Let’s Get to Know About Frequent Urination – Part 1

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This is an article from our “Doctor’s Corner” series, brought to you by Samitivej Hospital. Dr. Nanthiya Pravitsitthikul, M.D. is a pediatric nephrologist at Samitivej Sukhumvit hospital. Make sure to read the entire series!

This is the first article in a two-part series on frequent urination. You can find the second article here.

Mom…I need to pee, again!!!

Abnormally frequent urination is a commonly found condition. Pollakiuria is a benign condition in in those experiencing abnormally frequent urination. Not only it is disturbing, but it also impairs the quality of life and obstructs the development of concentration among children. Many parents, Thai in particular, may never have heard of this kind of illness. This article is has been written to introduce you to frequent daytime urination: pollakiuria.

frequent urination

Before getting to know about it in depth, let’s see what pollakiuria is.

Pollakiuria = Pollakis + urine
Pollakis (pol-lak’-is): originally a Greek word meaning frequency
Urine (urina-Latin): also a Greek word, meaning urine

When the two words are combined, they mean to “urinate frequently.”

Q: If my child urinates frequently, is he / she afflicted with pollakiuria?

A: Not necessarily. The symptoms may seem obvious, but diagnosing pollakiuria is not easy. The diagnosis is made by exclusion from other related diseases and with suggestive characteristics. To be precise, it will occur in the typical age group only during the daytime as frequent small voids and the child will not experience pain when urinating. Also, you must be certain that the frequent urination is not caused by a physical condition, such as diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus or urinary tract infection.

This means that to diagnose this syndrome, we need to initially screen for these previously mentioned diseases.

Pollakiuria can be found in both children and adults. However, this article focuses on pollakiuria in children. This problem can occur in children age 3–14 years who have previously had control of their bowel and bladder. The peak age group experiencing this condition are children age 4–6 years old. Their bathroom visits can be as frequently as every 15–20 minutes or less. However, they can sleep tight at night without going to the bathroom and don’t have bed wetting at all.

Pollakiuria is a good prognosis and benign condition that is self-limited and often resolves itself. However, it is hard to tell how long this will take. It can take from two weeks up to two years, although the average duration is approximately two months. Psychological factors may possibly contribute to the symptoms. This can be seen in children who have recently recovered from an illness or who are coping with stress. Additionally, there are many other factors that may cause symptoms. Generally speaking, it is difficult to determine the causes.

Pollakiuria is not a serious problem. However, it is helpful if parents have some knowledge about it in order for them to be able to understand the situation, give psychological and physical support, and provide appropriate care for their child. Most importantly, it is advisable that children who experience pollakiuria see a doctor in order to screen for other diseases. Background information given by parents can also be very important for the basic screening.

Looking for a doctor for your pediatric nephrology questions? We recommend:
Nanthiya Pravitsitthikul, M.D.Nanthiya Pravitsitthikul, M.D.
Pediatric Nephrologist, Samitivej Hospital
Questions about your pregnancy, child birth or life with an infant? Ask the Doctor!

If a child has been for a urine test and the results are normal, it is then possible that the child has pollakiuria or another disease. Parents can help in gathering information to support effective diagnosis by recording the following data before the next medical appointment:

  • Frequency and amount of urine per time
  • Whether the child dribbles urine without knowing and what the child was doing when it happened
  • Whether the child can hold his/her bladder, any urgency, and whether the child has to strain to pass urine
  • Frequency, volumes and types of liquids consumed
  • Frequency and consistency (soft or hard) of feces

The data should be recorded 24 hours a day for two consecutive days (see below for the Urinary Record Table; Bladder Diary)

Abnormally frequent urination in children is not an uncommon issue. Complete and correct information helps provide accurate diagnostic results, which can be used to evaluate the symptoms, conduct further findings, facilitate follow up, and assess the results of treatment.

In this article, we have learned the basics about pollakiuria. In part 2, we will see how information recorded in the table will identify different types of diseases and learn what can cause abnormally frequent urination. Also in the next article, we will discuss the treatment options for pollakiuria.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lantom Tonvichien, M.D. (Paediatrics – urology) for the Urinary Record Table (Bladder Diary).

Bladder Diary

Click here to download the Bladder Diary in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format

Samitivej, We Care!
Nanthiya Pravitsitthikul, M.D.
Pediatric Nephrologist
Samitivej Srinakarin Children Hospital

For further information, please contact:

Samitivej Srinakarin Children’s Hospital
Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, 4th floor
Tel: 66 (0) 2378-9082-83
Call Center: 66 (0) 2378-9000
E-mail: info.srinakarin@samitivej.co.th
Facebook: www.facebook.com/samitivej

Photo Credit: GoodNCrazy via Compfight cc

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