Cold weather might make you have to go more

Living in the midwest, we are all VERY familiar with the change in seasons.

With that comes the (usually drastic) change in temperatures. Have you ever noticed an increase in urinary urgency or feeling like you need to go to the bathroom more when you are out in colder weather? This is a phenomenon called cold diuresis and, rest assured, it is NOT harmful! But it can be very annoying!

Cold diuresis is your body’s way of preserving heat when it starts to experience a drop in temperature. Ultimately, your body starts to think that it may be in danger of hypothermia. The body’s first priority is to protect all of your internal organs. This means there will be reduced blood flow to the skin and more blood flow towards the center of your body to protect those vital organs and keep them warm. With all these changes happening, your body typically will show a little spike in blood pressure. This is because now you have the same amount of blood just pumping through a much smaller amount of space. This is where the kidneys come into play – they will start to filter excess fluid in the blood to reduce the blood volume and in turn, overall blood pressure. Well, all this extra fluid being filtered has to go somewhere, right? Cue the increase in urination and urgency/frequency.

More people than not will experience cold diuresis to varying degrees at some point in their lifetimes. But just because this is common, it does NOT mean that it is normal and it does NOT mean that there isn’t anything you can do about it!

A couple quick tips that can help if you are experiencing cold diuresis include:

Dress appropriately!

Make sure you have layers and are bundled up when you are heading out into colder weather. This is going to help keep your body temperature a little more regulated. Remember, cold diuresis is your body’s response to thinking it may be going into hypothermia.

Practicing deep, diaphragmatic breathing.

When you experience an urge, your body goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode. This causes an increase in the hormone adrenaline and can make all sensations seem very amplified and more intense than they maybe necessarily are. By practicing deep breathing, that can cause your body to go into more of a state of relaxation, decreasing the ‘fight or flight’ mode and decreasing the amount of adrenaline being released which will help to calm the urge.

See a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist

This is the BEST thing that you can do if you are experiencing an increase in urgency and/or frequency. Your PT will perform a full assessment of your pelvic floor and surrounding muscles, look at breathing patterns, perform a postural assessment, and come up with a treatment plan that is individualized to YOU.

Here at Apex Physical Therapy & Wellness, we have a very highly qualified team of pelvic health therapists who are ready to help you. Call or email to set up your appointment today!

For more information: arkansasurology.com/what-is-cold-diuresis

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