5 reasons you’re not weeing

Weeing isn’t something you need to think about doing; it just happens. But lately, that has been a (wee) bit difficult. Trips to the loo have become painful. And, worst of all, you don’t know why.

The reason for your weeing woes could be one of these:

1. You’re dehydrated.

Dehydration is when there isn’t enough water in the body, as a result of not getting enough fluids, or excessive fluid loss. It usually happens when you’re sick with diarrhoea or vomitting, and can’t replace the fluids you’re losing fast enough. When this happens, your kidneys retain as much fluid as possible. Blood supply to your kidney is also decreased, affecting your ability to urinate. Other symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, irritability, and lethargy. When it goes untreated, dehydration can damage your liver, kidneys and brain.

Increase your fluid intake to avoid complications. Rehydration salts may also help. Make sure you drink about two litres of water a day to prevent dehydration.

2. You have a blockage in your urethra.

If there’s a blockage or obstruction in the urethra, urine can’t flow normally and freely out of the body. The most common cause for blockage of the urethra in men is an enlarged prostate from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), non-cancerous growth of the prostate gland. BPH is a normal part of ageing. It’s caused by changes in hormone balance and cell-growth factors. The prostate gland partially surrounds the urethra. If it becomes enlarged, it presses against the urethra and pinches it. This may cause the bladder to weaken and lose its ability to empty completely.

Other conditions that can cause a blockage include kidney or bladder stones, tumours and cancers in the pelvic region, and constipation.

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3. You have nerve problems.

Disruption of the nerves between the bladder and brain can affect your bladder function and urination. If the nerves aren’t working properly, your brain may not get the message that your bladder is full. The bladder muscles that squeeze urine out won’t receive the signal to push, and the muscles around the urethra won’t receive the signal to relax and allow your bladder to empty.

Possible causes of nerve problems include vaginal childbirth, pelvic injury, brain or spinal cord trauma, diabetes, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. Birth defects that affect the nerve signals among the bladder, spinal cord, and brain can also weaken urine flow, such as spina bifida, a condition in which a baby’s spinal cord fails to develop properly.

4. You’re taking medication that causes you to produce less urine.

Certain medications can interfere with nerve signals to your bladder and prostate. These include antispasmodics, antihistamines, antidepressants, decongestants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, high blood pressure medications, anti-seizure drugs, and some antibiotics.

If your medication gives you toilet troubles, see your doctor. He may adjust dosages or change your medication completely. Be sure not to change doses or stop taking your medication without speaking with your doctor first.

5. You have weak bladder muscles.

Ageing affects your body in many ways, and may cause your bladder muscles to weaken over time. Weakened bladder muscles may not contract strongly enough or long enough to empty the bladder completely, which can make urination difficult.

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