Health

Why are you peeing because of the cold?

Why are you peeing because of the cold?

Why are you peeing because of the cold?

Image for article titled Why the Cold Makes You Pee

Photo: anetapics (Shutterstock)

Imagine yourself outdoors in a cold winter landscape. You feel a chill in your toes and a sting of cold air on your face. The sounds are muffled by the snow. You can smell a kind of pure freshness in the air. And your bladder probably feels like it’s going to burst. What’s up that?

It’s not just Murphy’s Law that makes you have to go as soon as you’re all gathered. The cold itself seems to make our bodies fill the bladder faster. It is a phenomenon known to scientists as cold-induced diuresis.

What is cold-induced diuresis?

One way our body deals with the cold is by constricting the blood vessels around the skin, so that our blood (which is warm) circulates more around our organs and is less exposed to the cold temperatures near the surface of our skin. This is related to why your fingers and toes start to tingle.

But if there is less blood in the outer parts of our body, it means that there is more blood circulates around our organs. Internally, our blood pressure is a little higher than it would normally be.

And that means our kidneys are now filtering our blood a bit faster than they would normally. The result of that filtering is, you guessed it, urine. So our bladder fills earlier than it normally would.

What to do with cold-induced diuresis

Fortunately, cold-induced diuresis is more of a nuisance than a problem. Maybe you want to go to the bathroom before you step out into the cold, instead of the urge to hit you a few minutes after you leave the house.

Joining can also help. Remember, this is our body’s response to feeling cold, so if you dress warmly enough, you may not trigger this reaction at all.

It’s also worth remembering to stay hydrated. If you’re constantly cold and then peeing more than usual, you could end up more dehydrated than you think. So if you feel extra thirsty when you come back from a long day outdoors, be sure to drink up.



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