Low urine output: Is decreased urine output a sign of kidney failure?

Oliguria is also known as Low or decreased urine output. Oliguria is most commonly seen in people who are sick. When your urine volume is less than 400 millilitres in 24 hours, then it is considered oliguria. The causes of low urine output range from a simple problems like dehydration to serious health issues like kidney failure. The body can produce less or more volume depending on the health of the kidney. Kidney problems weaken the ability of the kidney to produce urine. Kidney problems affect the filtration process, and hence it can cause low urine output.

low urine output

Low urine output can cause a serious problem if it lasts more than several days. Let’s talked about the potential causes of decreased urine output.

1> Dehydration:

When the body does not get enough water that it needs, then dehydration occurs. 60% of human body weight is water, and when we lost more than 3% of the water from our body, we begin to experiencing dehydration.

Illnesses like vomiting, diarrhea and fever use a lot of liquid in the body, which causes dehydration.

In the case of dehydration, the kidney preserves the water in the body by not releasing it. So people who suffer from dehydration face the problem of oliguria.

To treat dehydration, you have to intake a lot of water. Eat food and fruits that rich in liquid.

2> Blockage in the urinary tract:

Several health conditions and illnesses can block the urinary tract that can cause low urine output. Blockage in the urinary tract can prevent urine output from the body. Below are the several health conditions that can create a blockage in the urinary tract, which results in low urine output.

1> Enlarged prostate gland

2> Kidney stones

3> Surgery

4> Damage to the bladder

5> Cancer (bladder, prostate,colon,cervical)

x-ray, ultrasound test or CT scan test detect the blockages in the urinary tract


3> Infection or trauma:

Sometimes an infection, blood loss or trauma can cause the body to go into shock, which results in low urine output. Due to that, the kidney gets less blood to filter, which causes low urine output. Trauma and blood loss affect the flow of blood to the organ.

4> Medication:

Medication can cause the problem of low urine output. Medicines that include NSAIDs, ACE inhibitors, gentamicin can cause low urine output. Some chemotherapy drugs are harmful to the kidney, which can cause kidney problems.

If you are taking such medication, then you have to consult with the doctor. The doctor can adjust your dose or change your dose depending on your health condition.

5> Kidney failure:

Low urine output is one of the symptoms of kidney failure, although it is not a common symptom. You have to consult with the doctor for the treatments of kidney failure.

When to see a doctor

It would be best to see a doctor when you have constant low urine output for several days. If you have only one or two-day low urine output, you can cure the problem by intaking more water and food that is rich in liquid.

If you have low urine output for more than several days, you have to go to the doctor to check. The doctor can diagnose the causes of low urine output. The doctor may ask you about your illness and your other health problems. The doctor can ask you to do a CT scan, X-ray and blood test.