The holidays are coming, which means most people are looking forward to some time off work, the chance to relax with friends and family, and the opportunity to indulge in their favourite treats.
However, all of this could be ruined if you suffer from regularly occurring cystitis, and with the urinary tract infection (UTI) causing sufferers considerable pain and discomfort, they are unlikely to want to take part in festivities or feel in the slightest way jolly.
That is why it is a good idea to avoid the triggers of cystitis, which, unfortunately are abundant at Christmas. Here are just a few reasons why you might be prone to suffering from a UTI around the festive season – and what you can do to prevent it.
- Being run down
Even before December 25th, many of us have spent the last few weeks hectically planning Christmas events, taking part in activities and shopping that we haven’t had enough time to rest our bodies.
In addition to this, the Christmas party season is in full swing, which means late nights, not enough sleep, and certainly not fuelling our body with the right nutrients and energy it needs.
As winter approaches as well, colds and flus are around in abundance, so it is not surprising that many people are feeling particularly poorly at this time of the year, with immune systems down and extremely sensitive.
This is a dangerous combination for UTIs, as frequent sufferers will know that being run down increases chances of developing the condition.
It is not just being tired or ill that makes us more prone to cystitis over Christmas, but our excessive intake of alcohol. Whether it is due to drinking lots of festive soirees, going to town on New Year’s Eve, enjoying too many mulled wines on cold winter afternoons, or simply indulging in several glasses of Prosecco on Christmas Day, alcohol consumption in December goes through the roof.
Alcohol is known to irritate your bladder and leave you dehydrated. Therefore, not only does it make an UTI far more uncomfortable, but your body is unable to get rid of bacteria as easily if you are not releasing enough water.
With days off work, nights out, and possibly even trips away, you are likely to have more sex during the festive season. However, this could increase your chances of developing a UTI, as bacteria gets pushed into the urethra when having sex.
Having many sexual partners exacerbates the problem even more, increasing the risk of bladder infections.
How to avoid UTIs at Christmas
The best way to improve your health and avoid getting a UTI at Christmas is to make sure you look after yourself, despite all the temptations to indulge.
– Cut back on alcoholic, fizzy or caffeinated drinks and drink plenty of water.
– Always go for a wee or have a shower after having sexual intercourse.
– Get festive and sip lots of cranberry juice, as this makes it harder for bacteria to imbed within the bladder.
– Make sure you get some rest before Christmas, as much as you can. Although it can be tempting to do everything, you will regret it when you’re suffering in pain on Christmas Day.
For more help on treating a UTI, get your hands on one of our cystitis e-books before Christmas Day.