Diuresis is a condition in which the kidneys filter too much bodily fluid. That increases your urine production and the frequency with which you need to use the bathroom.
Most adults will urinate about four to six times a day, with average output between 3 cups and 3 quarts of urine. People with diuresis urinate more often than that, even though their fluid intake may not have changed.
Diuresis may be caused by various conditions and medications. Read on to learn more about the causes for diuresis and when you should talk to your doctor.
Causes of diuresis
Diuresis may be caused by certain medical conditions or by taking medications that increase urine output. Lifestyle factors can also lead to this condition.
Uncontrolled diabetes causes excess glucose (sugar) to circulate in the bloodstream. When this glucose gets to the kidneys for filtering, it can accumulate and block the reabsorption of water. That can lead to an increase in urine output. Diabetes can also increase thirst, which may cause you to drink more.
Diuretics, also called water pills, are medications that help the body expel excess fluid. They are commonly prescribed for conditions like heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and high blood pressure.
Diuretics signal the kidneys to excrete more water and sodium. That reduces swelling and allows blood to flow more freely throughout the body.
Hypercalcemia is a condition in which too much calcium circulates throughout the body. It’s commonly caused by overactive thyroid glands. The kidneys may increase urine output in order to balance calcium levels.
Some food and drink, such as herbs like parsley and dandelion, and green and black tea, are natural diuretics. Caffeinated drinks and excessively salty foods can also increase urine output.
If you’re often exposed to cold temperatures, you may notice that you frequently have to urinate. Frequent urination can increase your risk for diuresis.
In cold temperatures, the body constricts blood vessels, which raises blood pressure. In response to that, the kidneys will try to eliminate fluid to reduce blood pressure. This is known as immersion diuresis.
Symptoms of the condition
Symptoms of diuresis go beyond frequent urination. They also can include:
- thirst, due to loss of fluids
- poor sleep from the frequent need to urinate
- fatigue, caused by loss of essential minerals and electrolytes in urine
There’s no screening test for diuresis. Your doctor will make the diagnosis based on your symptoms. They’ll also test for underlying medical conditions that can cause an increase in urination.
Before your appointment, make a list of what you’ve been eating and drinking, as well as the medications you take. You should also take note of how often you urinate.
Treatment of diuresis
To treat diuresis, you’ll need to treat the underlying cause. That may involve:
- managing a condition, such as diabetes
- switching your medications
- avoiding the consumption of natural diuretics
Complications that may occur
Frequent urination can upset the delicate balance of water, salt, and other minerals in the body. That can lead to the following conditions:
Hyponatremia occurs when there’s not enough sodium in the body. The use of diuretics and frequent urination can cause this condition. Sodium is important because it helps your body regulate blood pressure and fluid levels. It also supports the nervous system.
Hyperkalemia and hypokalemia
Potassium is important for heart health, muscle contractions, and digestion.
Excessive urination from diuresis can lead to dehydration. Without proper hydration, your body will have a hard time regulating its temperature. You may also experience kidney problems, seizures, and even shock. Read more about recommended daily water requirements.
See your doctor if you’re experiencing an increase in urination or thirst. Underlying diseases that cause diuresis need medical treatment.
Your doctor may be able to help you manage your excessive urination with changes in your medications and diet. With careful medical monitoring, you may be able to prevent diuresis altogether.