Should I Keep Liquid Intake Down to Normal Level in Summer To Reduce Urine Flow?
In hot weather you’re more likely to sweat, the body’s most efficient way of cooling down. Even if you have SUI or UUI, you need to drink more water to replace the extra fluid lost or you risk dehydration. If your body fluid level is low, it will concentrate and reduce urine output. Urine will sit longer in your bladder making it easier for germs to multiply.
What Else Increases My Risk of Bladder Infections?
Anything that increases the chance of germs getting into your bladder in the first place also raises your chances of getting a bladder infection. The germs that cause bladder infections travel up your urethra – the tube your urine passes down when you pass water. Friction makes it easier for germs to get up, which is why having sex can increase your risk. After menopause, the lining of the vagina gets thinner and less springy. This in turn can increase friction and with it the risk of infection.
Does Washing More Often Lessen the Risk of Infection?
Summer makes us all hot and sweaty and the temptation may be to wash more – especially if you’re worried about germs in your delicate regions after a bout of cystitis. In fact, too much vigorous washing can damage the delicate skin around your genital area. This is good news for bacteria, which thrive on damaged skin. By all means cool off in a shower, but go easy on vigorous scrubbing around the genital areas.
Is Cranberry a Drink that Helps Prevent Infections?
Cranberries contain a natural chemical which may prevent germs from sticking to the lining of the bladder and causing irritation. A daily glass of cranberry juice may help if you suffer from recurring cystitis.
Is Tea Dehydrating?
Water, juice, tea and coffee all count towards your fluid intake. Unless you drink too much, there’s no truth that coffee and tea dehydrate you. Caffeine only has a diuretic effect (making you pass more water) if you have more than 400 mg – that’s about four cups of brewed or instant coffee, or eight cups of tea. However, if you get recurrent bouts of cystitis, it may be worth trying decaffeinated tea or coffee to see if it improves your symptoms. Some women are sensitive to caffeine, which occasionally irritates the bladder lining.
Should I drink 8 glasses of water a day in summer?
The European Food Standards Agency recommends that adults should drink about 2 litres per day to supplement the fluids taken in from food. In hot weather you’ll lose more fluid from sweating and increased breathing rate. That means you’ll still need to drink far more fluid on a sunny day than in winter. As you get older you tend to be as active, but probably will need just as much fluid as more physically active younger people, because your body is less efficient at preserving water by reabsorbing it in the kidneys.
What Counts Towards Your Fluid Intake?
Non- alcoholic fluids including tea coffee and fruit juice all count towards your fluid intake. In fact, less than 400 mg caffeine/caffeine containing drinks per day does not dehydrate you and they can be counted towards the overall daily fluid intake.
Why Doesn’t Alcohol Count?
All alcohol has a diuretic effect which is the opposite to hydration, it makes you pass more water.
I Have (sssh!) Incontinence, What Can I Do About It?
Incontinence is a remarkably common problem – official estimates put it at over one in five women over 40, but the real figure is probably much higher. The commonest type is stress incontinence (SUI). You leak urine because the pressure inside your stomach is increased when you sneeze or laugh. The second commonest kind is Overactive Bladder (OAB).
I Don’t Know Anyone Else Who Has Incontinence
At least one in five women over 40 have bladder incontinence. Tragically, shame and embarrassment prevent many from accessing the effective treatments that are available, and they can end up prisoners in their own home. But there is help out there – you just have to make sure you get it. Make an appointment to see your doctor to get help and get started on recovering your bladder function. Your doctor will carry out some Urodynamic Testing to diagnose the type of incontinence issue you have.