There are some people who can get by an entire hour without peeing a single drop. And then there are some who have to constantly come up with plausible excuses to mask the real reason for their disappearance after every 20 minutes – that is, emptying out the bladder.
This may seem fairly odd to the former group of people, maybe even hilarious. While peeing too much or too frequently may be the effect of something as simple as drinking too much water, it could also be a sign of an underlying condition you’re not aware of. So, for the benefit of your information, here are 6 most common reasons why you may be feeling the need to visit the loo so often.
1. You’re Drinking Too Much
This is one of the most obvious reasons known to everyone. The more you drink, the more you’ll pee.
There has been a lot of hype around the minimum daily fluid intake of 2.5 liters because of which many people try to stick to that number. However, this is not really necessary, as some of your water intake already comes from the food you eat.1
So how do you know how much to drink over and above the water you’re consuming through your meals? By listening to your body. Your body will signal to you when it is need of more water. For instance, when you feel thirsty, or dehydrated – it’s a sign for you to drink some water immediately. Also be sure to drink more water on particularly hot days, or on days when you subject yourself to strenuous activity. That way, you will be able to make up for the water you lose through perspiration.
You can also use the color of your pee to determine how much water you should be really drinking. Normal urine should be a pale yellow color and denotes that your water intake is just right. If your pee is deep yellow, it means you need to drink more, and if it is too pale, almost white, it means you need to drink less.
This, however, does not apply to people who have kidney stones, diarrhea, or a urinary tract infection, who are advised to drink large quantities of water to recover from the infection.
2. You’re Just Nervous
Most of us can relate to that terrible urge to visit the bathroom right before a special date, or an important exam. Even though you’re quite sure that your bladder isn’t full and that you really don’t need to pass urine, you still feel that familiar pressure in your lower abdomen area. No matter what you do, your mind will refuse to calm itself until you at least try to pee.
This is because every time your body faces stressful situations, your sympathetic nervous system responds by getting into ‘fight or flight’ mode. This triggers a sudden surge of the stress hormone adrenaline into your bloodstream, which in turn, is responsible for increasing urine flow. Therefore, peeing when you’re super stressed or nervous is completely normal and isn’t something you should be worried about.
3. Your Bladder Is Small-Sized
The average-sized bladder can hold up to 300-400ml of water.2 This is almost equivalent to 2 cups of tea or a small bottle of water. Therefore, the desperation to pee after a few drinks should not come as a surprise.
If, however, you can’t seem to control yourself after just one drink, it’s probably a sign that you have a smaller sized bladder.
Similarly, certain conditions like pregnancy can also cause your bladder to compress, thereby decreasing its holding capacity and making you want to pee more.
4. You’re Diabetic
The need to pass urine frequently in abnormally large quantities is often an early symptom associated with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
When a person is diabetic, it means that there is an excess sugar buildup in the bloodstream. The kidneys are then forced to filter and absorb this extra sugar. Once your kidneys can no longer store any more sugar, they signal the body to take fluids from the neighboring tissues so that they may excrete the excess sugar in the urine. So in the process of trying to get rid of unused glucose, your body keeps pressing you to take more bathroom breaks.
For this reason, excessive thirst is also commonly associated with diabetes. This is because your body gets dehydrated from letting out so much fluid, which means you will get thirsty more often. To quench your thirst, you will drink more water, as a result of which you will be peeing more repeatedly.
So how can you avoid getting into this annoying cycle if you’re diabetic? Doctors recommend that you drink just enough to keep constipation and over-concentration of urine at bay but avoid fluid intake before bedtime. That way you won’t need to have your sleep disturbed from wanting to visit the bathroom constantly.
5. You Have Prostate Problems
If you have an enlarged prostate, it can press against the urethra – the tube that allows the passage of urine out of the body. Naturally, this will block the flow of urine. As a result, this puts extra pressure on the urethra and the bladder, decreasing their ability to hold the urine. Your bladder will start contracting even when it contains the smallest amount of pee, thus, in turn, causing you to pee more frequently.
6. You’re On Diuretics
Diuretics are a kind of medication that are used to treat conditions like high blood pressure. Typically, diuretics work by pushing your kidneys to release more sodium into your urine. This sodium absorbs water from your bloodstream to help bring down the amount of fluid flowing through your blood vessels. This way, it decreases the pressure on the walls of your blood vessels but also makes you pee more frequently.
If you have been medically advised to take diuretics on a regular basis, you will definitely hit the bathroom more often than usual. So if you’re concerned about this, you may want to consult your doctor to see if there’s an alternative medication that he can prescribe instead.