Poly means many.  Uria means pee-pee.  Noct means night. I think you get what we’re talking about here.  Ever since I started studying urine a few months ago, and have now examined several hundred people’s urine, some “clear” patterns have emerged.

When metabolism starts to buckle, especially in the throes of an eating disorder or extremely restricted diet of some kind, “sugars,” or the amount of solute in the urine or relative concentration of the urine you could say, drops.  Urine becomes very clear and the urge to urinate strikes as often as every 15 minutes in the midst of a “sugar crash.”

Some cursory glances into the medical literature revealed something about urine concentrating defect, or defects in ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) coinciding with this kind of thing.  I’ll look into it later in greater depth, but that could be some underlying metabolic explanation for what exactly is going on in that situation.

Oh, so anyway, I’ve seen tons of people that just pee like crazy.  Like dozens of times per day, with several bouts of polyuria that involve urinating several times in a single hour – and having to wake up enough times in the middle of night (nocturia) more or less have this uncontrollable urge to pee pretty much ruin their health via lack of sleep.

Some people had mentioned this kind of problem to me at various points in the past.  I remember 180 commenter Sheila for example, who mentioned that she couldn’t get to sleep at a decent hour, because in the late evening she would just start peeing every 20 minutes, which would continue for hours before she was finally able to get to sleep.

Incidentally, this is the last thing I’ve heard from her since she started doing RBTI…

“Also, I don’t have to get up at night to pee anymore! I sleep the whole night through! I haven’t tried that like almost since I was a kid (back then I just peed in my bed instead, HA!) It’s fantastic! I sleep like a baby AND I can go to bed at 10 pm, no problem!

I’ve also lost 8 kg’s and I am still losing.”

But I didn’t really understand what in the world could be causing this strange disorder.  It’s now something I know to be very simple, with a simple cause and straightforward solution.  And yes, I’ve seen this problem most frequently in over-exercisers, hardcore health fanatics on a Spartan diet of some kind (my favorite is when the 80-10-10 raw vegans say that “you should be waking up at least 3 times in the night to have a wee”), and those with eating disorders.

I also had the pleasure this spring of watching a chronic 5-year old bedwetter totally overcome her condition by eating ice cream.  Ah, the healing properties of ice cream!

Funny thing is that I have experienced an extreme bout of polyuria myself.  When did I have that?  Any guesses?

Yes, it came when I was out in the Wind River Mountain Range of Wyoming with insufficient food while hiking hours per day and getting stupid lean.  Even without drinking any water I would urinate like a madman.  I remember eating my morning oatmeal and having to urinate 15 or so times in the next 2 hours.  Crystal clear.  Like a mountain stream.

I was starving.  Literally.  Dropping down to no more than 5% body fat, freezing cold, hair falling out, schlong not working, insomnia, constipation, thinking obsessively about food, bipolar – oh the joys of the great outdoors!

Anyway, I had no idea what this was all about a few months ago.  But it’s quite remarkable what you can learn about a person just by finding out how often they urinate and what color their urine is typically.  It speaks volumes.  And is highly significant to the big picture of what is going on under the surface.  Consider this email that I received earlier this week…

“Hi Matt,

I just want to thank you for having such an eye opening blog for me to read, and I just want to say it’s really helped me in regards to eating again and hopefully overcoming anorexia.

My story is very LONG and I’m sure you don’t want to hear every single little detail. But basically, in March of 2009 I was a 215lb, 15 year old teen, 5’8 with little to no self esteem.

I lost 90lbs within the next year and a half, developed an exercise addiction along the way and became obsessed with “Low Carb”. And became freakishly paranoid with any starch that I came into contact with, as I’m STILL that way to this very day.

So here I am, 18 years old, 5’8, 127 lbs as of this morning. Surviving on black coffee every morning, with an outdoor cycling addiction.

I have a few problems that I was wondering you could help me with if you had some time maybe.

Some of them being..

– Waking up 3-4 times a night drenched in sweat, having to pee (I got tired of walking to the restroom in my dorm area, so I just bought a gallon jug and fill that up with pee every single night)

– Simple Carbohydrates/ Complex Carbohydrates… I still literally eat 4-5 lbs of vegetables a day. Still saying that there’s calories in these vegetables so therefore it’s still significant for my body. I’m afraid of eating a simple carb because I’m afraid that the insulin spike will instantly store fat, how do I get past this?

Obviously, like I said there’s WAY more to my story and WAY more problems that I have on a day to day basis dietary wise. But I just wanted to see if you’d respond.. :)”

Yes, of course I will respond and of course I will work with you young stallion.  Just give me some time.  I’ve got a conference coming up, and a lot of driving to get there and preparation to do.  It is interesting that you report waking up with severe night sweats.  My ex-girlfriend had the same thing when she was doing endurance exercise on a low-carb diet.  Anyone else have this issue and some insight on it?

You can start by putting white sugar under your tongue during your middle-of-the-night pee parties, and eating carbs primarily – rather than fat or protein, especially in the morning and midday – if you can muster up the courage.

As of December 1, 2012 you can now read in great depth about this issue and issues related to it in the book Eat for Heat.

Anyway everybody, I’ll be pretty scarce for the next 10 days, but I’ll be back in full force by mid-November.  Perhaps some of you, particularly you low-sugar RBTI nerds, or people who have maintained or lost fat adding carbs back to your diet, can help this lil’ brother out.