Diuresis is an increase in the production of urine by the kidneys, which typically results in a corresponding increase in urine expelled by the body. When it happens without an accompanying increase of urination can cause severe medical problems. It has a wide range of causes and an assortment of treatment approaches, when treatment is required.
Certain types of exercise can cause diuresis, and it can also be caused by a wide range of health conditions and the use of certain drugs or medications. Coffee is an example of a well known diuretic drug, but many other substances can lead to increased urine production as well. The condition can also be caused by polydipsia, another way of saying intense thirst, as most people respond to thirst by drinking more, stimulating an accompanying increase in urination.
Diuresis is not necessarily cause for concern, depending on the root cause. For example, people at high altitude look for signs of diuresis to indicate that they are adapting well to the conditions at altitude, and it is also a common side effect of some prescription drugs. In these circumstances, people may be aware that they need to look out for diuresis, but it isn't cause to run to see a medical professional. For patients recovering from renal failure, increased urine production is often a welcome sign, indicating that the kidney function has radically improved.
In other instances, diuresis is a sign of a serious problem. It can indicate that the kidneys are malfunctioning, for example, and it is a common associated symptom of conditions like heart failure, diabetes, hypercalcemia, and an assortment of other conditions. In these instances, it is important for a person to see a healthcare professional to get to the root cause of the increased urine and to address it as needed. An assortment of anti-diuretic drugs can be administered, and treatment for the underlying condition is also strongly recommended.
There are several different types of diuresis, and it can be important to identify which type a patient is suffering from. In osmotic diuresis, for example, substances build up in the tubules of the kidneys, interfering with the reabsorption of water and causing an elevated level of water in the bloodstream, which in turn causes the kidneys to increase urine output. In rebound diuresis, patients produce a large amount of urine as they recover from renal failure. It can also be caused by exposure to cold or prolonged submersion, in which case it is known as immersion diuresis, as the body constricts blood vessels to conserve heat, leading the kidneys to produce more urine.