Over the festive season there often a lot going on. It’s a time of year when everyone wants to catch up for a drink, go for dinner or generally spend time socialising with their loved ones. It’s great, but if you suffer from urinary tract infections (UTIs) you might be making some changes to your routine that don’t do your bladder any good.
Research published earlier this year in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal told any of us who suffer with cystitis what we already knew – drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to stave off an infection.
In essence what the study found was that women who drank less than 1.5 litres of total fluid each day benefited from upping their water intake and suffered from “significantly less frequent” episodes of cystitis.
If your usual routine sees you drinking over 1.5 litres of water a day, that’s great. But around Christmas is when these good habits can easily slide. You’re out of your usual routine, you might be travelling a lot between family, and, of course, you’re likely to be drinking more alcohol than normal.
Trying to stay on top of your fluid intake is vital at this time of year though. Take the time to think about what steps you can take to ensure you’re still drinking plenty and balancing out any treats, like glasses of wine or fizzy drinks, with good old water.
On long journeys, for instance, make sure you have more water than you think you need. Yes, you might need to stop for more frequent bathroom breaks but that’s preferable to becoming dehydrated and ruining your Christmas with a cystitis outbreak.
Don’t forget that traffic at this time of year can be terrible, so journeys can take considerably longer than you might expect. Be prepared with extra water just in case.
When you’re at parties or meals where the wine is flowing freely, make sure you drink one glass of water for every glass of wine. As well as helping you to stay hydrated and preventing UTIs from taking hold, it will mean you avoid the dreaded hangover the next day too.
It’s important that your fluid intake is balanced throughout the day though. I always recommend that you start your day by drinking a full glass of water before you have any food. Then you should aim to drink another glass (around four fluid ounces) every two to three hours throughout the day.
Remember that drinking enough water is the key, without drinking excessive amounts. An excessive amount of water would be more than three pints per day.
If you do start feeling the beginnings of at UTI, don’t panic but do take action. Follow my Three Hour Management procedure, which is outlined in my books. Make sure you follow the instructions properly and you will see the pain lessen and be back on your feet quickly.
UTIs are debilitating and painful, and the last thing that you want to be suffering from when you’re trying to enjoy Christmas with your loved ones. Take simple steps like those outlined here and in my cystitis self help book, and hopefully you’ll have a UTI-free festive period.