pumpkin pie

How often do you have to get up in the night and trek off to the bathroom? Nocturia (nighttime urination) is a pesky problem for a lot of people. We recently heard from a reader who reported that taking pumpkin seed oil reduced the need to rise at night to urinate. It also seemed to prevent urinary tract infections. Pumpkin seeds and their oil have a reputation for easing urinary symptoms associated with enlarged prostate glands in men. One reader who read this post had a bright idea: pumpkin pie!

Will Pumpkin Pie Prevent Nocturia?

Q. I read in your column that pumpkin seed oil could reduce both urinary tract infections and nighttime bathroom visits. Is there a possibility that eating pumpkin pie would have the same effects as eating the seeds? That sure would be a tasty way to solve the problem!

Don’t Count on Pumpkin Pie:

A. Although pumpkin pie is very popular this time of year, we’re afraid that it doesn’t contain any pumpkin seeds. We doubt that it will be any help against frequent nighttime urination.

There are, however, a few things you might want to try. Start with some detective work: try to figure out how often you have to urinate. Is it all day long as well as at night? Overactive bladder shows up around the clock but can make nocturia worse.

What Are You Drinking?

Consider drinking more fluid in the morning and cutting back towards the end of the day. Less fluid in the afternoon and evening means less you have to get rid of overnight, but you don’t want to cut back so much that you get dehydrated.

Cut the Caffeine:

Watch out for caffeine consumption. In one study of young women with overactive bladder syndrome, those who consumed more caffeine had more trouble (Journal of Women’s Health, Feb. 2018). They also drank more carbonated beverages. A review of treatments for overactive bladder concluded that cutting caffeine, reducing fluid intake, training the muscles of the pelvic floor and undergoing acupuncture could all be helpful (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, July 2016).

Put Your Legs Up:

If your legs swell significantly during the day, that fluid will want to find its way out of your body at night. Spend some time in the afternoon with your legs elevated, and contemplate support hose to prevent the swelling. If it’s significant, be sure to bring it to your doctor’s attention. Edema could signal a serious health problem that should be addressed.

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  1. Kathleen

    No, but it does make my face break out every time i have a piece – GUARANTEED!

  2. Bob
    Western New York

    After reading your article regarding pumpkin seed oil I started taking one pumpkin seed oil capsule with some light food an hour or so before I turn in for the night. It took about 10 days but it has helped. I still get up in the night to urinate but not as often. Any improvement is nice.

  3. Paula

    I’d always had great bladder retention, but after two babies, and once I got to my late forties, I lost it – as I thought, forever. To my surprise, however, I am completely back to my youthful ways after doing Pilates once a week for two years now. It turned out it was my weak core muscles! I now go a whole night without having to pee. Yipeee!

  4. Mat R.

    Pumpkin seed oil has increased my urination at night. Thanks for tip but no thank you.

  5. Mary

    I started the pumpkin seed oil last month after I read your article. Before I started using PSO, when I urinated it was like a slow-going dried-up creek. Now, I won’t say it’s Niagara Falls but there is much more volume to the “outflow”.

  6. Mike

    Do squash (butternut, acorn,) seeds have the same results as pumpkin seeds?

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