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Is frequent urination a sign of UTI?

Frequent urination can be an inconvenient or embarrassing condition. While different conditions can cause frequent urination, one of the most common is urinary tract infection (UTI).

However, it is best to determine the exact cause of frequent urination instead of immediately assuming that it’s a symptom of UTI. Accurate diagnosis of any underlying conditions is crucial since severe conditions can also make you feel an urgent or constant need to urinate.

UTI: Causes and remedies

UTI occurs when bacteria infect your urinary tract, bladder and kidneys. UTIs are often treated with antibiotics, but they are often linked to negative side effects. Antibiotics can disturb levels of bacteria in your gut if you take them when you have UTI.

Once you have determined that frequent urination is a symptom of UTI, try the following natural remedies to address your condition:

  • Drink unsweetened cranberry juice.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Increase your vitamin C intake.
  • Take a probiotic.
  • Try natural supplements like bearberry leaf, cranberry extract or garlic extract.

UTIs are common in women, but men can develop it, too. You can have chronic UTI if you are often dehydrated, have recently had a catheter, or have kidney disease.

Frequent urination is one of the symptoms of UTI. Other symptoms include burning sensation and pain while urinating.

Other causes of frequent urination

While frequent urination is often caused by UTI, it can also be caused by these conditions:

  1. Bladder cancer – This is more common in older patients. Bladder cancer can cause frequent urination, along with blood in the urine. If you experience these symptoms without pain, talk to your naturopathic physician immediately.
  2. Chemotherapy – Urination during chemotherapy can mimic UTI. You may urinate frequently, have cloudy urine, have strange discoloration, or have urine with a very strong smell.
  3. Diabetes – If you have either Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, you may need to urinate frequently, particularly if your blood sugar isn’t controlled. Urinating is your body’s way of trying to eliminate excess glucose.
  4. Diuretics – Diuretics are substances that flush fluid out of your body. Certain kinds of medication may have similar properties as diuretics, such as blood pressure medication. Caffeine is another diuretic and drinking too much coffee, soda, or energy drinks can cause frequent urination.
  5. Interstitial cystitis – This condition causes excruciating pain, inflammation of the bladder and the need to urinate at least 60 times a day.
  6. Neurological conditions – Certain conditions, like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and stroke, can damage the nerves that control bladder function. This results in frequent urination and incontinence.
  7. Ovarian cancer – This type of cancer doesn’t have a lot of symptoms that you can catch early on. To prevent ovarian cancer from spreading before it has been caught, talk to your naturopathic healthcare provider if you have a frequent urge to urinate and can’t, or if you’re urinating more often than usual with no other symptoms.
  8. Overactive bladder – Often mistaken as a symptom, an overactive bladder may cause frequent urination. An overactive bladder contracts involuntarily, and this can make you feel like you have to urinate, even after you’ve already used the toilet.
  9. Pregnancy – As your child grows in the uterus, space for your other organs decreases. A baby will usually press on your bladder, resulting in frequent urges to urinate.
  10. Prostate – Prostatitis in men (inflammation of the prostate) presses against the urethra and creates the urge to pee, but then prevents them from doing so. Frequent urination can also indicate prostate cancer, so have your prostate examined regularly.

Addressing frequent urination

If you have an overactive bladder, you can address your condition by:

  • Exercising regularly.
  • Trying specific exercises (e.g., as Kegels) to tighten the muscles around the urinary tract for greater control. (Related: Skip the antibiotics: How to self-treat a UTI.)
  • Making dietary changes.
  • Making positive lifestyle changes.

Having the urge to urinate frequently can affect quality of life and cause stress or embarrassment. Consult your trusted naturopathic healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis, then try home remedies to address your condition naturally.

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