded with salt)

4. Another thing that you should consider with regards to nighttime peeing is body control, not just bladder control. I’m not talking about pelvic floor control with is the common go-to. We must find out what’s causing “weakness” in the pelvic floor. If you struggle to do a bodyweight squat, or if your goblet squat is easier than your bodyweight squat, exploring your hip function should be one of your top priorities. Poor hip can lead to increased abdominal pressure causing you to have peeing issues. 

Try this: DON’T LET YOUR PELVIS MOVE, just raise your legs. Hold it for 20 seconds. How’d you do? If you struggle with this, there’s a good chance you’re relying on your abs too much. This can cause peeing issues. 

Have an awesome weekend!

Your Cornerman with love,

Dr. Thoma


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