What does frequent urination say about your health?

What does frequent urination say about your health?

Frequent urination means having an urge to pass urine more often than usual. While it may not always be a major health issue it can be embarrassing or inconvenient, disrupting one’s normal routine and interrupting the sleep cycle.

Sometimes, frequent urination can indicate a more serious condition. Early identification of the problem can lead to fast and effective treatment and prevent complications.

What is frequent urination?

Urination is the way the body gets rid of waste fluids. Urine contains water, uric acid, urea, and toxins and waste filtered from within the body. The kidneys play a key role in this process. Urinary frequency is when a person needs to use the bathroom more often than usual.

Urine stays in the urinary bladder until it reaches a point of fullness and an urge to urinate. At this point, the urine is expelled from the body. Most people urinate between 6 and 7 times over a 24-hour period.

Urinary frequency can be defined as needing to urinate more than 7 times in a period of 24 hours while drinking about 2 litres of fluid. While every individual is different, and most people only see a doctor when urination becomes so frequent that they feel uncomfortable. 

Possible causes

There is a huge number of reasons that one might start frequently urinating. Lifestyle-based causes include drinking a lot of fluids, especially if they contain caffeine or alcohol. Alternatively, frequent urination can also develop as a habit.

However, it can be a sign of kidney or ureter problems, urinary bladder problems, or another medical condition, such as diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, pregnancy, or prostate gland problems.

Other causes or related factors include:

  • anxiety
  • diuretics
  • stroke or other brain or nervous system conditions
  • urinary tract infection
  • tumour or mass in the pelvic area
  • interstitial cystitis
  • overactive bladder
  • bladder cancer
  • bladder or kidney stones
  • urinary incontinence
  • urethral stricture
  • radiation of the pelvis
  • colon diverticulitis
  • a sexually transmitted infection 

Diagnosis

A medical professional will carry out a thorough history and physical examination, asking the patient about the frequency of urination and other symptoms. They may also ask you to undergo a number of tests such as urine analysis, ultrasounds, X-ray, STI tests or neurological tests.

Treatment

The treatment of a medical practitioner will depend on the underlying cause. If the consultation leads to a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, treatment will aim to keep high blood sugar levels under control. For bacterial kidney infection, the typical course of treatment is antibiotic and painkiller therapy. Other causes may call for specific medical treatments. Bladder exercises may also be recommended. 

Prevention

Eating a balanced diet and maintaining an active lifestyle can help moderate the output of urine. Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake and cutting out foods that can reduce irritation of the bladder and minimise their diuretic effect. Be sure to seek advice from a medical professional if frequent urination does become an issue. 

It is essential to become well-informed and educated regarding the options and treatment methods available to you. If you have any questions regarding frequent urination, and would like to book an appointment, please feel free to contact or call Dr Arianayagam’s office on 1300 307 990 and his staff will be able to assist.

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