We all know how important hydration is to the body. Our body is mostly made up of water, and it requires constant fluid intake in order to function optimally. Being just a little bit dehydrated can lead to fatigue and headaches, but it can also lead to issues in the bladder including burning, stinging, frequency & urgency, and flare ups for ladies with interstitial cystitis. Fall is oftentimes when my patients begin to see issues, so let’s talk about this.
During the summer, especially if you live here in Chico, it’s hot, and it’s easy to remember to drink water. But as soon as the weather turns and we stop feeling so hot all the time, we oftentimes forget about hydration. We start having a cup of coffee in the afternoons instead of a glass of cold water, we can go longer without feeling thirsty, and by the end of the day we realize we haven’t had as much water as usual.
When we don’t drink enough water, our urine becomes less diluted and more concentrated. For some people this isn’t a problem, but for ladies with interstitial cystitis or those with symptoms of vaginal atrophy due to menopause, that concentrated urine becomes problematic causing all sorts of symptoms like burning & stinging when voiding, and urgency. It might even feel like you’re getting a bladder infection or UTI when really all you need to do is drink some more water.
If you notice this is happening to you, pay more attention to your water intake. Fill a bottle or kanteen and aim to drink it before lunch– refill and drink it before you leave work. And make sure to bring water everywhere you go– if you have water nearby you are far more likely to drink it! Your bladder will thank you!