When your bladder interrupts your life by making you pee all the time, it can feel like a special kind of betrayal. Spending all that time on the toilet is frustrating, and it might also raise some red flags about your health.
It’s normal to pee anywhere from four to eight times a day, according to the Cleveland Clinic. If you’re going more than that, here are a few potential reasons why.
1. You’re drinking too much water.
Peeing is generally an input/output kind of situation: The more liquids you drink, the more you’ll use the bathroom. If you’re going a lot, you should first take a look at how much water you’re taking in, Tanaka Dune, M.D., a urologist at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, tells SELF. “When you drink too much, your body will excrete what it does not need,” she says.
Your water needs are pretty individual, so you might need more or less than others depending on your size, body type, and activity level. With that said, the Mayo Clinic recommends women have around 11.5 cups of fluids a day, including from water, other beverages, and food.
You can tell whether you’re getting as much fluid as you should through the color of your pee. If it’s light yellow or clear, that means you’re drinking enough liquids to adequately dilute the pigment urochrome, which helps to give pee its color. That’s a great sign that you’re well hydrated.
But if your pee is always crystal clear and you feel like you’re spending your life in the bathroom, you may be drinking too much water. This is rarely dangerous, the Mayo Clinic says, but easing up can help reduce your bathroom trips all the same.
2. You’re accidentally loading up on diuretics.
Drinks like coffee, soda, and tea can act as diuretics, meaning they may boost your peeing frequency. Diuretics act by increasing the amount of salt and water that comes out of your kidneys, making you pee more in the process. Though beverages like coffee and tea can raise your overall water consumption (and help you make it through the day without your head exploding), lowering your intake might help you pee less often.
Certain medications can also act as diuretics. Some drugs to treat high blood pressure contain diuretics, and some birth control pills like Yaz have drospirenone, a kind of progestin related to the diuretic spironolactone.
3. You have a urinary tract infection.
A urinary tract infection happens when bacteria, usually from your bowel, makes its way to your bladder, urethra (a duct connected to your urethra—this is where pee comes from), ureters (the tubes connecting your bladder and urethra), or kidneys, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Most UTIs happen in the bladder, the NIDDK says. In response to the infection, your bladder becomes inflamed and irritated, which can make it feel like you have to go 24/7 even if you don’t actually have much pee in your system.
You can’t clear up a UTI on your own, so you’ll need to see your doctor for antibiotics. Don’t try to wait it out—a UTI can progress into a kidney infection when left untreated, which is typically immensely painful and can even be life threatening.
4. You’re pregnant.
In the first trimester, your blood volume increases, so your kidneys have to process excess fluid that winds up in your bladder, according to the Mayo Clinic. That can continue into the second trimester, then your body ups the ante in the third. To prepare for go-time, the baby starts to move down through your pelvis, putting pressure on your bladder, the Mayo Clinic says. Not only will this make you have to go pretty much all the time, you might also start leaking pee when you do things like laugh, sneeze, or lift things. (This is known as urinary incontinence.)
- Summit Medical Group Web Site
- All right, how many times a day should you be peeing?
- Well, how do I know if I’m going more—or less—than normal?
- So, should I ever worry about my frequent (or infrequent) peeing?
- 3 Signs You Have A UTI & Should See Your Doctor
- 1. Changes In The Sensation Of Peeing
- 2. Changes To Your Actual Pee
- 3. Your Back Or Stomach Hurt
- The Bottom Line
- Does How Often You Pee Say Something About Your Health?
- You might have an overactive bladder.
- You might have a urinary tract infection (UTI).
- You might have interstitial cystitis.
- You might have diabetes.
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
- Rare Medical Conditions
- How To Quit Peeing (As Much)
- Eating right for the Unexpected Leak™ – Caffeine
- Kick Caffeine with these Alternatives
- Learn the food do’s and don’ts for dealing with OAB
- Coffee or tea? Which makes you pee?
- Wine: good or bad for OAB?
- Foods that may irritate the bladder
Summit Medical Group Web Site
What is frequency of urination during the day?
Daytime frequency of urination occurs most often when a child is 4 to 5 years old. You will notice that:
- Your child suddenly starts urinating every 10 to 30 minutes and as often as 30 to 40 times a day.
- Your child passes small amounts of urine each time.
- Your child has no pain with urination.
- Your child does not wet himself during the day.
- Your child does not drink excessive amounts of fluids.
- Your child has been toilet trained.
- The urinary frequency is not a problem during sleep.
What is the cause?
Frequent urination sometimes reflects emotional tension. It means your child is under pressure. The symptom is involuntary, not deliberate. The urinary frequency may begin within 1 or 2 days of a stressful event or change in the child’s routine. You can make the problem worse by worrying about disease. Punishment, criticism, or teasing also worsens the symptom.
Although physical causes are rare, your child should be examined by a healthcare provider. The only test that is usually needed is a check of the urine. No X-rays are needed.
How long will it last?
Overall, this is a harmless condition that eventually goes away by itself. If you can identify and deal with whatever is stressing your child, his frequent urination will disappear in 1 to 4 weeks. Without treatment, the symptom usually gets better on its own in 2 or 3 months.
A few children who also have small bladders and problems with bedwetting may have this symptom more than once.
How can I help my child?
- Reassure your child that he is physically healthy.
Tell your child that his body, kidneys, urine, and any other aspect of his health that he is worried about are fine. Because the family (and also possibly healthcare providers) have been concerned about the child’s bladder and urine, he may fear there is something wrong with his urinary tract. Reassure him once or twice that he is quite healthy.
- Reassure your child that he can learn to wait longer to urinate.
Reassure him that he won’t wet himself, which is a common fear. If he has wet himself before, encourage him to talk about his embarrassment and reassure him it happens sometimes to many children. Tell him that he will gradually get back to urinating every 2 to 3 hours, or whatever his previous pattern was. If his frequency of urination has gotten worse during shopping trips or travel in general, don’t take him with you to public places for a while.
- Help your child relax.
Frequency of urination can be a barometer of inner tension. Make sure your child has free time and fun time every day. If he is over-scheduled with activities, try to lighten the commitments. Relaxation exercises may help your child if he is over 8 years old.
Increasing the happiness and harmony within your home will usually restore your child’s sense of security.
Ask the staff at your child’s school or day care to help reduce any tensions there, such as limits on when a child can use the bathroom.
- Try to figure out what is stressing your child.
Meet with other family members and try to think of a stressful event that may have occurred 1 or 2 days before the frequency began. Also ask school or day care staff for ideas. Talk about your ideas with your child and try to help him overcome the stress. Common stressful events are:
- Death in the family
- Accident or other life-threatening event
- Tension in the marriage
- A sick parent or sibling
- School entry or a new school
- Too much concern about staying dry at night
- Wetting himself in the presence of peers.
- Ignore the symptom of frequency.
When your child is using the toilet frequently, don’t comment on it. Comments remind him that the symptom is worrying you. Stop keeping any record of amount or frequency of urination. Do not collect any urine samples or measure volumes. Don’t ask your child about his symptom or watch him urinate. Do not have your child do bladder-stretching exercises. Your child does not need to tell you when he has urinated; you will have a general impression about whether he is getting better or staying the same.
Be sure that none of your child’s caretakers or teachers is punishing or criticizing him about this symptom.
Stop all family conversation about the frequency. The less said about it, the less anxious your child will be about it. If your child brings up the topic, reassure him that he will gradually get better.
- Avoid bubble bath and other irritants.
Bubble bath can cause frequent urination in children, especially girls. Bubble bath can irritate the opening of the urinary tract. Taking a bath in water that contains hair shampoo can also cause similar symptoms. In addition, before puberty, be sure your child washes the genital area with water, not soap.
When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?
Call during office hours if:
- The frequency of urination is not back to normal after you have followed these recommendations for 1 month.
- Your child begins to have pain or burning when urinating.
- Your child begins to wet himself during the day.
- Your child begins to drink excessive amounts of fluids.
- You have other questions or concerns.
Some days you feel like you’re constantly running to the bathroom to relieve yourself; others, you can go hours (really, though) without any pee interruptions.
So what gives? How often should you really be peeing—and most important: Do you need to worry if you’re peeing too much (or too little)?
All right, how many times a day should you be peeing?
What’s considered “normal” can vary from person to person, says Keri Peterson, M.D., internal medicine physician in New York City. But, “on average, people go about six to seven times per day,” she says.
How often you visit the loo is affected by a variety of different factors, such as your fluid intake—the average woman should aim for eight glasses (64 ounces) of water a day—as well as the size of your bladder, says Fara Bellows, M.D., a urologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. (If you have a teeny bladder, for example, you’re obviously going to be peeing more often than someone with a bigger holding tank.)
How much caffeine you drink matters, too, Bellows says, (caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it makes you pee). Whether you smoke comes into play, since tobacco can irritate your bladder. Loading up on sugar sweetened drinks like sodas and juices can also make you pee more, as well as upping your salt consumption (which makes you thirstier), Peterson says.
The opposite can occur when you amp up your level of activity and sweat more, says Orli Etingin, M.D., medical director of the Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center at New York-Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell Medicine. Basically, if you’re sweating more, you’re peeing less, because you’re getting rid of water by other means.
Well, how do I know if I’m going more—or less—than normal?
The number of times you stop by the porcelain throne should only become a cause for concern if you notice a drastic change, Peterson says. But honestly, it can be tough to determine how much your bathroom habits are changing (or if they are at all).
That’s why it’s a good idea to keep what urologists call a “voiding diary” if you’re concerned for any reason. That means you write down everything you drink (and when), when you pee, and how much you’re going each time. (FYI: A “normal” amount of pee each time should be enough to fill up a coffee cup or more—but you don’t have to actually measure it. You want a longer, steady stream instead of a few drops.)
The voiding diary can be a huge wake-up call, Linehan says. “Someone will come in concerned and say that they’re peeing every 30 minutes, but they’re having six cups of coffee a day,” she says. “It’s pretty clear the coffee is why.”
If the log helps you see why your peeing habits are the way they are, you’re set. If not, it can be a helpful tool to show to your doctor.
One thing to look out for: “If patients are going frequently but they’re only peeing a little bit, that matters,” says Jennifer Linehan, M.D., urologist and associate professor of urologic oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. He notes that could indicate an overactive bladder. The good news? That can be cleared up by doing kegel exercises or asking your doctor about a diet change or even medication.
So, should I ever worry about my frequent (or infrequent) peeing?
If you’re going more often than you usually do and it hurts and/or burns when you pee, you might have a bladder infection like a urinary tract infection (UTI), which is especially common in young women, says Christina Pramudji, M.D., director of Houston Female Urology. You’ll def need to visit a doc for this, too, and could need antibiotics to treat the problem.
You should also see your doc if your frequency has changed, see blood in your urine, feel the need to push when you pee, leak in between urination, or have to pee several (two to three) times a night, Pramudji says.
Oh, and for those of you who regularly hold in your pee—just stop it. Basically, holding in your pee regularly (like making it a habit over many weeks or months) can actually can overstretch your bladder muscle, making it so you can no longer empty all the way, Etingin says.
What’s more, holding it in can also increase your risk of infection since urine has lots of bacteria that can multiply when held in your bladder routinely for long periods of time, Pramudji adds. She recommends you avoid holding in your pee in for more than four hours during the day—the night’s a different story since we actually have a hormone that shuts down our kidneys, which make urine, while we sleep.
If your peeing frequency is off and you’re seriously concerned, it’s time to see your doctor or urologist who can check to see what’s going on, Bellows says.
The bottom line: There’s no set number of times per day you should (or shouldn’t) be going to the restroom—but if something suddenly changes in your schedule, it’s best to get it checked out by a doctor.
Elizabeth Bacharach Elizabeth Bacharach is the Assistant Editor at Women’s Health where she writes and edits content about mental and physical health, food and nutrition, sexual health, and lifestyle trends across WomensHealthMag.com and the print magazine. Korin Miller Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more.
3 Signs You Have A UTI & Should See Your Doctor
According to the Mayo Clinic, over half of women will contract a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their lives. Conversely, the Urology Care Foundation points out that only about 12% of diagnosed UTIs are experienced by men — making the complicated business of recognizing the signs you have a UTI largely an issue for people with vaginas. But as common as they are in women and other people with vaginas, how do you know if you have a UTI, and what causes them in the first place?
First, an explainer on what UTIs are: per the CDC, the infection occurs whenever bacteria gets into the urethra and then travels up to the bladder. The Mayo Clinic explains that it happens more commonly in people with vaginas simply because they have shorter urethras than people with penises, meaning bacteria has more access to the bladder. While UTIs are relatively common and easily treated, they can cause discomfort — and in extreme cases, UTIs can develop into kidney infections, which require immediate medical care.
If you think you might have a UTI, it’s important to identify your symptoms and make an appointment with your doctor for treatment options. For instance, UTIs and stomach pain often go hand-in-hand — as do symptoms like changes in your pee, or the sensation of it. Bustle reached out to Niket Sonpal, MD, an NYC-based internist and gastroenterologist, and adjunct assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, who listed some symptoms to look out for.
1. Changes In The Sensation Of Peeing
Pakkawit Anantaya / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images
Dr. Sonpal tells Bustle there are two major symptoms to look out for when it comes to UTIs and pee — the first is a “burning feeling when you urinate,” and the second is a “frequent or intense urge to urinate, even though little comes out when you do.”
This burning sensation happens because UTIs cause the linings of our bladders and urethras to become inflamed and irritated, per the American Urological Foundation. This is one of the most common symptoms, and usually the first noticeable one, especially when coupled with the constant urge to pee — this is also caused by the irritation, which tricks your body into thinking your bladder is full even when it’s not. The AUA notes that this may also cause involuntary leaking of urine in some cases.
2. Changes To Your Actual Pee
Beyond changes to the sensation of peeing, Dr. Sonpal also warns that “cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling urine” may be indicative of a UTI. Similarly, the Mayo Clinic advises you to see a doctor if your urine is dark or orange, or if there’s blood in it. The presence of blood in your pee could actually indicate other serious problems like kidney stones.
Still, it’s important to note that there are a lot of other factors besides UTIs that can change the color, consistency, and smell of your urine. The Mayo Clinic lists medications and food dyes among other things.
3. Your Back Or Stomach Hurt
If you’re feeling an aching pain or pressure in your tummy or lower back, particularly if it’s paired with the symptoms we’ve already discussed, then UTI-caused inflammation of your bladder might be to blame. Getting a UTI and stomach pain is not an uncommon occurrence. Dr. Sonpal lists “pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen” as a possible symptom, which, per the CDC, can be caused by pressure or cramping in the groin from the UTI.
That said, in some cases, this could also indicate the infection has reached your kidneys — Dr. Sonpal notes that this is often accompanied by “fever and chills.” Whatever the case may be, you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible, as kidney infections can reach the bloodstream and, per the AUA, become a “life-threatening health issue.”
The Bottom Line
Urinary tract infections are pretty common, but can also be deeply uncomfortable, and in some cases, lead to worse conditions. Fortunately, though, if you learn how to spot the signs of a UTI before they get too severe, then you can get the treatment you need.
In the meantime, the CDC recommends seeing your doctor if you suspect any of these symptoms are indicative of a UTI, and seeing a doctor right away if you experience the aches, fever, or chills associated with related kidney infections; most UTIs can be treated on an antibiotic course of one to three days, but recurrent or more severe UTIs may require more intervention, per the Mayo Clinic. In terms of prevention, the CDC recommends practicing good hygiene, staying hydrated, and making a habit out of urinating after sexual intercourse as methods to keep bacteria from reaching the urethra and causing UTIs.
Niket Sonpal, MD; NYC-based internist and gastroenterologist, and adjunct assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine.
How your bladder functions every day can tell you a lot about your overall health. How often you urinate during the day and during the night, the color of your urine and whether you can hold it all provide clues to health conditions that don’t involve your urinary system.
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“Eighty percent of the causes of bladder problems are related to conditions outside of the bladder,” says urogynecologist Raymond Rackley, MD. These can include problems with the nervous or cardiovascular systems, he says.
So what should you look out for? Any problem that is a departure from your usual habits, says Ob/Gyn Cecile Ferrando, MD, MPH.
Here are three major signs to watch for:
1. Increase in frequency
How often you have to urinate is a good indicator of your body’s overall state of hydration. It’s considered normal to have to urinate about six to eight times in a 24-hour period.
If you’re going more often than that, it could simply mean that you may be drinking too much fluid or consuming too much caffeine, which is a diuretic and flushes liquids out of the body.
But frequent urination also can be a sign of several more serious conditions, including a bladder infection, prostate problems, a heart condition, leg swelling, or interstitial cystitis (also called painful bladder syndrome), which is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the bladder.
Frequent urination also can be a symptom of an overactive bladder, a common, easily treated condition that could be caused by several problems, including nerve damage, medications, infections, being overweight and estrogen deficiency.
If you’re a woman, the need to urinate frequently also may be a sign of poorly supported pelvic organs, such as the bladder. This is when the bladder drops into the vaginal opening because of weak pelvic floor muscles, typically following childbirth.
Some people find they need to urinate more frequently at night as they get older. That’s fairly typical, Dr. Rackley says.
“People will have an increase in nighttime voiding as they age,” Dr. Rackley says. “But most people after the age of 60 rarely get up more than twice a night, so more than that can be related to an overall indication of your health.”
2. A pink, red or brown hue
If your urine appears pink or reddish ― and you haven’t eaten a lot of beets, blackberries or rhubarb recently ― the color could indicate blood in your urine. This is a serious symptom, one you should see your doctor about as soon as possible.
“Blood in your urine is never, ever normal, and requires immediate medical attention,” Dr. Ferrando says. Bloody urine could be indicative of cancer.
Darker colors such as amber or brown usually indicate dehydration. Increase the amount of fluids that you drink and lay off the caffeine. If your urine remains dark, talk to your doctor.
Incontinence refers to the involuntary loss of urine. There are two main types of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence and urge incontinence.
When a woman leaks urine when coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercising strenuously, it is called stress incontinence and is typically related to a weakness in the urethra. Stress incontinence also is related to being overweight, which puts additional pressure on a woman’s pelvic floor muscles, which support the urinary system. Stress incontinence can be treated with weight loss, pelvic muscle exercises or a small surgery.
Women who feel an overwhelming urgency to urinate and leak urine before reaching the toilet may have urge incontinence. This is a condition related to overactive bladder in which the bladder muscle begins to squeeze prematurely.
It can be treated with bladder retraining, medications, botulinum toxin injections that paralyze part of the bladder muscle, or a pacemaker-like device implanted under the skin that affects the nerves that control the bladder.
Does How Often You Pee Say Something About Your Health?
Several medical conditions may affect how often you pee, such as urinary incontinence or retention, or prostate issues for men. Other conditions that may cause excessive urination include:
- Diabetes. If you have diabetes or undiagnosed diabetes, the extra sugar in your bloodstream causes fluid to shift so that you urinate more frequently.
- Hypo or hypercalcemia. If the calcium levels in your body are unbalanced, whether they’re too high or too low, this can upset the urine flow in your body.
- Sickle cell anemia. This condition can affect kidney function and the concentration of the urine. This can cause people with sickle cell anemia to urinate more frequently.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is another condition that can affect how often you urinate. Both men and women can develop UTIs, although they’re more common in women. A UTI can make you feel an urgent need to urinate, even if you recently emptied your bladder. During an infection, you may find yourself urinating more often, but in smaller amounts. You’ll also likely feel a burning sensation when you urinate. There are many possible causes for a UTI, so it’s best to see your doctor if you suspect an infection of your urinary tract.
Certain conditions may cause you to experience a lower-than-average output of urine. For men, this may be due to an enlarged prostate. An enlarged prostate is often caused by benign prostate enlargement (BPH), which isn’t cancerous or due to prostate cancer. When the prostate becomes enlarged, it can block the flow of urine out of your bladder. This can leave you unable to fully empty your bladder, even after urination.
People with heart problems, high blood pressure, or poor kidney function often take medications that are called diuretics. Diuretics pull extra fluid out of the blood stream and move it into the kidney. Taking diuretics may cause you to urinate more frequently. Some common diuretics include:
- chlorothiazide (Diuril)
- chlorthalidone (Thalitone)
- hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide)
- bumetanide (Bumex)
- furosemide (Lasix)
- torsemide (Demadex)
- amiloride (Midamor)
- eplerenone (Inspra)
- spironolactone (Aldactone)
- triamterene (Dyrenium)
Alcohol and caffeine can both have diuretic effects, causing you to urinate more than usual. When consuming these substances, frequent urination probably isn’t a sign of a medical issue.
Caffeine is found in many foods and drinks, including:
- hot chocolate
- energy drinks
Learn more: The effects of caffeine on the body “
Drinking large amounts of water during the day can also increase your urine output and frequency.
If you’ve recently had a test that involved injecting dye into your body, such as a CT scan, you may pee more as your body eliminates the extra fluid.
If you’re guzzling liter after liter of water during the day, you’re bound to take frequent trips to the bathroom. To some degree, this is good for you, because urinating literally flushes out your waste. But just how much is too much peeing?
If you’re hitting the bathroom every hour or so, your bladder might be trying to tell you something. Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, a urologist with Orlando Health, says if you’re otherwise healthy, peeing more than eight times a day and more than once at night could be viewed as abnormal. But of course, the amount you pee varies from person to person, so it’s best to get checked out by a doctor to find out for sure if everything’s OK down there.
Here are a few reasons why you might be peeing so much.
You might have an overactive bladder.
If you constantly need to pee, know this—you’re not alone. In fact, overactive bladder (OAB) affects about 30% of men in the United States, says Kerem Bortecen MD, PhD of NYC Surgical Associates. “While men at a younger age (18-29) can be affected, the prevalence sharply increases four fold among men older than age 60,” he explains. Men with prostate problems or neurologic diseases, such as stroke and multiple sclerosis are more prone to this condition as well, he says.
So what’s going on, exactly? When you suffer from OAB, you lack the ability to hold urine in and you might experience leakage during the day. OAB might leave you tossing and turning, with frequent trips to the bathroom throughout the night.
“People with OAB tend to wake up frequently at night to go the bathroom, and this frequent contraction of bladder muscles causes a sudden, strong need to urinate even when the bladder is not completely full,” says Bortecen.
If you reach for a cup of joe upon waking up in the morning as a way to get a boost of energy, you’re only re-entering the cycle of OAB, as the diuretic properties found in coffee will further cause you to pee more.
6 Things Every Man Should Know About His Penis:
You might have a urinary tract infection (UTI).
While UTIs are most often thought of as a female-oriented condition, men can get UTIs too. And a UTI can lead to symptoms of an overactive bladder, says Brahmbatt.
Most men get bladder infections because they are not peeing as often as they should, but they can also arise from constipation, recent surgeries in the urinary tract, kidney stones, or having unprotected anal sex, he says. (Men with shorter urethras are more susceptible to this condition.)
“Because the anus has tons of bacteria, the main one being E.Coli, if you are having unprotected sex, then these bugs can track up into the urethra and cause infections,” he says.
“The infection irritates the bladder and basically angers the bladder wall, which makes you go more often.”
Unlike OAB, the symptoms of a UTI will be sudden and short-lived. Antibiotics can help clear up most urinary tract infections.
You might have interstitial cystitis.
Interstitial cystitis, also known as “painful bladder syndrome,” is a chronic condition that can cause frequent urination, as well as bladder pressure and pain, says Bortecen. While a UTI might be caused by an infection and can easily be treated with antibiotics, interstitial cystitis is a longer-term condition that is not as easily treatable.
“People with this condition feel urgency and tend to urinate more often, with smaller volumes of urine than most people,” says Bortecen. “The condition comes from an immune reaction to the bladder from an irritating substance in the urine that damages the bladder, causing the sensation of urgency, as well as bladder spasms.”
Unfortunately, diagnosing IC can be tricky, as it’s often undetected or misdiagnosed as something else. “Diagnosis and treatment of this condition are very similar to overactive bladder,” he says. Because IC is thought to be an autoimmune condition, certain immunosuppressive medications, such as Cyclosporine, have been successfully used to treat it.
You might have diabetes.
Frequent urination is often an early symptom of diabetes, as the body is attempting to get rid of unused glucose through the urine, says Dr. Christopher Hollingsworth of NYC Surgical Associates. (Here’s the best diet if you have diabetes.)
Because diabetes causes excess sugar in the blood, the kidneys are forced to take it in, and if they can’t maintain this, that excess sugar will get released through urine, causing you to run to the bathroom. When you’re urinating so often, you’re losing fluids, forcing your body to reach for fluids from your tissues to compensate, which can lead to dehydration.
Because excessive thirst is common in diabetics to begin with, you’re probably increasing your daily water intake to begin with, causing you to pee more. And if you’re peeing too often, you’re only exacerbating your dehydration levels. Thus, the cycle repeats itself.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
If you’re having trouble getting a steady stream going, it could possibly be linked to an underlying prostate condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or an enlarged prostate. At first, you might notice a “decreased urine stream, where your urine just doesn’t come out as forcefully, and that it just doesn’t hit the wall like it used to,” says Hollingsworth.
In fact, “it also may take longer to empty a full bladder after some time with experiencing an over-full bladder, and it actually can injure the muscle of the bladder wall, leading to increasingly more bladder distention and damage,” he says. When this condition reaches its more advanced stages, it can become difficult even to initiate urination, and this is bad news, as you have to pass urine more frequently as is, he says.
Luckily, alpha-blockers, antihistamines, and amitriptyline (an antidepressant) can help as potential treatments, he says. You can also try prostate artery embolization, a non-invasive procedure that can help shrink the enlarged prostate gland. But be warned: while it’s safe and effective, side effects can include blood in the urine, semen, or rectum, along with bladder pain, says Bortecen.
Rare Medical Conditions
In rare cases, frequent urination can be a symptom of bladder cancer, says Brahmbhatt. The cancer can irritate your bladder, causing increased urination. “The only way to know for sure you don’t have cancer is to get yourself checked by a urologist, but bladder cancer is not common, so don’t freak out — you probably do not have it,” he says. It’s also worth noting that other symptoms, such as blood in the urine, commonly present with bladder cancer, so if you’re just peeing a lot and not experiencing any other symptoms, it’s probably nothing to worry about.
Frequent urination can also be the byproduct of a stroke. “Sometimes when men have had strokes, this can lead to nerve damage within the nerves that go to the bladder. This can cause either going too much or having retention where you can not pee at all,” he says.
How To Quit Peeing (As Much)
The good news? For many of these conditions, you can mitigate the symptoms with a few lifestyle tweaks, says Bortecen. “Urologists recommend patients with overactive bladder keep a bladder diary to track trips to the bathroom and any urine leak,” he says. Avoiding a few food and drink triggers, such as caffeine, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, soda, citrus fruit, tomatoes, chocolate, and spicy food, could also help. These triggers are highly acidic in nature, which can cause irritation to the bladder. (Here’s why your poop burns after eating spicy foods.)
You can also do kegel exercises to decrease urination frequency. They are typically done halfway through urination to stop or slow down the flow of urine. (Kegel exercises can spice things up in the bedroom for men, too.) “Kegel exercises can strengthen the pelvic floor and relax the bladder,” says Bortecen.
Isadora Baum Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, certified health coach, and author of 5-Minute Energy.
Eating right for the Unexpected Leak™ – Caffeine
Kick Caffeine with these Alternatives
Now that you know some of the downfalls of caffeine, let’s get into some healthier alternatives to this popular stimulant. These substitutes provide similar benefits to caffeine, like increased energy and alertness, but without contributing to urge incontinence. So, next time you’re reaching for a hot cup of coffee in the morning, try one of the following instead. Your bladder and overall health will thank you.
- Made from the nut of the ginkgo biloba tree and used for centuries in Chinese medicine, relieving many ailments such as asthma and fatigue
- A great subsititue for caffeine, Gingko Biloba also increases blood flow to the brain and the extremities, giving you that similar buzz of energy
- As the blood flow is increased, your body gets an effect that is similar to exercise, causing you to feel more awake and energized
- Good news for all you out there that crave a hot brew in the morning, Ginko leaf can be made into a tea! Check out this video to learn how to make your very own pot.
- Much like Ginkgo, Ginseng has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries and is derived from the ginseng root
- Ginseng too increases the blood flow throughout your body and in turn, acts as a stimulant, providing the feeling of alertness
- Ginseng can be consumed in many different ways, including tea and soups. Here are some recipes to help you get your ginseng on!
- If you’re looking for a caffeine alternative, Vitamin B12 is a great option. One of the eight B vitamins, Vitamin B12 is essential in the proper function of the body as it provides mental clarity and energy enhancing properties
- Another amazing benefit of Vitamin B12, one that caffeine cannot provide, is that it helps in the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep cycle
- So not only are you awake and energized during the day, you’re more likely to get a good night’s rest. This can be especially helpful if you experience overnight leaks! Have a look at these Vitamin B12 rich foods to get you started
- Apples contain fructose, which increases blood sugar and can increase alertness. Other energizing fruits are grapes, peaches and citrus fruits, also due to their high fructose content
- So, if you’re already eating an apple a day (to keep the doctor away), you probably don’t need that cup of joe or frosty soda!
- Probably the most beneficial thing you can do for your overall health!
- Aerobic exercise in the morning gets the blood flowing and helps you feel much more awake. It also has countless benefits for your physical and mental health
- For some simple, effective and bladder friendly exercise tips, check out our excercises for your core.
- Don’t forget to use TENA® Ultra Thins when you exercise as they’re sure to protect against any leaks while keeping you comfortable
- Simply eating a balanced breakfast in the morning can work wonders for you’re energy level while keeping you awake during the day
- Be sure to include fresh fruit with natural sugars to give you that boost you need, as well as carbohydrates and protein for long lasting energy
- As time isn’t always on your side in the morning, get some inspiration from these fast yet healthy breakfast ideas to keep you going all day
- Best combined with exercise, meditation is a great way to wake up and feel energized
- Set aside some time in the morning (even if it means waking up earlier!) to do some breathing exercise that will help to center yourself before the day ahead
- Feeling relaxed will also help you deal with the stress that can be associate with bladder weakness
- Not sure how to meditate? Not to worry. Here are 10 tips that will get you feeling zen
Good Night’s Sleep
- Often easier said than done, a good night’s sleep is THE best substitute for caffeine
- This is the most natural way to get you feeling energized to face all the challenges that each day presents
- To help achieve a peaceful slumber, try and avoid drinking alcohol (also a bladder irritant) and watching tv or playing on your tablet/ computer within thirty minutes of going to bed as the light can impede on your ability to fall asleep
- Check out these tips from the Mayo Clinic to help you get those precious 8 hours each and every night
- Also, if you experience the Unexpected Leak™ at nighttime, be sure to use TENA® Overnight pads as they protect from moderate to heavy leakage. Rest assured, they’re also extremely comfortable so you can sleep through the night and pass on that morning coffee!
Learn the food do’s and don’ts for dealing with OAB
Coloradans know that our cuisine reaches far beyond Chipotle burritos, the fearsome “Rocky Mountain Oyster” and Coors Light. It’s a state rich in culturally diverse flavors and there’s never a shortage of wine and beer (ranked third in the U.S. for number of craft breweries and sixth per capita).
Colorado also loves to celebrate food and drink with festivals like Aspen’s Food & Wine Classic with palates prepared for decadence.
But for women suffering from an overactive bladder (OAB), consuming the wrong foods will provide little comfort. By focusing on a bladder-friendly diet that avoids known irritants and opts for smart alternatives, urgency, frequency and bladder discomfort may be greatly reduced.
Suffering from OAB? We can help.
Contact us at 720-505-5063 or Request an Appointment
Coffee or tea? Which makes you pee?
Starting the day with a cup of coffee may be routine, however studies have shown that greater than 250 mg of caffeine daily can irritate the bladder causing urinary urgency and frequency.
Of note, Starbucks has some of the highest caffeine amounts of any coffee chain. One eight-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains approximately 180 mg of caffeine while a large, 20-ounce cup contains 415 mg. Cappuccino, espresso and the iced coffees contain slightly less caffeine than the brewed coffees.
Interestingly, the darker the roast, the less caffeine is present in ground coffee by volume. This is due to a) the longer a bean is roasted, the more caffeine in it is vaporized out of it, and b) the darker the roast, the larger the roasted bean becomes because it expands, producing more ground coffee by volume than a more lightly roasted bean will yield.
As caffeine is a diuretic, women may be causing their kidneys to produce more urine. This can overwhelm the bladder and cause frequent trips to the restroom or urinary leakage. Accordingly, it is good practice to drink at least eight ounces of water for each cup (or shot) of coffee that you consume – especially 30 minutes prior to engaging in an exercise routine – to avoid dehydration.
And the neighboring bowels? Because beverages with caffeine in them often have the effect of stimulating your intestines’ muscular activity and production of intestinal mucous, people with irritable bowels should take this into consideration when deciding whether or not, when and how often to drink such beverages.
Tip: consider decaf
Because the decaffeination process tends to result in a decrease in the “intensity” of its brewed flavor, such people will probably find that their use of darkly roasted decaffeinated beans will prove to be more satisfying. If you need your Venti Starbucks coffee, keep in mind that caffeine takes about 20-45 minutes to enter the bloodstream so you may need to find the ladies room at that time.
Tea has about half the caffeine of brewed coffee, so if you need a jolt test tea to see if it is right for you. Unfortunately, the dark color of tea or decaffeinated coffee contains tannins that can also irritate the bladder.
Wine: good or bad for OAB?
Wine can trigger a leaky bladder for two reasons.
- Alcohol is a diuretic that will start an increase of urine production leading to more trips to the bathroom.
- Red wine has more tannins in it giving it a darker color. Tannins are found in fruit skins that add both bitterness and astringency. Unfortunately, these tasty chemical compounds are bladder irritants and cause OAB patients to have discomfort.
Tip: Consider drinking white rather than red wine
Foods that may irritate the bladder
Michael Chiarello made a burrata caprese salad at a previous Aspen Food and Wine Festival that looked delicious, however it contained several ingredients that are a minefield for anyone with bladder pain. He built a beautiful dish with chili-infused vinegar, large slices of heirloom tomatoes, and large pieces of cheese.
Tip: All things in moderation
Eliminate all the foods on this list. As improvement is noticed after a few weeks, begin to reintroduce desired foods one at a time to determine which cause a problem.