Polyuria – Frequent Urination: Causes and Symptoms, When to Go to the Doctor

Definition of Polyuria

Also known as frequent urination, it occurs when daily urination exceeds 3 liters per day. Thus, Polyuria can be defined as urine of more than 3 liters a day.

This condition is characterized by the fact that the body, or more precisely the act of urinating, happens more than usual and goes to excessive or abnormally high amounts.

Then by contrast, another simple definition of Polyuria is to define it as the frequent passage of large volumes of urine – more than 3 liters a day compared to the average daily production of urine in adults of approximately one to two liters.

However, this anomaly is one of the main symptoms of diabetes (type 1 and type 2 diabetes) and can lead to severe dehydration, which can affect kidney function if not treated early.


Polyuria is usually the result of drinking excessive amounts of fluid (polydipsia), particularly water and liquids that contain caffeine or alcohol.

It is also one of the main signs of diabetes mellitus. When the kidneys filter the blood to make urine, they reabsorb all the sugar, returning it to the bloodstream.


In diabetes, the level of sugar in the blood is abnormally high. Not all sugar can be reabsorbed, and some of this excess glucose from the blood ends up in the urine. And this is what results in huge urine volumes.

Other causes of Polyuria include:

  • Diabetes inspires – a condition unrelated to diabetes mellitus that affects the kidneys and the hormones that interact with them, resulting in large amounts of urine production.
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver failure
  • Drugs that include diuretics (substances that increase the excretion of body/urine water)
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Psychogenic polydipsia: excessive consumption of water, more often seen in anxious middle-aged women and patients with psychiatric illnesses
  • Hypercalcemia: high levels of calcium in the blood
  • The pregnancy

Polyuria is a symptom of diabetes.

In addition to being one of the symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes, Polyuria can also occur in people with diagnosed diabetes if blood glucose levels have risen too much.

If the blood glucose levels become too high, the body will try to remedy the situation by removing glucose from the blood through the kidneys. When this happens, the kidneys will also leak more water, and you will have to urinate more than usual due to this overproduction of glucose.

If you are frequently experiencing a greater need to urinate, it could be a sign that your sugar levels are too high.

So, if you have access to blood glucose test strips, you may want to test your blood sugar levels if you are urinating more than usual.

However, if you have diabetes but do not have blood glucose testing supplies, you may want to write down how often you urinate and discuss this with your health team. Keep a personal notebook with your daily notes and compare them with your family doctor.

Your health team should be able to advise you if the problem may be related to diabetes and any corrective action you may take.

Recognizing the symptoms

The most common sign of Polyuria is producing abnormally large volumes of urine at regular intervals during the day and night.

If you are concerned about the amount you urinate and think you may have Polyuria, you should note how much you drink; the frequency with which you urinate, and the amount of urine you produce each time you go to the bathroom. That is to say, he has to take personal control.

When to consult your doctor about Polyuria

You should consult your doctor if you have excessive urination for several days. Urinations can not be justified by increasing fluid intake or medication of any kind.

Medical causes of excessive volume of urination: Now, it must be borne in mind that excessive urine production can sometimes indicate health problems, including:

  • Bladder infection (common in children and women)
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Diabetes
  • Interstitial nephritis
  • Renal insufficiency
  • Kidney stones
  • Psychogenic polydipsia is a mental disorder that causes excessive thirst.
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (more common in men over 50)
  • Certain types of cancer

You may also notice Polyuria after a CT scan or any other hospital test in which a dye is injected into your body. Excessive urine volume is expected the day after the test. Call your doctor if the problem continues.

Other causes of Polyuria

Excessive volume of urine often occurs due to certain behaviors in your lifestyle. This may include drinking large amounts of fluid, which is known – as mentioned above – as polydipsia and is not a severe health problem.

Many people have the habit of drinking alcohol frequently. Likewise, it happens with caffeine (coffee), which can also develop Polyuria.

Similarly, certain medications such as diuretics increase the volume of urine. In this regard, talk to your doctor if you recently started a new drug (or just changed your dose) and, casuistically, check for changes in urine volume.

Remember that both alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, and some medications for high blood pressure and edema also act as diuretics, including:

  • Thiazide diuretics, such as Chlorothiazide and Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Potassium-sparing diuretics, such as Eplerenone and Triamterene
  • Loop diuretics, such as Bumetanide and Furosemide

In this way, you could quickly develop by continuing to take these medications and consuming a lot of coffee, Polyuria.