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Frequent Urination and Diabetes

*Disclaimer: All content and information in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only.

This article was medically reviewed by Amanda Ciprich, MS, RD. Last updated on 12/27/23.


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Waking up in the middle of the night to pee? It could be a sign of diabetes. In this article, we will explore how frequent urination could indicate diabetes and the possible symptoms of the condition.

What is Frequent Urination?

Frequent urination is the feeling that you have to urinate more frequently than typical. It is a common symptom of various medical conditions and can occur in people of all ages. Frequent urination can be temporary or chronic and may be accompanied by other symptoms depending on the underlying cause.

Factors contributing to frequent urination are increased fluid intake, urinary tract infections, diabetes, enlarged prostate, pregnancy, interstitial cystitis, overactive bladder, anxiety or stress, and neurological conditions.

What causes frequent urination with diabetes?

Frequent urination is often a common sign of diabetes, especially when the condition remains undetected. In cases of undiagnosed diabetes, blood glucose levels are persistently elevated. Consequently, this puts stress on the kidneys, which normally work to reabsorb glucose into the bloodstream. When glucose levels exceed 180 mg/dL, the kidneys will expel excessive glucose from the body through urination. This increased urination frequency can increase the risk of dehydration, which explains why individuals with undiagnosed diabetes often experience increased thirst symptoms.

Other signs and symptoms of diabetes

In addition to frequent urination, other common signs of diabetes include:

  • Unexplained weight loss: When diabetes remains undiagnosed, the body is unable to properly utilize glucose for energy which leads to weight loss.
  • Increased hunger: Some people with undiagnosed diabetes may feel unusually hungry since their body is unable to get the energy it needs.
  • Fatigue: Persistently elevated blood sugar levels can lead to fatigue since the body is unable to get energy from glucose.
  • Blurry vision: Undiagnosed diabetes can lead to blurry vision or seeing dark spots.
  • Slow wound healing: High blood sugar levels can interfere with the body’s ability to heal wounds.


Some people may not experience any noticeable symptoms, especially in the early stages of diabetes. Routine check-ups with a primary care provider are essential for early detection of diabetes. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical advice for proper evaluation.

What to do if you are experiencing frequent urination

If you are experiencing a sudden increase in urination frequency, it’s important to see your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Frequent urination can be a sign of uncontrolled diabetes or other related health concerns such as urinary tract infections or kidney issues.


As previously mentioned, excessive urination can result in dehydration, which in turn can increase the risk of complications such as kidney problems or even life-threatening diabetes ketoacidosis if left untreated.

Other reasons for increased urination

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Heart failure
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications
  • Age
  • Drinking too much


Communicating openly with your healthcare provider about any concerns related to frequent urination or other diabetes-related symptoms is crucial. They can assess your condition, order necessary tests, make treatment adjustments, and provide guidance to help you take care of your health.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can medication adjustments help reduce frequent urination in diabetes?

Yes, medication adjustments, including changes in insulin or oral diabetes medications, can help manage blood sugar levels and reduce frequent urination in diabetes. Always consult your healthcare provider before changing your diabetes medication regimen.

2. Does drinking water exacerbate frequent urination in diabetes?

While it may seem counterintuitive, drinking enough water is essential to prevent dehydration, especially if you have diabetes and experience frequent urination. However, balancing fluid intake throughout the day is essential for ensuring uninterrupted sleep.


What does diabetic urine smell like?

In addition to increased frequency, diabetes can also affect the way that urine smells. Due to the excess glucose that is being removed from the body through the urine it can have a sweet smelling scent.


Frequent urination could be a potential early symptom of diabetes. It occurs when the body is trying to remove excessive glucose from the bloodstream by expelling it in urine. Not only does this increase the frequency of urination, but it can lead to increased thirst and dehydration which will lead to even more bathroom trips.