Why do certain foods make me pee so much more?
October 28, 2010 11:03 AM   Subscribe

After I eat certain foods, I have to pee a lot more often than usual. What is going on?

When I eat a breakfast of pancakes (3 medium sized), 1 egg, and 2 small sausage patties, then drink a glass of water, I have to pee about twice an hour for the next 6 hours or so.

Same thing seems to happen with oatmeal or cracked wheat cereal.

After the first hour or two of trips to the bathroom, my pee is completely transparent.

This sort of freaks me out.

This hasn't always happened in the morning and doesn't seem dependent on the time of day.

My questions:

1. What could be causing this?

2. Is this a good thing or a cause for concern? I read somewhere that clear pee is healthy. Most of the time my pee is yellow. But peeing so much feels so anomalous that I worry about it.

3. I'm pretty sure I have some food intolerances -- would this be related somehow? I have roseacea and recently stopped dairy and whole wheat, which seems to have helped my skin clear up a bit.

I recently had a physical and was told I am in fine health overall.

Thanks for your help.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My semi-informed guess would be that, if you eat more carbs than you need, you body is dumping some excess sugars, through your kidneys.
posted by Danf at 11:16 AM on October 28, 2010

I'd count from the evening before; perhaps the solution lies in some earlier input. It seems to me that somewhere along the line there must have been some of that (input), otherwise you'd dry up.
(Unless your body has been storing water and the change of our diet helps you to get rid of that. But that's a very rough and uneducated guess)
That said, I'd be much more freaked out if I ended up not peeing after that glass of water.
posted by Namlit at 11:18 AM on October 28, 2010

If you're peeing only a very small amount each time I'd see a doctor about it. But if everything is normal--just frequent--I think you're fine. If you want to really try to figure it out (i.e. is something in particular causing it), try keeping a food and drink diary for a couple weeks marking exactly what you eat and drink and how much. See if you can draw any more concrete associations.
posted by phunniemee at 11:34 AM on October 28, 2010

Do you drink coffee in the morning? Coffee makes me thirsty. Pancakes, eggs, and sausage patties all make me thirsty. Perhaps you're drinking more than usual when you have this breakfast? This combined with the diuretic properties of caffeine could be the reason.
posted by wayland at 11:34 AM on October 28, 2010

Are you certain that it isn't psychosomatic? I know that I can "psych" myself into having to pee every 10 minutes -- I start out feeling anxious, which makes me feel like I have to pee, which then makes me anxious about how much I'm going to the bathroom, which then makes me have to go to the bathroom even more. And I really do have to pee each time I go to the bathroom; I don't know what it is, but anxiety just makes my body shed water, and then it becomes a weird anxiety/peeing spiral. ("Weird Anxiety/Peeing Spiral" would make a good name for a band, by the way.)

Anyway, it seems possible to me that one time you ate this breakfast when you were anxious, and you associated the subsequent bathroom trips with the food that you ate, which meant that the next time you had the breakfast you expected to have the same problem and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Each time it happens it reinforces your anxiety and ensures that it will happen the next time.
posted by pluckemin at 11:39 AM on October 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

I've found the same thing happens to me when I eat foods that are very high in sodium and/or preservatives. The sausage patties or pancake mix could be the culprits. Check the oatmeal and cracked wheat labels for sodium content too.
posted by mareli at 11:39 AM on October 28, 2010

Yeah, sodium is my first thought. Sausage patties are pretty high in salt.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:50 AM on October 28, 2010

well when you drink water it will make you have to pee. Coffee also makes you have to pee.
posted by majortom1981 at 11:53 AM on October 28, 2010

Did you go to the bathroom at all before drinking the water?

If your bladder is already full (which, in the morning, it ought to be), and you guzzle a bunch of water, your body is going to have to make room. So you pee out what's already in there, and then there might be some backlog, so you pee that, and then there's all the salt you just ate, so you pee that out, and then it's the water's turn, and you pee that out, and it's clear, because it's water.

Also: The excretory system balances salt and water. If you eat a bunch of salt, then drink a bunch of water, your kidneys might just be all WTF??? Probably no biggie, but maybe you could try sipping between bites?
posted by Sys Rq at 11:58 AM on October 28, 2010

You may want to speak to a doctor about this. Frequent urination is considered a symptom when you are going more than 8 times a day on a regular basis. You reported 12+ times. And most importantly: you find this to not be normal/interrupting your life.

WebMD's common causes: Diabetes, Pregnancy, Prostate issues, cystitis, the food you eat, the water you drink. Sodium, sugar, caffeine, alcohol all will cause more urination. It could be nothing, it could be something, likely treatable.

posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:14 PM on October 28, 2010

If you're overweight it is probably sugar related, and a symptom of diabetes (not necessarily full blown, it could be something you can catch and fix with diet and exercise). check your blood sugar if you can, or check with your doctor.
posted by anotherfluke at 12:29 PM on October 28, 2010

I want to reiterate what I said above. check the ingredients in the food that makes this happen. I am an exceptionally healthy person and this only happens to me when I eat certain processed foods. Check the labels for sodium and preservatives.
posted by mareli at 12:44 PM on October 28, 2010

My semi-informed guess would be that, if you eat more carbs than you need, you body is dumping some excess sugars, through your kidneys.

AFAIK, this only happens if you're diabetic.
posted by saveyoursanity at 1:36 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

It may not be related to your breakfast.

Most people's kidneys go into low gear while they're sleeping. That's why few of us have problems with bed-wetting as adults. Once you wake up in the morning, the kidneys start working normally again, and depending on how hydrated you were before you went to bed, the result could be a lot of urine in a pretty short time as your kidneys caught up on their backlog.

My point is that if that's what's going on, it would happen no matter what you eat for breakfast.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:06 PM on October 28, 2010

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