How does stress cause the frequent urge to urinate? Does it involve the kidneys increasing urine production? Is there any potential benefit for the body?
Stress and Urination
In some people stress can cause an increase in urination. The form of stress may be physical or emotional. Since the control of aldosterone is partly under the influence of the brain, any type of nervous stimulus or mental stress can affect its secretion.
When an individual has physical stress, there is increased release of the stress hormones, such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, glucagon and cortisol, all of which can affect urination.
Catecholamines - Direct and Indirect Renal Effects
Two of these "fight or flight hormones" - epinephrine and norepinephrine have direct and indirect effects on urine production. When these hormones act directly on the kidneys and the mean arterial pressure (MAP) remains constant. The result is a decrease in urinary output. Conversely, the indirect effects of these hormones increase MAP, resulting in increased urine output.
It’s role is to regulate blood pressure and sodium levels. Water, sodium and aldosterone levels are all directly related. When your body’s aldosterone levels are high – so are your levels of sodium and water. thus less is secreted. This reverse of this process also holds true.
Since the control of aldosterone is partly under the influence of the brain, any type of nervous stimulus can affect its secretion.
Cortisol and ADH
Under chronic stress this works slightly differently. First cortisol levels will increase. This leads to decreased levels of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) which results in increased urination. As stress levels remain high cortisol levels eventually drop. Your adrenal gland becomes unable to produce sufficient levels of aldosterone – which once again causes an increase in urination.