FOR many people, with the winter chill comes the frustrating urge to pee a lot more than usual.
Not only is it irritating but doctors are now warning that if the call of nature strikes during the cold weather it could also be a sign of a deadly condition.
In particular, they say the condition – known as cold diuresis – can even be fatal in extreme circumstances.
Dr Diana Gall, from online service, Doctor 4 U, has emphasised just how dangerous cold diuresis can be.
She said: “Frequent urination due to diuresis can actually be really damaging to your body’s natural salt, water and mineral balance.
“It can lead to conditions like ‘hyponatremia’, when there’s not enough sodium in the body, or ‘hyperkalemia’, too much potassium, and ‘hypokalemia’, not enough potassium.
Can prove fatal
“All three of these conditions can prove fatal in extreme circumstances.
“And if you are weeing too much, you need to replenish fluids to avoid dehydration.”
Dr Gall is now urging to be aware of the condition so that you can drink more fluids in order to stay well hydrated.
She explains: “Cold diuresis can occur when the body’s temperature lowers.
“The biological response is to redirect blood to the core to create warmth, while the kidneys release extra fluid to stabilise the pressure.
Frequent urination due to diuresis can actually be really damaging to your body’s natural salt, water and mineral balance
Dr Diana Gall
“And it’s this process which boosts urine production, giving you the urge to wee more in the cold, winter months.
“There’s currently a lack of scientific research into the phenomena, which means we don’t know just how low the temperature needs to get before it takes effect.
“But we do know you’re likely to feel the effects if you’re standing around outside this winter – and it means you might need to know where the toilets are if you’re visiting the winter market.”
Dr Gall advises sufferers to wrap up warm and try to avoid standing outside for long periods of time.
It comes as around one in three adults over the age of 30 say they have to get up in the middle of the night to pee, and that increases to two thirds of adults over the age of 65.
Most read in health
This condition is called nocturia and sufferers will often have to use the loo more than once in the night.
Some people also suffer from polyuria, which is when you wee more than 2.5 litres per day.
This can happen because you are drinking excessive amounts of fluid, or it could be a symptom of something far more serious – type 2 diabetes.