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Does Alcohol Cause Bladder Infections

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Alcohol And Bladder Control Issues

“Does Cranberry Juice Really Cause Urinary Tract Infections? with Dr. Melanie Crites-Bachert
  • Increased frequency

If you suffer from any kind of bladder control issue, it is a good idea to watch your alcohol intake. Beer, wine, spirits and all other alcoholic beverages can act as a bladder stimulant, and ultimately lead to incontinence.

Your over stimulated bladder will make you need to urinate far more often than usual for people with incontinence paired with other physical issues, they may not be able to make it to the toilet in time.

  • Unintentional leakage

Although alcohol is defined as a depressant, most people who drink in moderation consume it more for relaxation and its stimulant effect. But this can become problematic when it comes to urinary incontinence, as alcohol can also lead to the relaxation of the bladder muscles, thereby possibly inducing unintentional leakage.

This can really be a problem if you usually get up in the night to use the toilet if you have consumed a lot of alcohol and passed out you likely wont get the signal that wakes you. It is not uncommon for people with leakage problems to wet the bed if they go to bed after having many alcoholic drinks. If this is the case, the individual should certainly cut down on their drinking, and use incontinence pads when they do imbibe before bedtime.

  • Impaired signals

How Alcohol Impacts A Healthy Bladder

Alcohol is a powerful diuretic , meaning even just one drink can increase your urine production5and make you need to use the toilet more. It can also cause dehydration and more concentrated urine, which, in turn, causes irritation and inflammation in the lining of the bladder. 6 This causes discomfort both when you urinate and at rest.

How Can I Take Care Of Myself

  • Follow your healthcare provider’s treatment. Take all of the antibiotic that your healthcare provider prescribes, even when you feel better. Do not take medicine left over from previous prescriptions.
  • Drink more fluids, especially water, to help flush bacteria from your system.
  • If you have a fever:
  • Take aspirin or acetaminophen to control the fever. Check with your healthcare provider before you give any medicine that contains aspirin or salicylates to a child or teen. This includes medicines like baby aspirin, some cold medicines, and Pepto Bismol. Children and teens who take aspirin are at risk for a serious illness called Reye’s syndrome.
  • Keep a daily record of your temperature.
  • A hot water bottle or an electric heating pad on a low setting can help relieve cramps or lower abdominal or back pain. Keep a cloth between your skin and the hot water bottle or heating pad so that you don’t burn your skin.
  • Soaking in a tub for 20 to 30 minutes may help relieve any back or abdominal pain.
  • Keep your follow-up appointment with your provider, if recommended.
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    How Does It Occur

    Normally the urinary tract does not have any bacteria or other organisms in it. Bacteria that cause UTI often spread from the rectum to the urethra and then to the bladder or kidneys. Sometimes bacteria spread from another part of the body through the bloodstream to the urinary tract. Urinary tract infection is less common in men than in women because the male urethra is long, making it difficult for bacteria to spread to the bladder.

    Urinary tract infection may be caused by a sexually transmitted disease. Sometimes a stone in the urinary tract blocks the flow of urine and causes an infection. In older men, an enlarged prostate can cause a urinary tract infection by keeping urine from draining out of the bladder completely. Infection might also be caused by the use of a catheter used to drain the bladder or by urethral stricture, which is a narrowing of the urethra by scar tissue from previous infections or surgical procedures.

    You may be more likely to have a UTI if you have diabetes or another medical problem that affects the immune system.

    Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Infections

    Kidney Infection From Drinking Too Much Alcohol

    And now a brief note about reproductive parts: Although people with penises do get UTIs, people with vaginas are more at risk. It all boils down to the anatomy, Minkin says.

    Bacteria that cause UTIs often make their way from the back door to the front and then up the urethra to wreak havoc on the urinary system.

    Because the male reproductive system has a longer urethra than the female reproductive system, the bacteria have farther to travel, which makes it more difficult for a UTI to develop.

    But regardless of anatomy, once youve had one UTI, youre more likely to get another, especially if you have a vagina. Hickling DR, et al. . Management of recurrent urinary tract infections in healthy adult women.

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    Is There Any Connection Between Alcohol And Uti

    • 04-01-2020
    • By Sehat

    Alcohol has a significant effect on the functioning of the urinary system. It makes urine more acidic resulting in irritation in the lining of the bladder. In a study, it was shown that alcohol may cause urinary retention in young people who do not have obstructive urinary tract disease. The mechanism of urinary retention by alcohol remains unknown. Although, drinking alcohol in a limited amount may not affect kidneys but large quantity worsens kidney diseases. This may even lead to acute kidney failure. Regular heavy drinkers are significantly at greater risk of developing chronic kidney diseases. Alcohol causes the drying effect that hampers the functioning of kidney cells. Further, hormonal disruption due to alcohol reduces the ability of the kidney. Thus it is prudent to separate alcohol and UTI. Here in this article, you can know can drinking alcohol cause UTI.

    Alcohol Consumption And Diarrhoea

    Consuming alcohol can cause irritation and inflammation in the gut, which can in turn cause diarrhoea. Not only does diarrhoea make you feel exhausted and terrible, it can really damage your stomach lining and sap your body of important nutrients.

    Alcohol irritates the delicate nature of your digestive tract, and can worsen your diarrhoea. It has been proven that this phenomenon most often occurs with wine, which can destroy the helpful bacteria found in the intestines. Were not suggesting that you give up your beloved glass of red wine with a fine meal, but dont overindulge on a regular basis.

    Many people tend to find that alcohol affects them more when they have not eaten a solid meal, and this makes complete sense.

    When you drink a beverage while eating food, the alcohol has a buffer. When the alcohol and food reaches your stomach, it is absorbed into your blood via the walls of your stomach. The food slows down the intoxicating effects of the alcohol. However, if you havent eaten any food with your alcohol, the booze travels immediately to your small intestine and then passes more quickly into your bloodstream. This is why you feel much more intoxicated at a much quicker rate.

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    Alcohol And Antibiotic Interactions

    It is generally best to avoid alcohol use while taking antibiotics for the treatment of a UTI. Many drugs, including antibiotics, can interact with alcohol. Although not considered serious in most cases, many antibiotics can cause stomach upset, which can be heightened by concomitant alcohol use. Alcohol can sometimes reduce how well the antibiotic works, can cause certain unpleasant effects, along with many other symptoms, ranging from mild to severe.

    A common medication for UTI treatment is called Bactrim, which is the brand name for sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. Bactrim can interact with alcohol by causing problems with how the body metabolizes folic acid, which can have an effect on blood cell production.

    Another antibiotic called linezolid, which is less commonly used to treat UTIs, can also interact with alcohol. This is usually due to a component of some beers and wines, called tyramine, not the alcohol itself. This interaction is not common but can cause elevated heart rate and blood pressure, muscle problems, seizures and fever.

    Some antibiotics, called fluoroquinolones, can increase the risk of mental problems or seizures in some patients, which can be compounded by concomitant alcohol use. These antibiotics include Cipro and Levoquin .

    Coffee Or Tea Which Makes You Pee

    Alcohol & Medication/Urinary Tract Infection UTI

    Starting the day with a cup of coffee may be routine, however studies have shown that greater than 250 mg of caffeine daily can irritate the bladder causing urinary urgency and frequency.

    Of note, Starbucks has some of the highest caffeine amounts of any coffee chain. One eight-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains approximately 180 mg of caffeine while a large, 20-ounce cup contains 415 mg. Cappuccino, espresso and the iced coffees contain slightly less caffeine than the brewed coffees.

    Interestingly, the darker the roast, the less caffeine is present in ground coffee by volume. This is due to a) the longer a bean is roasted, the more caffeine in it is vaporized out of it, and b) the darker the roast, the larger the roasted bean becomes because it expands, producing more ground coffee by volume than a more lightly roasted bean will yield.

    As caffeine is a diuretic, women may be causing their kidneys to produce more urine. This can overwhelm the bladder and cause frequent trips to the restroom or urinary leakage. Accordingly, it is good practice to drink at least eight ounces of water for each cup of coffee that you consume especially 30 minutes prior to engaging in an exercise routine to avoid dehydration.

    Also Check: How Do I Treat A Bladder Infection At Home

    Why You Shouldnt Drink Alcohol If You Have A Uti

    Two reasons why you should avoid alcohol if you have UTI:

    1. Alcohol Can Irritate the Bladder

    Alcohol is acidic and can cause bladder irritation. This can happen whether or not you have UTI.

    Its worse, though, if you already have the infection.14, 15

    2. Alcohol Can Interfere with UTI Treatment

    As UTIs are caused by bacteria, antibiotics can cure them. However, alcohol can interfere with certain medications.

    Take sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim as an example.

    If you take this medication with alcohol, youll experience unpleasant side effects like nausea, flushing, and increased heart rate.16

    Should I Cut Out All Alcohol

    Based on all the reasons listed above, it’s clear that alcohol can cause bladder problems. And you may be wondering if you should give up alcohol entirely? While eliminating alcohol altogether can be beneficial for your overall health, its not always realistic. If being able to grab a drink with a friend or enjoy your favorite beverage is important to you, then you dont have to eliminate it entirely. Instead, here are a few tips for how to minimize some of the bladder problems from alcohol:

  • Make sure to stay hydrated every day by drinking approximately half your body weight in fluid ounces, with the majority of it coming from plain water. It’s especially important on days you intend to indulge in a drink or two!
  • Alternate an alcoholic drink with a glass of water. This will keep your bladder happier and also dilute the more acidic beverages so they arent as irritating to the bladder wall.
  • Avoid mixing alcohol with other known bladder irritants! This includes carbonated, sugary, or caffeinated drinks.
  • Limit yourself to a max of 4 alcoholic beverages per week2. This will reduce the amount of irritation in your bladder as well as the amount of overall inflammation throughout your whole body!
  • Use serving sizes!! This can help you limit yourself to that 4 drinks per week plan as well as help you visualize what one serving actually looks like: Wine: 5 oz. Beer: 12 oz. Liquor: 1.5 oz.
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    What Is The Urinary Tract

    The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the body’s liquid waste products. The urinary tract includes the following parts:

    • Kidneys: These small organs are located on back of your body, just above the hips. They are the filters of your body removing waste and water from your blood. This waste becomes urine.
    • Ureters: The ureters are thin tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to your bladder.
    • Bladder: A sac-like container, the bladder stores your urine before it leaves the body.
    • Urethra: This tube carries the urine from your bladder to the outside of the body.

    Why Does Alcohol Make My Bladder Hurt

    3 Ways to Prevent Bladder Infections

    Alcohol use can make your bladder hurt even if you do not have a UTI. The pain occurs because alcohol is highly acidic. In turn, the acid can irritate your bladder lining. The bladder irritation from alcohol is similar to how you may feel when you have a UTI, so it is easy to confuse the two feelings. One study shows that lowering your intake of irritating beverages like alcohol may improve your urinary health.

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    When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider

    • Fever.
    • Back pain.
    • Vomiting.

    If you have any of these symptoms, or your other symptoms continue after treatment, call your healthcare provider. A UTI can spread throughout your urinary tract and into other parts of your body. However, treatment is very effective and can quickly relieve your symptoms.

    Alcohol And Urinary Tract And Kidney Infections

    Whats the problem with concentrated urine? It can wreak havoc on your urinary tract. Concentrated urine sits in the bladder, and it can cause irritation and inflammation in the lining of your bladder. You are far more likely to develop a urinary tract infection if your urine is concentrated, which can also spread to your kidneys.

    Urinary tract infections cause the urethra and bladder to spasm, leading to a burning and painful feeling, as well as the feeling that you need to empty your bladder . You will also notice that your urine is cloudy, dark and smelly. These infections can also cause headaches, back pain, fever and general malaise.Cystitis is one of the symptoms of a bladder infection and is causes the inflammation and swelling of the lining in your bladder. You might feel sharp pain, see blood in your urine, and experience increased urgency or frequency.

    These issues can really damage your quality of life, and prevent you from travelling, socialising, and a healthy sexuality. The best prevention for urinary tract infections is to drink a lot of water and clear fluids you should also avoid the excessive consumption of alcohol.

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    Relief Without A Prescription

    An over-the-counter drug called phenazopyridine can help ease your pain, burning, and irritation. It also controls your need to pee frequently and urgently.

    But there’s a catch. It only works on your symptoms. It doesn’t cure your infection. You still need to see your doctor to make sure you get treatment to fight the bacteria that’s causing your UTI.

    Also, one common side effect: It turns your pee dark red or orange while you take it.

    Beverages To Ease The Pain

    Urinary Tract Infection Causes

    On the other hand, there are plenty of drinks that can help soothe the pain, as well as keep the body more hydrated during a UTI.

    • Water. Water will always be the top recommendation for hydration and can help flush out the bacteria as it is killed with antibiotics. Even without an infection, six to eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day are recommended for proper health and hydration.
    • Cranberry juice. No, cranberry juice will not cure a UTI. However, the antioxidant properties in full flavor, no sugar added cranberry juice can help ease the effects of symptoms, and it is good for preventative measures.
    • Herbal teas. Be sure to choose a tea without caffeine, and consider one with soothing properties, such as chamomile or jasmine.
    • Apple cider vinegar. Its fermented, so it has probiotics, and it contains a number of vitamins and minerals that are supportive to the health of the bladder and urinary tract.

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    Learn The Food Dos And Donts For Dealing With Oab

    Coloradans know that our cuisine reaches far beyond Chipotle burritos, the fearsome Rocky Mountain Oyster and Coors Light. Its a state rich in culturally diverse flavors and theres never a shortage of wine and beer .

    Colorado also loves to celebrate food and drink with festivals like Aspens Food & Wine Classic with palates prepared for decadence.

    But for women suffering from an overactive bladder , consuming the wrong foods will provide little comfort. By focusing on a bladder-friendly diet that avoids known irritants and opts for smart alternatives, urgency, frequency and bladder discomfort may be greatly reduced.

    Can I Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection

    You can usually prevent a urinary tract infection with lifestyle changes. These tips can include:

    In some post-menopausal women, a healthcare provider may suggest an estrogen-containing vaginal cream. This may reduce the risk of developing a UTI by changing the pH of the vagina. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have recurrent UTIs and have already gone through menopause.

    Over-the-counter supplements are also available for UTIs. These are sometimes recommended for people who have frequent UTIs as another way to prevent them. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any supplements and ask if these could be a good choice for you.

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    Foods And Drinks That Can Help A Uti

    Here are some remedies that can help if you have a UTI:


    Several studies have linked UTI and infrequent urination due to low fluid intake.17, 18, 19

    Drinking plenty of water flushes out bacteria from the bladder. This also reduces the concentration of bacteria along the urethra.

    Cranberry Juice

    Evidence is mixed on the effectiveness of cranberry juice. However, it remains popular as a natural remedy for a UTI.5, 20, 21, 22

    It contains proanthocyanidins, chemicals that can block bacteria from sticking to the bladder lining.23, 24, 25


    Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide various health benefits.

    You can find them in fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and yogurt. You can also take them as supplements.

    Inside the digestive tract, probiotics can restore the good bacteria destroyed by antibiotics.

    There are reports that Lactobacillus, a common probiotic, prevents UTI in adult women.25, 26


    Theres evidence that D-mannose is effective in treating and preventing UTI.27

    Its a type of sugar found in some fruits and vegetables .

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