Frequent urination: why could this indicate diabetes?

Frequent urination: why could this indicate diabetes?

Frequent urination is a common early symptom of diabetes. This is because high blood sugar leads to increased blood glucose in the urine. This phenomenon leads not only to an excess of water in the urine, but also to an increase in a person’s thirst. Thus, these two factors contribute to an increase in the frequency of urination.

Diabetes describes a group of conditions that affect the way the body processes blood sugar. It is a measure of sugar in the bloodstream that the body uses to supply its cells with energy. When a person’s body fails to control their blood sugar, it can be high or low, which can lead to many different symptoms. The two main types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2. Besides frequent urination, other 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 ‘pass through’. It refers to the excessive production of urine and is a common symptom of diabetes. This is why diabetes insipidus has a similar name, as it also causes excessive urination. Diabetes is usually caused by problems with insulin. This hormone is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. 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 organism no longer reacts properly to the hormone, which leads to an increase in the level of glucose in the blood.

When insulin does not help regulate blood sugar levels, blood sugar levels rise. In general, the kidneys are able to filter and reabsorb glucose from the blood. However, since the amount of glucose in the blood is too high, it is beyond 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 soluble, which means that it carries water into the urine by osmosis, which leads to increased urine.

Moreover, by drawing fluids from other tissues, it also causes dehydration. As a result, thirst will increase, which also contributes to an increase in the rate of urination as a person drinks more fluids.

This is why some people describe the main symptoms of diabetes as the “three poles.” They indicate:

Urinating frequently to help the body get rid of excess glucose
polydipsia, or increased thirst, to compensate for fluid loss from urination
Frequent eating, or increased appetite, to compensate for the loss of glucose and fluids due to urination.

Other urinary symptoms

In addition to frequent trips to the bathroom, diabetes can also affect urine in other ways. This may include:

Sweet-smelling urine: When the body is trying 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 due to diabetes that damages the kidneys and affects their ability to filter the blood.

Burning sensation: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common cause of a burning sensation during urination and often occur in people with diabetes.

Urinary retention: High blood sugar can damage nerves, which can make it difficult to urinate in some people.

Other symptoms of diabetes

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

Unexplained weight loss
vision changes
Tingling in the 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 disease. These tests usually include measuring blood glucose levels and may include:

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

mixed diagnosis

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

Diabetes insipidus: This condition affects the way the kidneys maintain fluid balance in the body, resulting in increased urine output.

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 the prostate is swollen due to a prostate problem, it can put pressure on the bladder and urethra, which can affect how often you urinate and can also cause difficulty urinating.

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

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

Bladder cancer: A person may urinate more often due to irritation of the bladder from the tumor or because the bladder is unable to hold a large amount of urine due to the mass.

Medications: Some medications, such as diuretics, can make a person urinate frequently.

Frequently asked questions Sweating the frequent urge to urinate

Here are answers to the most frequently asked 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 a complication of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar. When blood sugar is too high, the body tries to get rid of this excess through urine. However, the concentration of glucose in the urine pulls more water into the urine causing it to increase in volume. It also increases thirst which increases urine volume.

What does diabetes look like?

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

What are the first symptoms of diabetes?

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


Frequent urination, or urination, can be an early symptom of diabetes. 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 leads not only to an increase in the volume of urine, but also to dehydration and increased thirst. The person is then forced to drink more and produce more urine.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In any case, the information provided cannot replace the advice of a health professional.

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