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Health Information

Urination - excessive amount

Urination - excessive amount



Excessive amount of urination means that your body makes larger than normal amounts of urine each day.

I Would Like to Learn About:

  • Causes

    An excessive volume of urination for an adult is more than 2.5 liters of urine per day. However, this can vary depending on how much water you drink and what your total body water is.

    Polyuria is a fairly common symptom. People often notice the problem when they have to get up during the night to use the bathroom (nocturia).

    Some common causes of the problems are:

    Less common causes include:

    • Kidney failure
    • Medicines such as diuretics and lithium
    • High or low calcium level in the body
    • Drinking alcohol and caffeine
    • Sickle cell anemia

    Also, your urine production may increase for 24 hours after having tests that involve injecting a special dye (contrast medium) into your vein during imaging tests such as a CT scan or an MRI scan.

  • Home Care

    To monitor your urine output, keep a daily record of the following:

    • How much you drink
    • How often you urinate and how much urine you produce each time
    • How much you weigh (use the same scale every day)
  • When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Call your doctor if you have excessive urination over several days, and it is not explained by medicines you take or drinking more fluids.

  • What to Expect at Your Office Visit

    Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions such as:

    • When did the problem started and has it changed over time?
    • How often do your urinate? Do you get up at night to urinate?
    • Do you problems controlling your urine?
    • What makes the problem worse? Better?
    • Have noticed any blood in your urine or change in urine color?
    • Do you have any other symptoms (such as pain, burning, fever, or abdominal pain)?
    • Do you have a history of diabetes, kidney disease, or urinary infections?
    • What medicines do you take?
    • How much salt do you eat? Do you drink alcohol and caffeine?

    Tests that may be done include:

    • Blood sugar (glucose) test
    • Blood urea nitrogen test
    • Creatinine (serum)
    • Electrolytes (serum)
    • Fluid deprivation test (limiting fluids to see if the urine volume decreases)
    • Osmolality blood test
    • Urinalysis
    • Urine osmolality test

Related Information



Gerber GS, Brendler CB. Evaluation of the urologic patient: In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 3.

Landry DW, Bazari H. Approach to the patient with renal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 116.

Ferri FF. Polyuria. In: Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2014. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2013:section 2.


Review Date: 12/27/2013  

Reviewed By: Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Chief of Urology, Cambridge Health Alliance, Visiting Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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