While enjoying a summer barbecue or swimming in a pool, you may not think about your bladder or urinary tract. However, it’s important to remember that these outside activities can also affect your internal health.
As temperatures increase, our blood flows to the skin to release heat via sweat. This process cools us down. Additionally, our blood vessels expand, lowering blood pressure, among other changes.
These changes, particularly sweating, can significantly impact the urology system. Therefore, your habits during the summer, such as diet and activities, can influence the management of your urinary health. With these tips, you can maintain and enhance your urinary health while enjoying the warmer months.
To stay healthy, it’s vital to replenish the fluids lost through sweating during physical activity. On average, a person can lose up to two liters of liquid in an hour of exercise, and this liquid is needed to eliminate bacteria, toxins, and waste from the body. Failure to remove these substances can result in urinary tract infections (UTIs) in the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Men should consume 13 cups of liquid daily, while women should aim for nine cups, including liquids found in food.
When attending social events, having a few more drinks is easier than usual. However, it’s essential to be mindful of the number of beverages containing alcohol. Alcoholic beverages can lead to dehydration and increase the risk of kidney stones. Try drinking a glass of water before indulging in a second drink to maintain hydration. Kidney stones form when there is an excess of minerals and salts in the urine, which can be worsened by dehydration caused by alcohol’s diuretic effect.
To detect dehydration before it leads to symptoms like dizziness and fatigue, you can check the color of your urine. Clear or pale urine indicates good hydration, while golden or honey-colored urine suggests dehydration. If your urine appears pink or orange, it may reveal hematuria, a condition in which blood is found in urine due to a urinary tract infection, enlarged prostate, or kidney stones.
Engaging in doctor-approved exercise benefits the entire body, including specific urinary tract areas. For instance, practicing yoga may alleviate symptoms of lower urinary tract conditions like pelvic floor prolapse. Research indicates that men who run for at least 90 minutes a week have a lower risk of developing erectile dysfunction. Even low-impact exercises like Kegel exercises can improve urinary tract health by strengthening the pelvic muscles, which can address various health concerns including incontinence, prolapse, and bladder function.
It’s crucial to shield your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but remember that UV rays also help your body produce vitamin D, which is essential to overall health. Studies suggest that inadequate vitamin D levels can increase the likelihood of experiencing issues such as an overactive bladder, a swollen prostate, and urinary tract infections. Conversely, maintainining optimal vitamin D levels can optimize sexual functioning in women.
Decades of research has shown that cigarette smoke can cause various urological illnesses such as kidney and bladder cancers, kidney stones, infertility, and interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome). If you need guidance on quitting smoking, seek help from your healthcare provider.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.