Dehydration: 4 Urologic Conditions Made Worse by Thirst

June 02,2021 |
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Since we were young, we’ve been told to drink plenty of water, especially during physical activity or while out in the hot sun. While some people think they can get adequate amounts of water from sports drinks, foods, or even soda, that’s far from the truth. In reality, water makes up about 60% of your entire body. Throughout the day, it’s consistently lost through sweat, tears, urination, and fuel for cellular energy. When we don’t replenish this lost water, our bodies begin to suffer. Unfortunately, if you’re suffering from a urologic condition, you may try to suppress the amount of liquids you drink to avoid dealing with urgency, frequency, or incontinence. While it seems counterintuitive, drinking enough water can actually help alleviate these symptoms and improve your condition. For more information, here are 4 urologic conditions made worse by thirst.

Benefits of Staying Hydrated

The benefits of water are seemingly infinite—it seems like there’s nothing it can’t do. Water helps your body to maintain homeostasis, keep a constant temperature, add lubrication to your joints, and remove any additional waste or toxins that are formed as byproducts from foods or drinks we consume. If you want to stay healthy, you need to stay hydrated. Some of the benefits of staying hydrated include:

  • Maximized Performance
  • Higher Energy Levels
  • Improved Brain Function
  • Constipation Relief
  • Efficient Weight Loss

    Even if you’re not a “water drinker” by choice, you still need it to survive. When you stay in a perpetual state of dehydration, you can worsen existing problems, contribute to the onset of new problems, and encourage the overall deterioration of your body.

    4 Urologic Conditions Made Worse by Thirst

    There are hundreds of benefits to staying hydrated, but one thing that people don’t realize is that dehydration can also worsen existing problems. It can be the source and onset for certain issues, especially in terms of the urinary tract system. The more dehydrated you become, the worse these conditions get. Here are 4 conditions that become increasingly worse with dehydration.

  1. Kidney Stones

    Kidney stones are very hard deposits that are formed from the minerals and salts inside of your kidneys. There are several different things that can cause kidney stones, some of which include genetics, supplements, weight, diet, medications, and certain medical conditions. To help prevent the formation of kidney stones, staying hydrated is essential. When you’re dehydrated, your body will not produce an adequate amount of urine. This creates higher concentrations of the salts and minerals present in your bladder. When combined with uric acid from your kidneys, this can quicken the formation of kidney stones and worsen existing ones.

    Kidney stones are extremely painful to pass and sometimes, even require surgery or doctor intervention. The more dehydrated you are, the worse this experience will be. Being properly hydrated helps the stones to pass more efficiently.

  2. Bladder Inflammation

    Hydration has a direct effect on the bladder since it’s the organ that’s responsible for liquid waste. Your bladder is sensitive and there are many different foods and drinks that can cause irritation. The more irritated your bladder becomes, the more inflamed it gets. When the lining of your bladder becomes irritated to a certain point, it can result in painful bladder syndrome, also commonly referred to as interstitial cystitis. This condition is defined by an ongoing presence of pain, pressure, or discomfort in the bladder lasting six weeks or longer. It’s a chronic condition that can result in urgency, frequency, and pain, causing major disruptions to your lifestyle.

    When you don’t drink enough water, the high concentration of urine can irritate the lining of the bladder, making pain more severe. By staying hydrated and practicing bladder training, you’ll alleviate symptoms and manage the condition more effectively.

  3. Urinary Tract Infections

    Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when bacteria enter the urethra and is not flushed out quick enough. The longer that it’s present, the more likely you are to get an infection. UTIs are extremely common and, due to anatomical differences, affect women more often than men. If left untreated, the infection can travel up your urethra and into your kidneys or even bladder. Kidney infections and bladder infections are far more serious and may require more intense treatment, so it’s best to treat UTIs immediately and do what you can to prevent them.

    One of the best ways to prevent a urinary tract infection is to stay hydrated and urinate frequently throughout the day. This helps to flush out bacteria that may have entered the urethra. To be able to urinate frequently, you need to be hydrated. Dehydration will only increase the likelihood of getting a UTI and can worsen the pain felt for those who already have them. If you experience chronic UTIs, talk to your doctor about alternative remedies. Make sure that you always wipe front to back and try to urinate both before and after sex.

  4. Kidney Failure

    Your kidneys need water to function properly and efficiently expel waste products. While kidney failure can occur due to several reasons, dehydration plays a role in this deterioration. Being dehydrated can cause a reduction in your body’s metabolism and when the baseline reaches a certain level, your kidneys begin to weaken. This can cause the muscle tissues in your kidneys to slowly begin to break down unbeknownst to your knowledge. Without the proper care, this can cause full blown kidney failure. Symptoms of kidney failure include weakness, nausea, changes in urination, and more.

    To avoid any problems with both your metabolism and the overall functioning of your kidneys, staying hydrated is absolutely essential.

    For those trying to manage these urologic conditions, try to stay cool and out of intense summer heat. You should also avoid or severely limit your alcohol intake to avoid dehydration. If you are going to drink, have a full glass of water in between every alcoholic beverage. If you have any questions about your urologic conditions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your urologist.

    Creative Ways to Increase Your Water Intake

    If you’re one of the many people who absolutely hate drinking water, don’t worry. There are plenty of creative ways for you to increase your water intake throughout the day. To better understand how much water you’re drinking, set goals for each day, and attain those goals regularly, consider downloading a water intake app or using a large ½ gallon or 1 gallon bottle with intervals drawn on. Then, incorporate a few of these tips to help you get more water throughout the day.

  • Make Unsweetened Iced Tea – tea is made using water and herbs, many of which are filled with healthy antioxidants. If you don’t enjoy plain water, consider boiling some tea and serving it over ice. This is a great way to increase your liquid intake without having to resort to soda or sports drinks. Just make sure that you drink your iced tea unsweetened, as adding sugar can have a negative effect on hydration levels.
  • Infuse Your Water – if you don’t want to drink iced tea all day, make a few different types of infusions to switch between. Some great options include citrus water with lemon, lime, and orange slices, cucumber and mint, and muddled berries.
  • Try Coconut Water – coconut water is filled with the healthy electrolytes of a sports drink without all the excess sugar and processing. It’s a unique, refreshing treat, especially after vigorous exercise or a day in the hot sun.
  • Add More Fruits and Vegetables – certain fruits and vegetables provide a great source of hydration. Find some of your favorite and add them to your daily diet. The fruits and vegetables with the highest water content include watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, grapefruit, broccoli, radishes, celery, peppers, spinach, and cauliflower.

It doesn’t matter how you stay hydrated. The important thing is making sure that your body has enough water to properly function and avoid worsening any chronic or urologic conditions. Aim to consume about eight, 8 oz. glasses of water per day, more if you’re exercising vigorously or in a warm climate. Pay attention to the color of your urine for an indication of your hydration level and if you feel nauseous, experience confusion, or become dizzy, sit down, and drink some water. If that doesn’t help, or you’re unable to keep fluids down and become disoriented, see your doctor immediately.

If you’re suffering from any urologic conditions, staying hydrated is essential. For proper urology management, Byram Healthcare offers discreet shipping on a range of urology products. If you have any questions, call us today. We have a team of representatives standing by to help with your urology needs.