Immersion diuresis

Immersion diuresis

In your experience as a diver, even though you are just a beginner, you have surely felt a very common sensation among divers: an irresistible and increasing urge for peeing during and after your dive. Depending on the circumstances you are in, this sensation might become really uncomfortable.
At this point, you must have notice that this is not only happening to you, on the contrary, immersion diuresis is a frequent situation in which many divers find themselves. If you ever have wondered why, this article provides with a brief explanation about the reasons behind.
When we expose our body to a hyperbaric environment, as it happens during a dive, there are two related physiological effects concurring simultaneously: a higher load of blood fluid (hypervolemia) around the central part of your body, and the narrowing of the vessels in your limbs (peripheral vasoconstriction). This effect is even higher when the temperatures of the surrounding water are cold. The combination of both them causes an increase of arterial pressure. The body attempts to compensate it by increasing its kidney function, which leads to higher production of urine, and ultimately to the excretion of water and sodium (diuresis).
You have to be very careful with this increase of the diuresis when diving, as the drop of fluid in blood caused by dehydration, is one of the main factors enhancing the likelihood of the decompression sickness to occur.
PRACTICAL ADVICE
Considering all of this, a safe diving practice is getting well hydrated (drinking), before and after the dive, to compensate the losses of body liquids because of immersion diuresis. Remember that proper hydration is as important as doing the safety stop (5m / 3 mins).

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