Diuresis: Definition, Causes, Complications, Symptoms, Treatment and Overview

Adults generally urinate four to six times a day, averaging between three cups and three quarters of urine.

The word diuresis actually comes from two Greek terms “day” meaning “through” and “ouron” meaning urine.

Diuresis is a medical term used to refer to increased urination and is often used in a context related to the physiological processes of urine production by the kidneys and the general health of the individual.

This means that the kidneys will produce a greater volume of urine that will be excreted from the body which can coincide with increases in the loss of ions and salts, upsetting the preservation of the body’s normal fluid balance.

When the patient has diuresis it will lead to increases in these averages, although the fluid intake has not changed (depending on the cause).

The following are the various types of diuresis:

  • Osmotic diuresis: this is characterized by an increase in the speed of urination due to the presence of certain substances in the small tubes of the kidneys.
  • Forced diuresis: it is generally caused by medications and diuretic fluids, possibly enhancing the excretion of certain drugs in the urine. This form of diuresis can also be used to treat drug overdose and poisoning caused by certain drugs.
  • Pressure diuresis: It is caused by increases in blood pressure in an attempt to keep blood pressure in a normal range.
  • Rebound diuresis: the sudden increase in urine flow that occurs after recovery from acute kidney failure.
  • Post-obstructive diuresis: This diuresis is characterized by increased urine output after a urinary blockage has been removed. This can occur in patients suffering from urinary tract infections caused by kidney stones, prostate hypertrophy, or kidney infections.

Causes of diuresis

There are several pathological processes that occur in the body that induce a state of diuresis.

This can also be caused by the use of certain medications, whether on purpose or not.

It is important to note that the kidneys function as an independent organ that does its job of filtering and reabsorbing water and other substances when they function normally.

An increase in urine is often a response from the kidneys in an attempt to ensure that the body is maintaining homeostasis, a state of balance.

This can be seen in normal states when you choose to drink more water than you need.

To handle this increased water intake, the kidneys will filter more water than normal in order to maintain a normal fluid balance in the body.

The following are the various causes of diuresis:


Diabetes is a metabolic condition characterized by the inability to use insulin or the absence of production of a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas called insulin.

As a result of this, excess glucose (blood sugar), which your body gets from the food you eat, begins to build up in your bloodstream, leading to a condition called hyperglycemia.

The job of the kidneys is to filter the blood of waste and toxins.

Glucose cannot be reabsorbed by the kidney, causing an increase in osmotic pressure (the minimum pressure that must be applied to a solution to prevent the inward flow of its pure solvent through a semi-permeable membrane) within the kidney tubule. , causing the water not to be absorbed, increasing urine production.


Diuretics are also known as water pills, this is a form of medicine used to promote the kidneys’ ability to expel excess fluid from the body.

The most common reason for prescribing diuretics is for the maintenance of blood pressure.

Additionally, cases of heart failure and chronic kidney disease can lead to fluid overload, requiring the use of these medications to help remove excess water from the body.

the hypercalcemia

Hypercalcemia is a medical term that refers to an increase in calcium in the bloodstream.

Having increased levels of this chemical in the body can cause increased urination in an attempt to balance its levels in the body.

The diet

Foods like fresh fruits, juices, green leafy vegetables, as well as some herbs like parsley and dandelion can be considered natural diuretics, so go to the bathroom more often.

In addition, the consumption of excessively salty foods and the consumption of caffeine can have a similar effect on the body.

Cold temperatures

There is a natural inclination of the body to contract in colder climates to stay warm.

This also spreads to the blood vessels of the urinary system and bladder, causing it to shrink and thus increase the desire to urinate.

In addition, vasoconstriction increases blood pressure, which creates a response from the body to produce hormones that activate the kidneys to eliminate urine.

Diuresis symptoms

The symptoms of diuresis include:

  • An increase in urine output : diuresis is characterized by an abnormal increase in the amount of urine excreted.
  • Discomfort: Lower levels of discomfort may be experienced due to excessive elimination of urine.
  • An increase in thirst: the loss of excessive amounts of urine will cause the body to require the consumption of liquids, increasing thirst.
  • Fatigue: Losing excessive amounts of essential fluids and electrolytes can lead to tiredness.
  • A disturbed sleep: the increased need to urinate can often interrupt sleep causing weakness.

Diagnosis of diuresis

The diagnosis of diuresis is purely clinical, which means that the doctor will base his decision on the current symptoms.

Diuresis is often a feature of a particular underlying cause.

Given the number of different causes of diuresis, the reasoning behind the phenomenon will have to be further investigated.

This will often lead to a further evaluation of other criteria that assess general health to identify a possible cause.

This includes the implementation of various tests including a blood test (complete blood count), a urinalysis, as well as other lines of investigation depending on the suspected diagnosis.

Treatment will coincide with the identification of the potential cause.

Treatment of diuresis

Doctors will prescribe anti-diuretic drugs to treat this condition.

For other patients, treatment is aimed at treating the causative factors rather than the symptoms.

Too much urine can cause a serious condition called hypokalemia, and there is a high chance for dehydration.

Whatever the cause, early medical help should be sought to avoid complications in the future.

To treat diuresis, the underlying cause must be treated. That may involve:

  • Proper management of a condition, such as diabetes.
  • A change in the drugs that cause it.
  • Avoid the consumption of natural diuretics.

Complications that can occur

Frequent urination can upset the delicate balance of water, salt, and other minerals in the body.

That can lead to the following conditions:


Hyponatremia occurs when there is not enough sodium in the body. The use of diuretics and frequent urination can cause this condition.

Sodium is very important because it helps your body regulate blood pressure and fluid levels. It is also important for the functioning of the nervous system.

La hyperkalemia and hypokalemia

Hyperkalemia occurs when you have too much potassium in your body.

Hypokalemia on the other hand refers to having too little potassium.

This can be a complication from the use of diuretics.

Potassium is important for heart health, muscle contractions, and digestion.


Excess urine due to diuresis can lead to dehydration.

Without proper hydration, the body will have a difficult time regulating its temperature.

Kidney problems, seizures, and even shock can also be experienced.


You should consult your doctor if you are experiencing an increase in the need to urinate or thirst.

The underlying diseases that cause diuresis require medical treatment.

Your doctor can help you control excess urination with changes to your medications and diet.

With careful medical supervision, you may be able to avoid diuresis altogether.