Joslin Diabetes Center experts answer commonly asked questions about diabetes monitoring, treatment, self-care, meal planning, and more.
Topic: General Concerns
Question: I'm a male who's had type 1 diabetes for 15 years. Lately, I've been getting up four or five times at night to urinate. Since I'm half-asleep, I never think to check my blood glucose. I'm worried about complications, though. Is this a sign of diabetic kidney disease?
Answer: Increased urination is not a sign of kidney disease. In fact, most people with kidney disease have no symptoms. The most common reason for increased urination in people with diabetes is high blood glucose levels. When blood glucose is too high, the body tries to get rid of the extra glucose by making more urine. High blood glucose can also increase your thirst, so you end up drinking more and consequently urinating more often.
However, if your blood glucose is in your target range, there may be other causes for increased urinary frequency, such as a bladder infection. You can have a bladder infection without any symptoms, so if you are urinating more but your blood glucose is in range or just slightly higher than usual, contact your healthcare provider to find out if you may have an infection. Also, if you have any pain when you urinate, you should see your healthcare provider right away.
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