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What is Cold Diuresis

by Arkansas Urology on Monday, February 13, 2017

It’s a phenomenon that all may not experience, but most will not want to talk about: the cold-weather-induced need to urinate. More people than not will experience this phenomenon throughout their lives at varying frequencies, but many will never know why. The truth is no one knows with 100% certainty why this happens, but scientists and doctors have a pretty good guess -- cold diuresis.winter image

Cold diuresis is the body’s way of preserving heat when it feels that you may be in danger of hypothermia. When your body begins to react to a drop in temperature, it starts to constrict your blood vessels to reduce blood flow to the skin and keep the warmth around your internal organs.

This causes an increase in blood pressure because there is now the same amount of blood in your body being pumped through a smaller amount of space. In response to this increase in pressure, the kidneys begin to filter out excess fluid in the blood to reduce the blood’s volume, and therefore the pressure. All this fluid has to go somewhere, and that’s where the increased urination begins.

Currently, there is no scientific research that can definitively tell us a set temperature, exposure length, age or other factor that causes cold diuresis. Luckily, if you find yourself urinating more often in cold weather you can rest assured it probably isn’t a sign of anything too serious.

The best advice there is to someone who thinks they are experiencing this phenomenon is to bundle up and try to stay warm. Cold Diuresis is technically a warning sign of your body sensing hypothermia, so you should pay attention and make sure you enjoy the cold weather safely.

You should also remember to drink extra water when you come in from the cold, because even though you probably didn’t sweat, you may still have lost too much fluid from the effects of cold diuresis. If you find yourself urinating in extremely excessive amounts or frequencies, you should contact your doctor immediately as this may be a sign of a more serious condition. Please give us a call at 1-877-321-8452 to schedule an appointment or talk to one of our staff members.