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How Water Keeps Your Urinary Tract Healthy​

How Water Keeps Your Urinary Tract Healthy

The urinary tract comprises the bladder, kidneys, ureters (the duct through which urine passes from the kidney to the bladder) and urethra (the tube from the bladder through which urine is removed from the body).

The urinary tract plays a crucial role in maintaining your health as it helps your body absorb the amount of water it needs and remove toxins through urine. However, at times, the urinary system may not function properly due to conditions like Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) ad stones. And what is the primary reason for these problems? Not drinking enough water!

Yes, when you don’t drink sufficient amounts of water, your body cannot flush out toxins, chemicals and bacteria through the urine, which in turn leads to various disorders of the urinary system including:

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

A very common problem, especially among women, UTIs occur when bacteria grows in the urinary tract. Characterised by stinging pain, abdomen cramps and at times fever, UTI may require treatment with antibiotics. In men, this problem manifests as cystitis, wherein is when the lower part of the urinary tract (typically the bladder) becomes inflamed, leading to frequent need to urinate and stinging pain during urination. The easiest way to prevent UTI is to drink plenty of water. Water helps flush away the accumulated bacteria and reduces the concentration of the urine, which in turn reduces the chances of infection/ recurrence. Studies also reveal that increasing the fluid is also a highly effective way to prevent urinary bacterial infections in elderly people with incontinence issues.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones or nephrolithiasis form when waste chemicals/ minerals from the blood crystalise in the kidney. The primary reason for this problem is not drinking enough water. When your kidneys don’t get enough water to process and flush out waste products as urine, chemicals like oxalate, calcium and phosphate accumulate in them and form crystals. These crystals are called stones. Once a stone is formed, it will try to pass through the urinary system, causing discomfort, pain, UTI and even blockage of the urethra.

Bladder Stones

Called vesical calculus/ cystoliths, bladder stones are caused due to build-up of minerals. This occur if the bladder is not completely emptied on urination, which leads to concentration of the retained urine and minerals within the liquid. A rather painful condition, bladder stones may pass through the urethra while urinating or worse, get stuck to the wall of the bladder or ureter, causing severe discomfort and even infection. So how can you prevent these issues? Simple. Drink at least 2 litres of water everyday. And yes, you need to drink it across the day so that you maintain the hydration levels. You may need to drink more during dry/ hot weather as response to thirst than downing large amounts at a time. It is also advisable to have more water-based food items like soups, vegetables, fruits and yoghurt so that your body gets all the hydration it needs. Just like adults, children might also develop urinary tract problems due to decreased water intake. Make sure that you encourage your children to drink fluids in the morning with breakfast and at regular intervals during the day.

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