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Frequent urination – Symptoms, causes and other risk factors

When we have to go all the time to urinate, technically this problem is called frequent urination. In the most people, their bladder is able to store the urine until it is convenient to go to the bathroom and typically this is happening 4 – 8 times per day. When you need to go to the toilet more than 8 times per day or when you wake up in the night to go the toilet, then this can mean that you are drinking too much or too close to bedtime. But this can be also symptom of underlying health condition.

Symptoms of frequent urination

The frequent urination is one of the main symptoms of polyuria. If you have other symptoms, then they can indicate that you have another, possibly more serious problem. When you have a need to urinate at night during the sleep cycle is the nocturia. This can be a symptom of diabetes mellitus or diabetes insipidus. [1] There are other symptoms which may need further attention and they include:

  • Low back or side pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever or chills
  • An increase in appetite or thirst
  • Discharge from the vagina or penis
  • Difficulty urinating despite the urge
  • Gradual loss of bladder control or urinary incontinence
  • Urine that is bloody, cloudy or of an unusual color
  • Pain or discomfort while urinating

If other symptoms are present or the frequent urination is affecting your life, then you need to talk with your doctor as soon as possible. Also there are some cases when the frequent urination can mean that you have kidney infection. [2] If you let it untreated, then this can permanently damage your kidneys. Also the bacteria which cause the infection can potentially enter the bloodstream which is infecting other areas of the body. This can become life – threatening condition and it needs attention. Treatment of this condition depends on the underlying condition.

frequent urination

Causes of frequent urination

There are many different problems which can cause frequent urination from simply drinking too much fluid to kidney disease. [3] When the frequent urination is accompanied by pain and discomfort in the abdomen, an urgent need to urinate or fever, then you may have a urinary tract infection. But also there are other possible causes of frequent urination and they include:

  • Stroke or other neurological diseases: Damage to the nerves which are supplying the bladder can lead to problems with the bladder function in which is also included the sudden and frequent urges to urinate. [4]
  • Diuretic use: These are medications which are used to treat the high blood pressure or the fluid buildup work in the kidney and flush excess fluids from the body and they can lead to frequent urination. [5]
  • Interstitial cystitis: This condition is caused by unknown cause and it is characterized by pain in pelvic and bladder region. In the most cases symptoms include an urgent or frequent need to urinate. [6]
  • Prostate problems: An enlarged prostate can press against the urethra and block the flow of urine. The urethra is tube that carriers urine out of the body. This is causing the walls of your bladder to become irritable. The bladder region begins to contract even when it contains smell amounts of urine which is causing more frequent urination. [7]
  • Pregnancy: It is known fact that from the early weeks of pregnancy the growing uterus places pressure on the bladder which is causing frequent urination. [8]
  • Diabetes: One of the most common symptoms of diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2 is the frequent urination with an abnormally large amount of urine. This is a symptom because the body tries to rid itself of unused glucose through the urine. [1]

In less common cases radiation therapy, bladder dysfunction and bladder cancer are causes for frequent urination. In many cases the frequent urination is not a symptom of a problem, but it is the problem. People who suffer from overactive bladder syndrome, the involuntary bladder contractions is leading to often and frequent urination which means that they have to get a bathroom right now, even if their bladder is not full. Also frequent urination can lead you to wake up once or more during the night to use the bathroom.


[1] Furukawa S, Sakai T, Niiya T, et al. Dietary intake habits and the prevalence of nocturia in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Journal of Diabetes Investigation. 2018;9(2):279–85.

[2] Najar MS, Saldanha CL, Banday KA. Approach to urinary tract infections. Indian Journal of Nephrology. 2009;19(4):129–39.

[3] Perrier E, Rondeau P, Poupin M, et al. Relation between urinary hydration biomarkers and total fluid intake in healthy adults. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2013;67(9):939–43.

[4] Pyo H,  Kim BR, Park M, et al. Effects of overactive bladder symptoms in stroke patients’ health related quality of life and their performance scale. Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine. 2017;41(6):935–43.

[5] Ekundayo OJ, Markland A, Lefante C, et al. Association of diuretic use and overactive bladder syndrome in older adults: a propensity score analysis. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. 2009;49(1):64–8.

[6] Brusch JL. Urinary tract infection (UTI) and cystitis (bladder infection) in females. Medscape. 2020. Retrieved from

[7] University of Virginia School of Medicine. Prostate disease. Retrieved from

[8] Adaji SE, Shittu OS, Bature SB, et al. Bothersome lower urinary symptoms during pregnancy: a preliminary study using the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire. African Health Sciences. 2011;11(Suppl1):S46–S52.

Dr. Emil Sarsath (aka) Vijila, a licensed naturopathic doctor (BSMS) who always ensures his patients receive compassionate, and individualized care. He has extensive experience in primary care, digestive health, mental health, nervous system disorder and more.Area of Expertise – Naturopathic Medicine, Whole Foods-based Nutrition, Siddha, Panchakarma.She is always available through [email protected]



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