Credit: © Adiano / Fotolia

Credit: © Adiano / Fotolia

This simple health tip can reduce your risk of UTIs

This simple health tip can reduce your risk of UTIs, according to the latest research conducted by the Infectious Diseases Society of America—just drink plenty of water.

UTIs are more common among women than men. They can occur anywhere along the urinary tract, which includes the bladder, urethra, and ureter.  These infections account for 8 million trips to the doctor’s office every year and cost more than $1.6 billion to treat.

Adhesion of E. coli bacteria to cells lining the urinary tract is the first step in the development of a UTI. Chemicals found in cranberry products called proanthocyanidins (PACs) prevent E. coli, which is the cause of about 85% of UTIs from adhering to these urinary tract epithelial cells by affecting the surface properties of the bacteria.

The new study found that women who added 3 pints of water to their daily intake had a 50 percent reduction in the risk of developing a UTI.

While doctors have long assumed this is the case and often recommended that women at risk for UTIs increase their fluid intake, it’s never really undergone a prospective trial before,” said Thomas M. Hooton, MD, lead author of the study and clinical director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Miami School of Medicine. “It’s good to know the recommendation is valid, and that drinking water is an easy and safe way to prevent an uncomfortable and annoying infection.”

Drinking water increased the rate of flushing bacteria from the bladder, and also reduced the amount of bacteria that entered the bladder from the vagina.

Science Daily reported:

The study included 140 healthy premenopausal women who had at least three UTIs in the last year and reported low daily fluid intake. Half of the women (70) who served as the control group continued their usual daily fluid intake, while the remainder were told to drink 1.5 liters of water a day (about three 16-ounce glasses) in addition to their usual daily fluid intake. After one year, women in the control group had 3.1 UTIs on average, whereas those in the water group had 1.6 UTIs on average, a 48 percent reduction. As a result, the water group averaged fewer regimens of antibiotics (1.8) than the limited-water group (3.5), a reduction of 47 percent. Reducing the use of antibiotics helps decrease the risk of antibiotic resistance.

They found significant benefits in women who drank more water.

If a woman has recurrent UTIs and is looking for a way to reduce her risk, the evidence suggests that if she increases the amount of water she drinks and stays with it, she’ll likely benefit,” Dr. Hooton said. 

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Women Who Get Frequent UTIs May Reduce Risk by Drinking Plenty of Water.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 5 Oct. 2017, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171005190252.htm.
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