Why does cold weather make me need to pee?
Photo by Chris Keller
During winter, a lot of people tend to layer up to keep their body nice and toasty. When it comes time to having to use the bathroom, it can be quite an ordeal to get out of all those items and, unfortunately, a lot of people feel like their bladder gets full faster when it’s cold.
You might be dressed accordingly for the cold temperatures in your area, but that doesn’t mean your body isn’t going to react to the freezing winter weather. Having to urinate more often in the winter is completely normal. This is actually a condition that is called cold diuresis.
Read on to find out more about why the cold weather has this effect on your need to pee.
What is ‘Cold Diuresis’?
When you expose your body to the cold to get from one place to another or to partake in cold weather activities, your blood vessels naturally constrict. This happens so that your body can direct blood flow to your vital organs..
Your kidneys are responsible for creating urine as a way to filter out waste from your blood. On an average temperature day, your body will usually produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine.
Cold weather will result in your body needing to filter more blood than normal as blood is rushing to your vital organs at a higher frequency. This results in you having to pee more often. Sure, it’s an annoying process, but rest assured that this is perfectly normal.
Dealing with an Increase in Bladder Activity
It might be tempting to drink less water or skip a bathroom break. However, drinking less water is not a healthy alternative and neither is holding it for long periods of time You are probably going to make yourself pretty uncomfortable and could cause a urinary tract infection to develop. This will cause a whole new set of problems that you’ll have to deal with that are a lot more annoying than another bathroom break.
Even though cold diuresis is normal, it is still a good idea to keep an eye on your need to urinate if you are in the middle of a winter outdoor activity. Professionals believe that an increased need to use the bathroom can be one of the first signs of hypothermia. Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition that causes your body to lose too much heat. It can result in shivering, confusion, shortness of breath and death. So if you’re spending a lot of time in the cold air and find yourself going to the bathroom a lot, get to a warmer environment fast.
Also, since your body is using a great deal more fluid and you’re having to use the bathroom more, sure that you are replenishing these fluids so you don’t get dehydrated. It might not be warm outside, but that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to retain your fluids.
If you’re planning on any outdoor activity this winter, check with AccuWeather.com for the latest weather updates in your area. You’ll be able to dress accordingly and know exactly what weather to expect so you don’t get dangerously cold.Report a Typo