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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Decreased Urination
      Category : Health Centers > Urinary System & Kidneys

Decreased Urination

Alternate Names : Oliguria, Decreased Urine Production

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Decreased urination is often caused by dehydration. But sometimes it may indicate a more serious disease.

What is going on in the body?

The kidneys produce urine by filtering the blood. Decreased urination is usually related to one of three problems:

  • blockage in the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the outside of the body
  • insufficient blood reaching the kidneys, so they cannot make urine
  • kidney damage, which makes the kidney unable to filter
  • What are the causes and risks of the condition?

    Causes of decreased urination can be divided into three categories:

    Insufficient amounts of blood reaching the kidneys. This may be due to:

  • blood loss
  • dehydration from vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, or inability to take in fluids. Medicines, such as a diuretic, or water pill, can also cause dehydration.
  • a heart that cannot pump enough blood to the kidneys, which can occur in congestive heart failure
  • low blood pressure from shock or a serious infection. Medicines, such as those used to treat high blood pressure, can also cause low blood pressure.
  • Kidney damage. This may be due to:

  • acute tubular necrosis, a type of kidney injury caused by low blood pressure. Another common cause is a substance that is toxic to the kidney. Examples are the antibiotic gentamicin, the metal mercury, or iodine, which is commonly used in certain X-ray tests.
  • autoimmune disorders, which means that a person's immune system attacks his or her own body. An example is systemic lupus erythematosus, or lupus, a condition that can affect many areas of the body.
  • cancer or tumors involving the kidneys
  • chronic renal failure, which is usually a complication of long-standing diabetes or high blood pressure. An inherited condition called polycystic kidney disease is another cause of kidney failure.
  • glomerulonephritis, another type of kidney damage that may occur after an infection
  • Blockage in the tubes that carry urine from the kidney. This may be due to:

  • cancer or a tumor in the bladder or prostate
  • kidney stones that affect both kidneys, which is rare
  • prostate enlargement, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia, a common condition in men older than 40
  • Other causes are also possible. Sometimes, the cause cannot be found.


    Next section


    Decreased Urination: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 06/07/01

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