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What is Frequent Urination vs. Urinary Incontinence

What is the Difference?


Frequent urination and urinary incontinence are not the same thing. Yes, those with urinary incontinence can experience frequent urination, but the two are not solidly linked. The average person excretes about 5 to 8 cups (1 to 1.8 litres) of urine every 24 hours, so that is something to take into consideration. If you are urinating more than that, you are experiencing frequent urination and possibly urinary incontinence.


Frequent Urination


Excessive urination, or frequent urination, is when you feel the urge to pass urine far more often than usual. This irritating issue could be caused by a few different reasons, some more serious than others. The excessive increase in urine production is known as polyuria.


Some people may experience frequent urination because they intake too many diuretics. Diuretics are foods and drinks that increase the urge to go. Some of these include alcohol, caffeine, spinach and grapefruit. Consuming too many diuretics is a very minor cause for frequent urination, and can be solved by simply cutting down on your intake. Another less serious reason for polyuria is pregnancy. Many pregnant women experience frequent urination because of the excess pressure put on their bladder. This is due to an enlarged uterus. After pregnancy, many women find their frequent urination to cease. Nocturia, the condition where you frequently urinate at night, is caused for a variety of different reasons other than urinary incontinence. On average, people sleep for 6 to 8 hours without having to urinate, but many have to get up in the night to relieve themselves. But it is very common in men and women to relieve themselves at night much more than this. Sometimes nocturia is caused by hormonal deficiencies, or simply because you have drank too much liquid before going to bed. By disturbing sleep, nocturia can significantly affect quality of life. Anxiety and depression are linked to those who do not get a good nights sleep. And anxiety happens to be another cause for frequent urination.


Diabetes and prostate issues are among the more serious reasons for frequent urination. Diabetes can cause frequent urination because of excess blood glucose. The kidneys to react by flushing the excess sugar out of the blood into the urine. This results in the need to urinate more frequently. Prostate issues can cause frequent urination as well, especially with an enlarged prostate. An enlarged prostate may press against the urethra and blood urine flow. The bladder then becomes irritated and contracts even when there is a small amount of urine, therefore causing frequent urination.


Frequent urination can also be caused by kidney infection, and this requires prompt attention. If not treated, a kidney infection can permanently damage the kidneys, or the bacteria can infect the bloodstream and become life-threatening.


If you have other symptoms along with your frequent urination, some being painful urination (dysuria), blood in the urine (hematuria), or the sudden urge to urinate as a result of urinary tract infection you should seek immediate medical attention.


Urinary Incontinence


Urinary incontinence is the condition in which you involuntarily leak urine, and experience loss of bladder control. Frequent urination is different from Urinary Incontinence, but that does not mean there is no linkage. Urinary Incontinence could very likely be the cause of frequent urination, that being one of it’s major symptoms. Frequent urination could also be a separate issue from Urinary Incontinence, but they can occur simultaneously. There are many subcategories of Urinary Incontinence, all involving issues with the urinary tract. Many people have found their lifestyles to change dramatically because of this condition, and it can be painful to bear.


Seeking Treatment


Generally those with frequent urination find it just to be an irritating quality in their life, which can be solved by simple diet changes. That being said, if you are experiencing frequent urination to the point where it has a detremental impact on your life, you should see a doctor. You may have urinary incontinence, or other serious health issues linked to excessive urination.


Interestingly, even though frequent urination and urinary incontinence are not the same thing, they do have very similar treatments. Treatments for urinary incontinence also include diet change, exercise and behavioral changes. Many with urinary incontinence and frequent urination have benefitted from using adult pull ons or absorbent briefs. If you are out in public or traveling and will be far from a bathroom for a long period of time, adult absorbent briefs or absorbent liners are incredibly beneficial. They enable you to live an active lifestyle without worry of leakage. You won’t have to run to the bathroom every time you have the sudden urge to urinate.


In any case, if frequent urination is effecting your lifestyle you should speak to a doctor. Even if it is a very minor impact on your life, you never know if it’s a symptom of a more serious issue.


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