Are you a frequent visitor to the loo? Then this is the right article for you! There are still not many who are aware of their urinary frequency. As such, there is no fixed number that is set as normal and it personally depends on the person. But visiting the bathroom couple of times in between sleep such that your visits affect the sleep quality, avoiding travelling fearing frequency of urination or emptying your bladder a couple of times before starting your trip somewhere are clear indications of something beyond normal.
Fixing the Number
Age, medications, supplements, foods, beverages, presence of medical conditions such as UTI or diabetes and bladder size are determining factors of your urination frequency. It is considered normal when people urinate 6 to 7 times a day but peeing between 4 and 10 times a day is also considered normal when it does not affect the individual’s quality of life. A person who drinks close to 2 liters of water a day pees up to seven times.
Pregnancy brings with it hormonal changes and increase in the pressure on the bladder which in turn increases urinary output. Such increased output is noticed in new mums up to 8 weeks or so too. Many-a-time frequency of visits to the loo increases in pregnant woman as she sails through her third trimester as the fetus grows in size and increases pressure on the bladder. This decreases the bladder size and hence, the bladder unable to hold the average urine content pressurizes the conceived mom to empty bladder contents frequently.
Signs of a Problem
Peeing too rarely or frequently is indicative of some problem and this is often accompanied by symptoms such as back pain, blood while urinating, pain during urination, fever, difficulty passing urine, cloudy or discolored urine and foul smell while urinating. If an individual starts to notice startling change in urinating frequency even though it still falls within the desired frequency ranges he/she must get in touch with a physician immediately.
Factors Affecting Frequency
Increased intake of fluids and beverages, especially caffeinated ones can cause tremendous changes in urination frequency. But such changes are often indicative of some underlying medical condition. Surprisingly almost 80% of urinary bladder problems are concerned with factors that go beyond the bladder.
Consumption of liquids: Too much fluid consumption increases urinary output while too little consumption decreases output and causes dehydration. Caffeine-rich beverages and alcohol have a diuretic effect that increase urination frequency. Hence, someone who drinks beverages such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate, energy drinks and colas are sure to witness a rise in urinary output even though he/she suffers from no underlying condition.
Age: Its common to see individuals above the age of 60 frequent the bathroom during night in between sleep. However, the normal frequency is not more than twice and if the numbers go beyond that it is time to call the doctor.
Medial history: Urinary tract infections (UTI), overactive bladder, diabetes, hypercalcemia/hypocalcemia, sickle cell anemia and prostate problems can cause changes in urinary frequency. Pelvic floor weakness that most often occurs after giving birth can increase the frequency of urination and performing pelvic/kegel exercises can minimize the effect.
Medication: Using diuretics increase the frequency of peeing as these drugs take fluids out of the bloodstream and send it to the kidneys directly. Individuals with high BP, heart problems and kidney conditions are prescribed such medications.
There is no need for treatment unless our quality of life is affected and there is an underlying medical condition. Pregnant women too require no treatment as the frequency decreases on its own a couple of weeks after delivery. For treatments such as UTI or diabetes that increase frequency the medications prescribed will resolve symptoms on their own and if some treatment causes an increase in urinary frequency adjustment of dosage and medication should do the trick. It is better to notice urination frequency, fluid intake, urgency and other symptoms at least for a few days before visiting the doctor. Adhering to the below things can also help ease the problem.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.