Understanding Frequent Urination

Understanding Frequent Urination – Daytime & Nighttime

Polyuria is defined as the frequent passage of large volumes of urine – more than 3 liters a day compared to the normal daily urine output in adults of about one to two liters.

It is one of the main symptoms of diabetes (both type 1 and type 2 diabetes) and can lead to severe dehydration, which if left untreated can affect kidney function.

Nocturia is often a symptom of other medical conditions including urological infection, a tumor of the bladder or prostate, a condition called bladder prolapse, or disorders affecting sphincter control. 

Causes of Frequent Urination

Frequent urination is usually the result of drinking excessive amounts of fluids (polydipsia), particularly water and fluids that contain caffeine or alcohol.

It is also one of the major signs of diabetes mellitus. When the kidneys filter blood to make urine, they reabsorb all of the sugar, returning it to the bloodstream.

In diabetes, the level of sugar in the blood is abnormally high. Not all of the sugar can be reabsorbed and some of this excess glucose from the blood ends up in the urine where it draws more water.

When it comes to sleep, a normal person is able to sleep 6 to 8 hours at night without having the need to urinate. People suffering from Nocturia wake up multiple times throughout the night to go to the bathroom, which causes a disruption in in their normal sleep cycle.

“The causes of nocturia are often gender-specific; for men, it can be a symptom of an enlarged prostate, which causes the flow of urine from the bladder to be blocked,” explains Dr. Marc Schwarzman, with UCA Princeton. “A man suffering from this condition may not be fully emptying his bladder during the day. This can leave him with a partially full bladder when he goes to bed at night, which will trigger the wake-up call to the bathroom.”

According to Dr. Schwarzman, for women, nocturia can be a consequence of childbirth or pelvic organ prolapse, or it can be linked to menopause. “Sometimes nocturia can be a symptom of a larger medical issue that interferes with normal body functions during sleep.”

Frequent urination symptoms may include:

  • Excessive nighttime urination
  • Overproduction of urine during the day (polyuria)
  • Overproduction of urine while you sleep (nocturnal polyuria)
  • Sleep difficulties – some people with interrupted sleep will urinate whenever they awaken, but NOT as a result of above symptoms

Nocturia can be a common symptom in both men and women. However, it can be troublesome in itself, by disturbing sleep, and can have a significant impact on quality of sleep and quality of life. If are experiencing frequent urination (in the daytime or nighttime) please contact a Urology Care Alliance office near you for an appointment.