Urination is the normal process of excreting fluids and certain substances out of the body. The normal healthy daily amount of urine is 800ml to 2000ml (0.8L to 2L) depending on the amount of your daily intake of water and other fluids. The excessive excretion of urine above 2L is called polyuria, also known as frequent urination.
Frequent Urination is characterized by:
- Having the urge to urinate every 2-3hours.
- Waking up every 2hrs at night to pee (nocturia). An average healthy person can go at least 6hrs of sleep at night without the urge to pee.
- Sudden urge to urinate that cannot be controlled (incontinence).
What is the cause of frequent urination?
- Drinking large amounts of fluid: excessive intake of fluids in the form of water or other kinds of drinks taken above 2 liters per day will cause excretion of over 2 liters of urine.
- Excessive caffeine intake: caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that is legal to consume, unlike most psychoactive substance that requires a prescription or proper medical monitoring. It is found in coffee, energy drinks, or tea. Caffeine increases blood flow through the kidneys triggering more production of urine, which follows with the excessive outflow of urine from the body.
- Anxiety: can be trigger by stage fright, financial issues, or work problems. The fear or worry of certain life’s struggles triggers excess urination in some people or diarrhea.
- Stress incontinence: is leakage of urine from the bladder that is caused by increased pressure to the bladder, such as during coughing or sneezing. Stress incontinence is more common in women.
- Pregnancy: frequent urination in pregnancy is as a result of hormone changes in women and pressure on the bladder caused by expanded uterus containing the fetus.
- Alcohol intake: alcohol reduces the production of vasopressin. Vasopressin is the hormone that tells your kidney to reabsorb water in order to prevent excess excretion of urine. Still, when this hormone is partially suppressed by alcohol, the kidney flushes out more water, which means more peeing for you.
- Use of diuretics: these are medications that are used in hypertension or in edematous diseases that help the body excrete excess fluids. Examples of diuretics are furosemide and spironolactone.
- Diabetes mellitus: is a metabolic disease that is characterized by excess sugar(glucose) in the blood. The more glucose you have in your blood, the more the kidneys work to remove them, and glucose is a substance that carries water out of the body as it is being excreted from the kidneys. Some of the other signs of diabetes are excessive thirst due to excessive excretion of water, tiredness, extreme hunger, slow wound healing, and visual problems.
- Excessive intake of watermelon: Watermelon is a water-based fruit and has a diuretic effect, the intake of it will cause you to use the restroom more times in the day than usual.
- Benign prostate hyperplasia: is the enlargement of the prostate gland that is not cancerous in nature.
- Overactive bladder is the excessive activity of the bladder that causes urinary urgency (sudden urgent need to urinate). It is common in women.
- Cystitis: Inflammation of the bladder that is usually caused by a bacteria infection.
- Spinal cord injury: can lead to damage to the nerves that control the bladder; this can cause urinary incontinence.
- Graves disease (hyperthyroidism): is an autoimmune disease that leads to the overproduction of thyroid hormones. This causes excessive activities of the body’s functions, for example, frequent urination, tremor, palpitations, arrhythmias, weight loss, increase in heat sensitivity, and irritability.
- Sexually transmitted infections: for instance, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomonas, are some of the major causes of frequent painful urination.
How can I stop frequent urination?
- Reduce fluid intake to a healthy amount. Water is good for you, but excessive consumption is not a good idea.
- Quit alcohol consumption (Reducing intake of alcohol will not be enough because even a glass of alcohol can cause polyuria).
- Quit or reduce intake of caffeine (a cup or 2 of coffee a day is okay).
- Reduce intake of fluids at night.
- Diet modifications, for example, quit watermelon and all other foods that may cause you to pee often.
- Kegel exercises will tighten your pelvic floor muscles.
Lastly, If your frequent urination includes back or side pain, abdominal pain, chills, vomiting, or fever, you should seek emergency medical care.