Why Do I Urinate So Often?
People urinate on average 6 to 7 times a day, and any frequency from 4 to 10 times is considered normal. If you urinate more than 10 times a day, it doesn’t necessarily mean something is abnormal. Frequent urination becomes concerning when it interferes with your quality of life or is an indication of another medical illness.
There are different reasons why you may urinate frequently, some are completely harmless, but some are medical conditions that require your attention. Here are some common reasons this article will discuss:
- Increased fluid intake
- Ingestion of diuretics
- Urinary retention
- Enlarge prostate (male-only)
- Uterine and bladder prolapse
- Overactive bladder
As a rule of thumb, if frequent urination is accompanied by pain or discomfort in your lower abdomen, groin, back, or your sides, nausea or vomiting, fever, painful urination, or bloody, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, it is best to seek immediate medical help.
Two common causes of frequent urination that are not due to underlying conditions are an increase in fluid intake and the ingestion of diuretics.
If you are drinking lots of water, soda, juice, or eating lots of water-rich foods such as fruits, soup, and porridge, you may urinate more as a result.
Alcohol, artificial sweeteners, and caffeine are common diuretics that make you urinate more. If you are prescribed with diuretic pills to treat diseases such as hypertension or diabetes, you can also expect to urinate more.
Frequent urination is usually no cause for concern unless urination has been so excessive that it brings the body’s level of sodium and potassium to a dangerously low level. If that is the case, you would experience symptoms of confusion, nausea, vomiting, and headache for low sodium level and fatigues, irregular or fast heartbeat, and muscle cramps and weakness for low potassium level.
In the cases of the ingestion of diuretics or excessive fluid, you may urinate frequently but each time with a full bladder. There may be other underlying causes that need medical attention
if you urinate frequently with little urine volume, if the urge to urinate is sudden and urgent, and if urination is painful or requires considerable force.
Some potential causes of frequent urination that requires medical attention are:
Urinary retention refers to the inability of the bladder to empty completely. Nerve damage, physical blockages along the urinary tract, and the effects of drugs can all cause UR. When the bladder is not completely void of urine, you may soon get the urge to urinate again. Thus, one of the potential symptoms of UR is frequent urination.
If you need to urinate frequently, but each time little urine comes out and your bladder still feels full, these can be signs of urinary retention. Having chronic, untreated UR can increase your risk of bladder infection, kidney infection, and kidney damage. Therefore it is important to get properly diagnosed and treated if you suspect you have UR.
To treat UR, doctors can prescribe intermittent catheters—hollow tubes that are inserted into the bladder for a short duration several times daily to drain urine.
Urinary retention and frequent urination can be symptoms of other underlying conditions such as prostate enlargement, or bladder and uterine prolapse.
The prostate is located under the bladder neck, and it encloses the urethra, a tube that leads urine away from the bladder and out of the body. If the prostate enlarges, it can block the urethra, making it hard for urine to flow out of the bladder.
If you are an older man, you are especially at risk for a non-cancerous form of prostate enlargement called BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). BPH happens because the prostate naturally enlarges as men age. Prostate enlargement can also be due to other reasons such as prostate infection, inflammation, or cancer, which can affect men of all ages.
Uterine prolapse and bladder prolapse
The prolapse of the bladder and uterus can cause symptoms of frequent urination, urinary retention, and leakage of urine. When the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder and weaken, either or both organs can slip out of place and drop.
Some of the prolapses’ other symptoms include:
- pelvic pain
- a sensation of something falling out of the vagina
- a bulge in the vagina
- seeing tissues protrude from the vagina
Bladder and uterine prolapse is more common in older women but can occur to both sexes at different ages as well. Those at a higher risk of prolapse are women who have gone through multiple pregnancies and vaginal childbirth, women who are perimenopause or post-menopause, elderly women, and Hispanic or Caucasian women.
People who have damages to the nerves that control their bladder may cause their bladders to be overactive and contract frequently. This causes repeating, strong, and sudden urges to urinate when the bladder is not full yet. The leakage of urine can also occur as a result of an overactive bladder.
Overactive bladder can be caused by diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, stroke, or any condition that damages the nerves.
Neurogenic bladder is the name of the condition for when nerve damage causes bladder malfunctions. Overactive bladder is a type of neurogenic bladder, the other type is called underactive bladder, which is when the bladder fails to contract when it’s full, causing urinary retention.
Frequent urination and excessive thirst are early warning signs of undiagnosed diabetes mellitus (type 1 and 2 diabetes). The excessive urination is the body’s attempt at flushing excess glucose out. Even for people who have been diagnosed, a surge in blood sugar levels can also trigger frequent urination with large volumes.
Frequent urination is one symptom of urinary tract infection, some of the others are:
- Pain and burning sensation during urination
- Bloody urine—urine that appears pink, red, or brown
- Cloudy urine
- foul-smelling urine
- Pressure and discomfort in the lower abdomen
- Fever, chills, and nausea
This list does not contain all the possible causes of frequent urination, other possible causes are interstitial cystitis, kidney stones, pregnancy, tumor or cancer of the bladder, diabetes insipidus and constipation. If you are concerned with the frequency of your bathroom trips, it is best to seek diagnosis and treatment from your doctor. This article is not for self-diagnosis purposes nor does it act as medical advice.
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