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What Is the Connection Between Anxiety and Frequent Urination?

Stress and anxiety can trigger physiological responses that include the urge to urinate.
Chronic anxiety and stress hinders the body's ability to fight disease.
Stress and anxiety can cause people to urinate more frequently.
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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2014
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Anxiety can be a reaction to stress or can be categorized as a general psychological disorder marked by excessive or exaggerated worry, panic, or fear. Frequent urination or urge to urinate is sometimes a symptom of both anxiety and stress. Though anxiety and frequent urination can be mutually exclusive, they may also occur together. The connection is believed to be triggered by the central nervous system and its response to actual or perceived stress and anxiety.

When a person suffers from stress, symptoms can include dry mouth, headaches, physical exhaustion, sweating, increased heart rate, and frequent urination. Anxiety, which is classified as general worry, fear or exaggerated stress for a period of six months or more without any obvious trigger, can result in similar symptoms. The physiological response of the body to actual or perceived stress is the production of hormones that trigger a natural “fight or flight” response within the brain. A natural reaction to actual stress, the same response to perceived stress or anxiety can cause these hormones to release, but with no purpose, making the body feel it must take action when none is necessary.

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In some cases the signals transmitted between the brain and the body can be interrupted by stress or anxiety. This can result in digestive upset as well as frequent urination. People suffering from general anxiety disorder may experience more severe or more pronounced symptoms because the psychological reactions cause actual physical symptoms that tend to worsen as the feelings of anxiety increase. There are many physical symptoms of anxiety and frequent urination, upset stomach, difficulty sleeping and sweating or trembling are common ones. Psychological symptoms of general anxiety include feeling “edgy,” excessively worrying, and feeling fearful or easily startled.

Though there is an obvious connection between anxiety and frequent urination, stress or anxiety and frequent urination can also exist separately. Stress or anxiety is not always marked by obvious symptoms and some symptoms may be slow to appear. Similarly, frequent urination or overactive bladder may be a symptom of another condition. It is important for anyone suffering from symptoms of anxiety or frequent urination to talk to their doctor and discuss their symptoms. Stress and anxiety can have adverse affects on the body, which may be detrimental to overall health. Frequent urination or overactive bladder may be the result of a different condition and is easily treated. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about stress, anxiety and frequent urination.

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Discuss this Article

anon971254
Post 5

Check into PANDAS/PANS syndrome as well as insect borne disease such as lyme, babesia, and bartonella.

anon948298
Post 4

After spring break I've been feeling tired, like I need to pee and when I do I come back to class and I need to pee again, and this happens throughout the day. I get worried a lot that I might pee my pants during class and I am in eighth grade and that usually never happens since we should be able to control our bladder but lately I've been going crazy since I need to go non stop. What irritates me is that it only happens during school.

Once I am at home I'm relax and go every two hours. I might have anxiety because today when we were testing, I completely lost it and I had to leave. I couldn't stand being in the classroom for 2 hours and 3 minutes. I felt like I was going to throw up and pee my pants, but as soon as I left I felt better. I can't continue to live like this to leave class every single day. I want this all to stop.

anon284092
Post 3

I have been suffering with anxiety for around three years now and have never experienced frequent urination but for the last two weeks I haven't been able to stop peeing. I have had UTI tests and diabetes test, but all were negative so I'm beginning to worry. Any ideas?

pastanaga
Post 2

I always need to pee when I'm nervous about something, particularly it seems if I have to get up and speak in front of some people, or if I'm doing something like meeting a blind date or whatever.

It's really annoying because it feels really desperate, like I need to go right now, but then there's very little going on. And often it involves dashing away from whatever event I'm about to participate in.

I know I could not be a movie star, that's for sure. I'd have to include a clause in all my contracts: must have toilet close by.

I find though, that as soon as I get up there, or meet the person, or whatever, the need vanishes. I don't even notice it going, because I'm too busy, but afterwards I can't remember regretting if I didn't make it to the toilet.

So, maybe grin and bear it is the best option most of the time?

bythewell
Post 1

One of the most likely conditions that might be happening if you have an overactive bladder is diabetes. There are several causes of frequent urination as well, like bladder or kidney infections, or prostrate conditions and so forth, but they often have other symptoms such as a burning sensation.

If you are suddenly going to the bathroom a lot more than you used to be, and particularly if you are overweight, you should go and get your blood sugar levels checked out as soon as possible.

The sooner you catch diabetes the better, because it works over the long term. It might not seem that bad at first, in fact you might not even notice you have it. But eventually it can damage different systems in your body like your sight or your legs. The sooner you get it under control, the better.

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