All human beings have the need to urinate for about four to eight times a day. Urination is a natural process by which the body gets rid of waste products that would otherwise cause complications in case of accumulation. The number of times a person feels the need to urinate in a day is dependent on the health of an individual, their age and their fluid consumption. Urination has two types of health complications, one is urinary incontinence while the other is urinary frequency. In this article we will talk about urinary frequency, also known simply as frequency in some literature, the causes of frequent urination and how to stop frequent urination. The difference between frequency and incontinence is that frequency simply means feeling the urge to urinate more often than normal whereas incontinence is the inability to control one’s bladder function and thus necessitating urination frequently.
There are multiple causes of urinary frequency, all of which are easily diagnosed and can be treated. Urinating more than eight times a day counts as urinary frequency. The risk factors include several factors encompassing simple lifestyle choices to more complex health choices. It is important to understand the different causes of urinary frequency to better understand its prevention and treatment. Let us take a look at what causes frequent urination in both men and women.
Causes frequent urination
Diabetes is a medical condition in which the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels does not function properly, resulting in very high blood sugar. There are two types of diabetes, insipidus and mellitus. In both men and women, diabetes mellitus results in the body trying to expel unused glucose through urine. This often results in the release of abnormally large amounts of urine and excessive urination. Diabetes insipidus on the other hand, has nothing to do with blood sugar. It is related with the body’s inability to produce enough vasopressin hormone to regulate the re-absorption of water at the kidneys thus resulting in an excessive production of urine.
Note: Excessive urination is one of the early symptoms of diabetes and you should see a doctor in case you notice excessive urination.
2. Interstitial cystitis
This is perhaps the most severe of the causes of frequent urination. Interstitial cystitis is incurable and of unknown cause. It is characterized by a very painful bladder and pain just below the belly button. Interstitial cystitis at its worst can result in urinating up to 60 times a day and feeling the need to pee time and again. This is sure to affect the quality of your life and affect your ability to function properly both at work and at home. Other symptoms include pain in the scrotum, the testicles and the penis for men while in women it presents as pain in the vulva and vagina and the area behind the vagina. Pain in the lower abdomen, lower back and the urethra are also symptoms of interstitial cystitis as well as pain during sex for women and pain while ejaculating or after orgasm for men. The bladder gets increasingly painful as it fills up with this condition.
Note: Despite being incurable, there is medication to make living with the condition comfortable. Therefore, early detection is important.
As a woman progresses through the various stages of a pregnancy, her womb enlarges to accommodate the growing foetus. This enlargement of the uterus results in added pressure on the bladder. This causes the bladder to fill much faster than is normal and thus resulting in higher urinary frequency. It is a cause of frequent urination which is not a symptom of deeper underlying issues.
Note: Urinary frequency will return to normal soon after giving birth without the need for any further treatment.
4. Use of diuretics
A diuretic is any substance that results in the body producing larger amounts of urine. These are basically substances that encourage urine production. Majority of these are usually medication for high blood pressure or to treat the accumulation of excess fluid in the body. They work in the kidney to cause more waste water to be removed from the blood, thus releasing fluid pressure in the body. Use of such medication will result in the increased frequency of urination. If this is the case with any medication you are using you are sure to find it in the list of side effects of the drugs in the usage guide or will be informed of the same by your doctor. There are other medications that have the same side effects and treat different conditions so be sure to take them into account in case your frequency of urination is beginning to affect your quality of life.
Note: Check in with the doctor for the side effects of the drugs that have been prescribed for you.
5. Strokes or neurological diseases
A stroke is a condition that is a result of poor blood flow to the brain resulting in the death of brain cells. This may result in damage to various nerves that serve different parts of the body. The result is the loss of function in many parts of the body often on one side only. This damage to nerves may include the nerve that serves the bladder. Poor bladder nerve function in turn causes frequent urination or sudden urges to urinate even when the bladder is not full. Other neurological diseases that damage the nerve serving the bladder may cause frequent urination.
Note: The failure of the nerves that control the bladder result to an increase in the frequency of urination.
6. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection that affects the urinary tract. It is as a result of bacteria entering the urinary tract. This affects women more often than men. It is estimated that up to 60 percent of women will have a UTI at least once in their lifetime, a third of which will be severe enough to require antibiotic treatment by the time they are 24 years old. One of the symptoms of UTIs is an increased frequency of urination which is often intense. It is also characterized by cloudy, dark and strange smelling urine, a burning feeling when urinating, lower back pain and fever or chills.
Note: Experiencing a combination of all these symptoms is a strong sign of a UTI infection. See a medical doctor as soon as possible.
In case you find yourself asking, “why am I peeing so much?” you should do an initial self-diagnosis for frequent urination and then consult a medical doctor depending on the reasons causing the problem. Pregnancy or an excessive consumption of fluids may result in an increased frequency of urination, these are symptoms you can diagnose on your own. An increased urge to pee, when accompanied by other symptoms such as a fever, lower back pain, lower abdominal pain, pain while urinating, fatigue, dark or bloody urine, chills, discharge from the penis or vagina or any other symptoms that are out of the ordinary, please consult a medical doctor as soon as possible. Frequent urination is often a symptom of a much more complicated medical condition and should be attended to as early as possible to avoid possible complications.
Upon seeing a doctor, you may be asked a variety of questions to ascertain clearly the likely cause or underlying problem that is resulting in your frequent urination. These questions may include:
- Are you currently under any medication?
- What is the color and consistency of your urine?
- How often do you urinate at night?
- How many times a day do you feel the urge to urinate?
- What kinds of beverages do you consume?
- What other symptoms do you experience?
Some of the clinical tests that you may be subjected to by the doctor to properly understand your condition include:
This is a test of bladder pressure. It is done to determine if the cause of frequent urination could be due to the weakening of the bladder muscles or a result of nerve damage. This helps tell how well your bladder can hold urine as well as how effective it is at releasing urine.
This is the examination of your urine. A sample is acquired and a microscopic analysis and tests are done to understand the composition of your urine.
More tests can be done including a uroflowmetry, urethral pressure, neurological tests in the case of nerve damage and an ultrasonography.
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There are various types of treatment for urine frequency. They all depend on the underlying cause of the disease. Lifestyle related causes of frequent urination such as excessive beverage consumption can be solved by changing the habits that result the excessive urination. Diabetes causing frequent urination is solved by simply taking the necessary measure to keep your blood sugar levels within the healthy limits. The treatment for an overactive bladder is treated by a variety of behavioral therapies, these also lie in lifestyle changes as well.
1. Dietary changes
Eating foods that have more fiber will lower the risk of an overactive bladder. Consumption of less diuretics is also required to ensure lower urine production. These changes include reduced intake of caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks, products of tomatoes, chocolates, artificial sweeteners and foods with a lot of spicing.
2. Conscious fluid consumption
Monitoring fluid consumption is necessary in ensuring that you do not feel the urge to relieve yourself so often. These include a conscious monitoring of how much fluid you are taking and at what time of the day you are taking it.
3. Kegel exercises
These are exercises that are performed by women to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. They may include use of Kegel balls or various muscle exercise routines to increase the ability to control the pelvic muscles.
The increased strength of the pelvic muscles brings a greater control of your bladder and reduces the urinary urgency.
4. Bladder training
Bladder training is delaying your urination whenever you feel the urge to pee. You hold the urine in longer to increase your control. It is a way of gradually increasing your ability to limit the frequency of your urination.
The other treatments include medication to solve the various causative issues. Your doctor, upon proper diagnosis, will come up with the most effective regimen for treatment including several types of surgeries. You are better served seeing your doctor as soon you experience any of the causes of frequent urination.
The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content including text, graphics, images, and information contained on or available through this page is for general information purposes only.
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