Do you tend to pass urine a bit too often? It may in fact be a sign of certain diseases but many people experience urinary frequency even though there is no underlying problem. The cause of this urinary frequency may not necessarily be serious and poses little more than an inconvenience in having to visit the toilet many times in a day. The cause can be as simple as drinking too much of water or wearing tight clothing. Even your state of mind can be a factor.
Urination is a natural process that includes urine formation by the kidneys, storage of urine within the bladder and voiding which is the expulsion of the urine into the environment. It is the process that allows the body to get rid of toxins and waste products in the bloodstream as well as regulate the water volume and electrolyte levels in the body. While you should not be urinating too few times in a day, there comes a point when frequent urination, which is not disease related, can affect your life.
Am I Urinating Too Often?
The amount of times a person urinates in the day varies by the fluid intake, environmental temperature, individual bladder size and level of activity among other factors. It is therefore difficult to accurately determine a figure that can be considered the norm for the number of times a person urinates. However, it is known that the average adult should pass out between 1 to 2 liters of urine per day. The variation may be dependent on the same factors discussed above. Sometimes urine output may be as low as 500ml or as high as 3 liters.
Since the human bladder can hold between 350 to 500ml of urine, it is reasonable for a person to urinate approximately 5 times in a day. A few times more or less should not be seen as abnormal. Naturally a person who consumes more fluid will urinate more frequently and this as well is perfectly normal. However, there are instances where urinary frequency is the problem. Urinating too often, having to wake up to urinate as well as excessively large volumes of urine output may be a sign of various diseases.
But some people do urinate very frequently despite there being no underlying disease. It is in common terms referred to as a weak bladder or small bladder but has little to do with the functioning or size of the bladder. Sometimes it a matter of habit. At other times it is related to anxiety or even the use of diuretics in everyday food or drinks. While it may not be a danger to your health, it can be awkward and inconvenient especially when you are in a situation where a sanitary toilet is not easily accessible and the need to urinate is disturbing your daily activities.
If you are urinating too often, then it is important to first see your doctor and exclude the fact that it may be due to any disease. Frequent urination is commonly seen as the only symptom in early diabetes. Should there be no underlying problem, then here are some steps that may help minimizing the number of times that you need to urinate.
Drink Less Liquids
You should be drinking at least 1.5 liters (about 50 fluid ounces) of water in a day. Some will be lost with perspiration, as water vapor from the lungs and in your stool. But the majority of fluid is passed out in your urine. Although a good daily fluid intake is important, overdoing the liquids can be a problem. If you find that you are running too often to the toilet to urinate, then drink less liquids. Monitor your fluid intake carefully. Not just water – all fluids. While approximately 8 glasses of water a day is necessary for health, there is no need to drink large amounts at one go. A few sips here and there can ensure that you are getting your normal daily fluid intake without causing you to run the toilet excessively.
Caffeine is a diuretic and one of the main reasons that many of us urinate so frequently. It has become commonplace in modern life. A diuretic promotes water expulsion from the body and apart from prescription drugs, caffeine remains the most potent diuretic that is widely used on a daily basis. It is not just about coffee and tea. Caffeine is abundant in cola sodas and even certain energy drinks. If you think that green tea is the better choice then think again. Green tea has a high caffeine content, almost as much as two-thirds that of regular tea or half of coffee.
Foods That Make You Urinate
A number of everyday foods contain natural chemicals that have a diuretic action. Asparagus, celery and parsley are well know for making you urinate more frequently. Most of us either do not eat it on a daily basis or in a large enough quantity to drastically affect urinary frequency. However, a range of other fruits, herbs and vegetables which may be more abundant in our daily diet can also be a problem. Artichokes, citrus fruits, cranberry, tomatoes and even spicy foods may all contribute to urinary frequency. It is worthwhile noting foods that you have found to increase the number of times you urinate and avoid it.
Practice Bladder Control
Passing out urine is under voluntary control for most adults. When the bladder wall stretches significantly, it signals us that there is a need to urinate. This signaling is constant and gradually increases in intensity as the bladder fills. Some people tend to react to even a partially filled bladder and feel the need to urinate when they could wait. It is important to practice bladder control in these instances and wait till the signals are strong enough to warrant urination. You do not have to wait until your bladder is overfilled but gauge the need to urinate due to a full bladder from a partially filled bladder.
There are a number of pelvic floor exercises, known as Kegel exercises, that can help with stress urinary incontinence. This is a condition where you may accidentally pass out small amounts of urine with certain movements that places pressure on your body. The usefulness of these exercises in frequent urination may be limited but can still provide some psychological benefit. People with stress urinary incontinence become very anxious about leaking urine and may feel a constant need to urinate to prevent an embarrassing situation. Kegel exercises can help with reducing these mishaps and restore a person’s confidence.
Anxiety, nervousness and even fear increases the need to urinate. Sometimes we may even lose our ability to restrain ourselves. These emotions are not unavoidable entirely in life but for some people it is persistent and generally unwarranted. Modern life can be psychological taxing and if you have a more nervous disposition, you may find that you tend to urinate more frequently. The key in these cases is staying calm and finding a way to handle your stress. You may also need to seek professional help for psychological counseling or consider the use anti-anxiety medication if a medical practitioner feels that it is warranted in your case.
Wear Loose Clothing
Pressure on the bladder from outside of the body can have the same effect as pressure within the bladder by urine accumulation. If you wear tight clothing then you may find that even a partially filled bladder may trigger the urge to urinate. Try to choose lighter, elasticated and loosely fitting underwear and clothing that reduces the pressure on the lower abdomen. Even a belt can also be a problem when wearing pants. You may instead find that braces will keep up your pants while minimizing the tightness around the waist.