If you notice you’re peeing a lot — meaning that you’re urinating more often than what’s normal for you — it’s possible your frequent urination could be an early sign of diabetes.

However, there are many potential causes of frequent urination, including some that are harmless.

It’s important to understand the relationship between diabetes and bladder function, as well as other signs that might indicate it’s time to see a doctor about your frequent urination.

Diabetes is a condition that, among other symptoms, causes your body to have trouble creating or using insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that draws glucose or sugar into the cells to use as energy. This can result in highly elevated blood sugar levels.

Too much sugar in your blood is extremely taxing on the kidneys, which work to process that sugar. When the kidneys aren’t up to the job, much of that glucose is eliminated from the body through your urine.

This process also flushes out valuable hydrating fluids from your body, often leaving people with diabetes peeing frequently as well as dehydrated.

Early on, you may not even notice that you’re urinating more often than normal. One of the key warning signs, however, should be if frequent urination starts to wake you up from sleep and deplete your energy levels.

Peeing a lot is a hallmark sign of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, as the elimination of bodily fluids is sometimes your body’s only way of flushing excess blood sugar.

But urinating more than usual is just one of many signs and can be caused by any number of health conditions. If you’re worried about diabetes, it’s important to look out for some of these other common diabetes symptoms:

  • Fatigue. The cells’ inability to draw on glucose for energy can leave people with diabetes feeling depleted and exhausted much of the time. Dehydration only makes the fatigue worse.
  • Weight loss. A combination of low insulin levels and an inability to absorb sugar from the blood can lead to rapid weight loss in people with diabetes.
  • Blurred vision. A side effect of the dehydration caused by diabetes can be a severe drying of the eyes, which may affect vision.
  • Swollen gums. Those with diabetes are at higher risk for infections, swelling, or buildup of pus in the gums.
  • Tingling. A loss in sensation in the limbs, fingers, or toes is a common side effect of excess blood sugar.

If you’re frequently urinating and worry it might be diabetes, keep an eye out for some of these other classic symptoms. If you notice several of them, or just want to be sure, consult a doctor.

There is no normal amount of times to pee on a daily basis. Frequent urination is usually defined as having to go more frequently than you normally do. If that’s the case, it could be a sign that something is wrong.

Urinating more often than normal can result from a number of different factors. Diabetes is only one possible explanation. Some other conditions that can sometimes affect your bladder function include:

Some of these causes, like having an overactive bladder, are inconvenient but relatively harmless. Other conditions are quite serious. You should see a doctor about your frequent urination if:

  • You notice any of the other above signs of diabetes.
  • Your urine is bloody, red, or dark brown
  • Urinating is painful.
  • You have trouble controlling your bladder.
  • You have to urinate but have trouble emptying your bladder.
  • You’re urinating so often that it’s impacting your daily life.

Treating bladder problems stemming from diabetes is best approached by treating the disease as a whole.

Simply monitoring fluid intake or scheduling bathroom trips likely won’t help much, as the major problem is excess blood sugar, not excess fluid.

If you do have diabetes, your doctor will come up with a treatment plan specifically for you. In general, common treatments for diabetes include:

Diet and blood sugar monitoring

People with diabetes need to be keenly aware of what they eat while keeping a close eye on blood sugar levels, ensuring they don’t get too high or too low. Your diet should be heavy in fibrous fruits and vegetables and low on processed sugar and carbohydrates.

Exercise

Regular exercise can increase insulin sensitivity in your cells and promote the absorption of glucose for energy. Diabetes makes these processes difficult for the body, but more physical activity can improve them.

Insulin injections

Depending on the type and severity of the diabetes, you may need regular insulin injections or a pump. If your body struggles to make or absorb insulin on its own, these injections may be crucial.

Other medications

There are many other medications for diabetes that can help your body naturally create more insulin or better break down carbohydrates for energy.

Frequent urination on its own isn’t necessarily cause for alarm. There are many possible causes of needing to pee more often than normal, including an increase in fluid intake or simply an overactive bladder.

However, if frequent urination is accompanied by other symptoms like fatigue, blurred vision, or tingling in the limbs, you should see a doctor for a possible diabetes screening.

You should also see a doctor if your urine is dark colored or red, painful, or so frequent that it’s keeping you up at night or severely impacting your life.