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Frequent urination: Why this may indicate diabetes?

Frequent urination is a common early symptom of diabetes. This is because hyperglycemia leads to too much blood glucose in the urine. This phenomenon not only leads to excess water in the urine, but also increases the person’s thirst. Therefore, these two factors contribute to more frequent urination.

Diabetes describes a group of conditions that affect the way the body processes blood sugar. It is a measure of the sugar in the bloodstream that the body uses to supply its cells with energy. When a person’s body can’t control their blood sugar, it can be high or low, which can cause many different symptoms. The two main types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2. In addition to frequent urination, other possible early symptoms of this disease can be extreme thirst, fatigue, and vision changes.

In this article we will see how frequent urination can indicate diabetes and what are the possible symptoms of this disease.

Why is frequent urination a sign of diabetes?

The term diabetes comes from the ancient Greek word meaning “siphon” or “go through.” It refers to the excessive production of urine that is a common symptom of diabetes mellitus. This is why diabetes insipidus has a similar name, as it also causes excessive urination. Diabetes mellitus is usually due to insulin problems. This hormone is responsible for regulating blood sugar. In some cases, type 1 diabetes can develop when the immune system mistakenly attacks the pancreas, affecting its ability to produce insulin. In the case of type 2 diabetes, a person can develop insulin resistance. In this case, the body no longer reacts correctly to the hormone, which causes an increase in the level of glucose in the blood.

When insulin cannot help regulate blood glucose levels, a person’s blood sugar levels rise. In general, the kidneys can filter and reabsorb glucose from the blood. However, since the amount of glucose in the blood is very high, it exceeds the capacity of the kidneys. Since these organs cannot filter such an amount of glucose, they excrete the excess in the urine. However, glucose is a solute, meaning it also transports water into the urine by osmosis, resulting in more urine.

In addition, by dragging fluid from other tissues, it also causes dehydration. As a result, thirst will increase, which will also contribute to an increase in the frequency of urination as the person drinks more fluids.

That’s why some people describe the main symptoms of diabetes as the “three cops.” They refer to:

polyuria, or frequent urination, to help the body get rid of excess glucose
polydipsia, or increased thirst, to compensate for fluid loss when urinating
polyphagia, or increased appetite, to compensate for glucose and fluid loss due to urination.

Other urinary symptoms

In addition to going to the bathroom more often, diabetes can also affect urine in other ways. This may include:

Sweet-smelling urine: As the body tries to get rid of excess glucose through urine, it may smell sweet.

Foamy urine – This usually occurs when there is protein in the urine. This may be due to high blood sugar from diabetes which damages the kidneys and affects their ability to filter blood.

Burning sensation: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common cause of a burning sensation when urinating and frequently affect people with diabetes.

Urinary retention: High blood sugar can cause nerve damage, which can cause some people to have difficulty urinating.

Other symptoms of diabetes

In addition to the above, other possible symptoms of diabetes mellitus may include:

unexplained weight loss
vision changes
tingling in extremities
Dry Skin
slow wound healing
frequent infections


If a person has symptoms that could indicate diabetes, a doctor can run tests to diagnose the condition. These tests typically involve measuring blood glucose levels and may include Trusted Source:

an A1C test
a fasting blood sugar (glucose) test
a glucose tolerance test
a random blood sugar test
Learn more about diabetes screening tests.

differential diagnosis

Outside of diabetes, frequent urination can also be a symptom or side effect of other conditions or circumstances, such as:

Diabetes insipidus: This condition affects the way the kidneys maintain fluid balance in the body, leading to excessive urine production.

Overactive bladder (OAB): This term refers to a common condition that describes a group of urinary symptoms. It is usually a loss of control over urination and a feeling of needing to urinate more often.

Prostate problems: If a person’s prostate is swollen due to a prostate problem, it can put pressure on the bladder and urethra, which can affect how often a person urinates and can also cause difficulty urinating.

Urinary tract infections: A urinary tract infection can irritate the lining of the bladder and urethra. Therefore, a person may feel the need to urinate more often.

Pregnancy: During pregnancy, a person may urinate more often due to increased kidney activity, pressure from the uterus on the bladder, and in some cases, weak pelvic floor muscles.

Bladder cancer: A person may urinate more often because of irritation of the bladder from the tumor or because the bladder cannot hold as much urine because of the lump.

Medications: Certain medications, such as diuretics, can cause a person to urinate more often.

Frequently asked questions sweat the frequent urge to urinate

Below are answers to the most common questions about diabetes and urination:

What type of diabetes causes a person to urinate frequently and why?

Frequent urination can be a symptom of any type of diabetes. It is due to a complication of hyperglycemia or high blood glucose. When the level of sugar in the blood is too high, the body tries to eliminate this excess through the urine. However, the concentration of glucose in the urine draws more water into the urine, causing it to increase in volume. It also increases thirst, which further increases the volume of urine.

What is diabetic urine like?

When a person urinates frequently due to diabetes, their urine may look cloudy and smell sweet due to the presence of glucose. It may also look foamy if the urine contains protein.

What are the early symptoms of diabetes?

Diabetes can cause a variety of symptoms, and early symptoms may present differently in different individuals. However, some of the more common early symptoms can include frequent urination, increased thirst, fatigue, weight loss, and vision changes.


Frequent urination or polyuria can be an early symptom of diabetes mellitus. It occurs when the body tries to remove excess glucose from the blood by excreting it in the urine. However, the concentration of glucose in the urine attracts water from the tissues. This not only increases the volume of urine, but also leads to dehydration and increased thirst. The person is then made to drink more and produce even more urine.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information provided can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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