Dr. Dean

Why Do I Urinate So Much?

Posting Date: 11/10/1999

Tina: Frequent urination is driving me crazy.

Take yesterday, for example. About an hour before I picked up my daughter from school, I was driving around doing errands and I was drinking from my water bottle.

I was at her school at 3:30 and I desperately sought and used the bathroom. At 4:30, I was in the same fix. Just thirty minutes later, I peed again, a lot.

Dr. Dean: That amount is really not off the charts. You just told me what caused the urgency, driving around drinking a lot of water.

The more we drink, the more we eliminate. The body is very, very smart. It cues us when we need to drink, and it regulates itself. If we drink too much, we pee a lot. If we drink too little, it starts to hold onto the fluid. Our kidneys know how to do this.

The easy way to gauge if you are taking in the right amount of water is to look at the color of your urine. If it's very, very clear you are drinking too much. If it's deep yellow, you are not drinking enough.

The two common medical causes of frequent urination are diabetes or a bladder infection. From the pattern you described, I don't think you have either disease, but anyone who urinates frequently should have a test for diabetes. A bladder infection would not produce the hearty stream that you described. It's more like squirt, squirt.

By the way, old people do need to take special care to drink enough. And everyone should take in lots of water on very hot days.