Women’s Health Kuel Category Expert: Lisa King
UTI, can there be three more dreaded letters? Over half of all women will experience a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) at least once in their lifetime. Additionally, one in five women will experience recurring Urinary Tract Infections.
A recurring UTI is considered to be two infections in six months or three infections in twelve months. While Urinary Tract Infections are never pleasant, they are especially inconvenient during the holidays when our days are full. We want to spend our time creating memories and certainly not spend our time running to the bathroom!
Watch The Sugar:
The holidays are a time to indulge a bit in homemade goodies and treats. Reducing sugar in our diets is not only essential for disease prevention but also for UTI prevention. Sugar is a food for bacteria to thrive on and reducing sugar in the diet is essential for anyone who is prone to Urinary Tract Infections. Be sure to read labels, as there is sugar in nearly everything! A good starting point is to aim for the American Heart Association recommendation of 25g of sugar per day for women. As you aim for this goal, you will start naturally reducing sugar in your diet. Even fruit can be high in sugar. So, the dried fruit gifts that are popular during the holidays should also be avoided.
Add A Probiotic:
Take a probiotic daily. A probiotic not only boosts immunity during the cold and flu season but can be helpful in preventing UTIs as well. The colonies of good bacteria in probiotics help keep “bad” bacteria from growing in the urinary tract. You can find many probiotics at the store but many foods are also sources of probiotics. Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh and kimchi are all rich in probiotics.
Four Ways To Stave Off UTIs:
While we are in the most wonderful time of the year that is also the busiest time of the year. Be sure to pay attention to the details of your day that will also naturally help prevent UTIs.
- Stay hydrated to flush bacteria from your urinary tract. Aim for half your body weight of water in ounces daily.
- Use proper hygiene when wiping and after intimacy.
- Take time to use the bathroom. The time it takes for bacteria to head up your urethra and into the urinary tract is about four hours. There is no prize for holding your urine for hours upon end so be sure to use the bathroom if needed!
- Feminine dryness during menopause makes women more susceptible to more frequent Urinary Tract Infections. Speak to your health care provider for options that may help with feminine dryness such as estrogen creams or natural alternatives.
While many women will reach for cranberry juice to prevent UTIs, cranberry juice can be high in sugar and there are other options for UTI prevention as listed above. With a bit of advanced preparation and knowledge, you can stay healthy for the holidays! A Urinary Tract Infection does not have to be part of your holiday season!