If the heat continues during the fall, protect yourself from urinary tract infections

If the heat continues during the fall, protect yourself from urinary tract infections

Cara Murez

SATURDAY Sept., Feb. 10, 2022 (HealthDay News) — As summer gives way to fall, the warm weather isn’t expected to end anytime soon, which means it’s important to stay hydrated to avoid urinary tract infections.

Dehydration is one of the main risk factors for these common and painful infections, also called UTIs.

“Patients may have more UTIs during the summer due to insufficient fluid intake, especially during the historic heat waves we’ve experienced,” said Dr. Maude Carmel, associate professor of urology. at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

UTIs are common and are characterized by burning or pain with urination, increased frequency and urge to go, and blood in the urine.

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Although painful urination doesn’t necessarily mean you have a UTI, it can be a cause. Diagnosis requires a urine culture. A urinalysis or test strip is not enough.

Cranberry juice is too diluted to treat UTIs, despite the popular myth that this is the case. Cranberry supplements may reduce some risk of infection, however, Carmel said in a press release from the center.

Anyone with symptoms of a UTI should make an appointment with their primary care physician, she said. A person who has more than three UTIs diagnosed in a year may need to see a urologist. This specialist can order additional tests and assess individual risk factors to narrow down the cause.

Carmel offered some tips to reduce the risk of UTIs: In addition to drinking at least two liters of fluid (about half a gallon) a day, urinate at least every three hours and also after sex. Avoiding constipation can also help.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on urinary tract infections.

SOURCE: UT Southwestern Medical Center, news release, Sept. 3, 2022

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