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?

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    Okay, I am really interested in why this is attracting close voted for being "primarily opinion based". Does anyone want to explain how there can be no good reference-based answers to this?
    – YviDe
    Jan 16, 2016 at 9:36
  • @YviDe I think a reference-based answer can be very possible. I'm already thinking about the sympathetic nervous system as well as vasopressin(or antidiuretic hormone, ADH), though I can't be sure.
    – busukxuan
    Jan 17, 2016 at 22:17
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    @AliAfaq Is it that urine production increased, or urination frequency increased? Is urine output per urination decreased?
    – busukxuan
    Jan 17, 2016 at 22:20
  • you ask different questions in title and question body. please choose do you ask about bladder's emission or kidney's emission.
    – qdinar
    Sep 3, 2017 at 5:42
  • i think you are wrong thinking that urge to urinate is from increased kidney function. kidney fills bladder, and only when it becomes full urge appears.
    – qdinar
    Sep 3, 2017 at 5:45

1 Answer 1


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.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11116129/ http://ajplegacy.physiology.org/content/192/1/131 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3190050/

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