This is a phenomenon that is going to resonate with some people absolutely perplex others.
Have you ever noticed that you need to pee more when it’s cold outside?
There’s a genuine medical reason for this and, not only are you not alone, it’s relatively common.
It’s all cause by something called cold diuresis, which is a process your body goes through to regular itself when temperatures drop.
So, rather than just an arbitrary thing that happens, it’s actually all for a good reason.
Dr Diana Gall, from online service Doctor 4 U, says: ‘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.
‘And it’s this process which boosts urine production, giving you the urge to wee more in the cold, winter months.’
Our bodies can be super weird, and there hasn’t been a plethora of research into the exact temperature it needs to be to start the process of cold diuresis.
Despite this, though, Dr Gall says: ‘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.’
It’s not dangerous in most circumstances, but it can affect the balance of our bodies in terms of salt, water, and minerals, and become worrisome.
‘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,’ says Dr Gall.
‘All three of these conditions can prove fatal in extreme circumstances.’
Weirdly, it’s not just the fact you’re running around trying to find a loo while you do your Christmas shopping.
According to Phil Foster from energy-saving comparison site Love Energy Savings, businesses that employ lots of staff are likely to experience a higher water bill in the winter months because of the effects of cold diuresis.
He says: ‘If you’re one of the people who experience cold diuresis, you’re unlikely to notice a higher water bill just because you’re flushing the loo more regularly.
‘But if you employ a hundred people, it could be the reason you’re seeing a spike in your energy bill.’
The main way to stop cold diuresis is to wrap up warm and try to avoid standing outside for long periods of time.
Also, it may seem odd given we normally think of warmer climes and staying hydrated, but you should keep this mind even in the winter months.
Dr Gall says: ‘If you are weeing too much, you need to replenish fluids to avoid dehydration.’
Sadly, we don’t think mulled wine counts in the list of acceptable fluids.
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