Why Do I Pee So Often? Incontinence & Overactive Bladder

February 2020

Nazia Q Bandukwala, DO


You Drink Too Much Water It’s not just in straight H2O. You get 20-30% of water from foods, and more from other beverages. It may seem obvious, but too much water will make you pee more. That could lower the salt in your blood to unhealthy levels. Follow the “Goldilocks” rule: Drink enough to keep your urine clear or light yellow, but not so much that you spend all day in the bathroom.

Urinary Tract Infection

It’s the most common cause of frequent peeing. Bacteria infect your kidneys, bladder, or the tubes that connect them to each other and to the outside world. Your bladder swells and can’t hold as much urine, which may be cloudy, bloody, or strange-smelling. You might also have fever, chills, nausea, and pain in your side or lower belly. Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

Diabetes (Mellitus)

Both type 1 and type 2 raise your blood sugar. Your kidneys try to filter it out, but they can’t always keep up. So the sugar ends up in your urine. This
draws more water from your body and makes you pee more. The frequent urge to go is one of the first and most common signs of diabetes. Talk to your
doctor if you suddenly start to pee more than usual.

Diabetes Insipidus

This is a different condition from type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Here, your body can’t use or doesn’t make enough vasopressin, a hormone that normally tells your kidneys to release water into your blood when you need it. You may feel tired, nauseated, confused, and very, very thirsty. You also might pee as
much as 15 liters a day, or five times more than normal. Your doctor can help you manage it with medication.

Diuretics

Also known as water pills, these drugs treat high blood pressure and liver and kidney problems. They make your kidneys release more salt (sodium) into your urine, which makes you pee more. This may cause you to lose too much sodium and potassium, which could be bad for your health. You might be dizzy, achy, and nauseated. Talk to your doctor before you stop or change your dose.

Painful Bladder Syndrome

You might feel like you have to go all the time, but not much flows out. You also might have pain in your lower belly that gets worse when you pee or have sex. It seems to happen when your bladder tissue gets swollen and very sensitive. It’s not always clear what causes that. You can treat this condition, which is also called interstitial cystitis, with diet and exercise, medication, surgery, and physical therapy.

Kidney Stones

Minerals and salts can form tiny rocks in your kidney. You usually feel like you have to go often but don’t make much pee. You also may have nausea, fever, chills, and serious pain in your side and back that branches down to your groin in waves. Extra weight, dehydration, high-protein diets, and family history make them more likely. The stones might come out on their own, or you might need surgery.

Pregnancy

As your baby grows in your belly, it takes up more space and pushes on your bladder, which makes you want to go sooner. But even before that, when your baby was an embryo