Q: I thought that people with diabetes experience frequent urination only when their BGs are high. Is this incorrect? Could frequent urination even when a person has consistently normal BGs be an indication of another medical problem?
A: Generally, the frequent urination caused by diabetes is related to high blood sugars (over 250 mg/dl for several hours or more), due to myriad causes, including overeating, inadequate insulin or medication doses and stress. In this case, there is passage of large volumes of urine.
When blood sugars are normal, if there is frequent urination, it could come from other causes, which may or may not be related to diabetes. Impaired bladder emptying related to neuropathy, prostate enlargement or an overactive bladder are the three most common causes. Medications, particularly diuretics, can also be the cause. Then, there are some other underlying medical disorders that could be factors.
If your blood sugars are in the normal range of 70 to 140 mg/dl and you are experiencing frequent urination, it is important to seek professional advice on finding other causes.
Peter Lodewick, MD
Diabetes Care Center