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Urine output - decreased

  • Definition
    • Decreased urine output means that you produce less urine than normal. Most adults make at least 500 ml of urine in 24 hours (a little over 2 cups).

  • Alternative Names
    • Oliguria

  • Causes
    • Common causes include:

      • Dehydration from not drinking enough fluids and having vomiting, diarrhea, or fever
      • Total urinary tract blockage, such as from an enlarged prostate
      • Medicines such as anticholinergics, diuretics, and some antibiotics

      Less common causes include:

      • Blood loss
      • Severe infection or other medical condition that leads to shock
  • Home Care
    • Drink the amount of fluid your health care provider recommends.

      Your provider may tell you to measure the amount of urine you produce.

  • When to Contact a Medical Professional
    • A large decrease in urine output may be a sign of a serious condition. In some cases, it can be life threatening. Most of the time, urine output can be restored with prompt medical care.

      Contact your provider if:

      • You notice that you are producing less urine than usual.
      • Your urine looks much darker than usual
      • You are vomiting, have diarrhea, or have a high fever and cannot get enough fluids by mouth.
      • You have dizziness, lightheadedness, or a fast pulse with decreased urine ouput
  • What to Expect at Your Office Visit
    • Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions such as:

      • When did the problem start and has it changed over time?
      • How much do you drink each day and how much urine do you produce?
      • Have you noticed any change in urine color?
      • What makes the problem worse? Better?
      • Have you had vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or other symptoms of illness?
      • What medicines do you take?
      • Do you have a history of kidney or bladder problems?

      Tests that may be done include:

  • References
    • Gerber GS, Brendler CB. Evaluation of the urologic patient: history, physical examination, and the urinalysis. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Novick AC, Partin AW, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 3.

      Molotoris BA. Acute kidney injury. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 120.