Cold weather can trigger or worsen a number of different health problems, including dry skin, flu, norovirus and even heart attacks. If you get there to pee more when it’s cold outside, you’re not alone, as it’s a genuine medical phenomena.
Getting the urge to pee more when it’s cold outside is a biological process called ‘cold diuresis’.
Dr Diana Gall, from only service, Doctor 4 U, says it’s vital you’re aware of the condition so that you can drink more fluids in order to stay well hydrated.
She explained: “Cold diuresis can occur when the body’s temperature lowers.
“The biological response is to redirect blood to the core to create warmth, while the kidneys release extra fluid to stabilise the pressure.
“And it’s this process which boosts urine production, giving you the urge to wee more in the cold, winter months.
“There’s currently a lack of scientific research into the phenomena, which means we don’t know just how low the temperature needs to get before it takes effect.
“But we do know you’re likely to feel the effects if you’re standing around outside this winter – and it means you might need to know where the toilets are if you’re visiting the winter market.”
Dr Gall advised sufferers to wrap up warm and try to avoid standing outside for long periods of time.
She added: “Frequent urination due to diuresis can actually be really damaging to your body’s natural salt, water and mineral balance.
“It can lead to conditions like ‘hyponatremia’, when there’s not enough sodium in the body, or ‘hyperkalemia’, too much potassium, and ‘hypokalemia’, not enough potassium.
“All three of these conditions can prove fatal in extreme circumstances.
“And if you are weeing too much, you need to replenish fluids to avoid dehydration.”
It’s not just your body that could be affected by an overactive bladder in the winter – your energy bill could be impacted, too.
By continuously flushing the chain after every toilet stop, the costs for your water usage will start to stack up.
According to the Money Advice Service, the average Brit spends £415 a year or £34.58 a month on their water bill.
In 2012, This Is Money revealed that it cost 2p every time you flush the toilet.
And Phil Foster, from energy-saving comparison site Love Energy Savings, said businesses that employ lots of staff are likely to experience a higher water bill in the winter months because of the effects of cold diuresis.
He added: “If you’re one of the people who experience cold diuresis, you’re unlikely to notice a higher water bill just because you’re flushing the loo more regularly.
“But if you employ a hundred people, it could be the reason you’re seeing a spike in your energy bill.
“If you’ve got concerns about the phenomena, do your research and make sure you’re on the best possible tariff.”
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