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You Asked: Can Dehydration Lead to a UTI?

Dear Fit,
I went took a vigorous yoga class this weekend. The room was heated and it was hot outside so was sweating a lot all through the class. I don't think I drank enough water after the class before heading to a wine tasting. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling really parched and dehydrated, but now I feel like I have a UTI coming on. Not a bad one, but mildly irritating. My question is this: would being dehydrated cause a bladder infection?
— Thirsty Yoga Gal

Sounds like you had a busy, fun weekend but missed out on replenishing your liquids post-workout. To see what I think about this UTI situation,


Bladder infections, or urinary tract infections (UTI), are caused by bacteria that makes its way into the urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the outside of your body, and eventually overwhelms your body's natural defense causing an infection in the bladder. Dehydration can make you more susceptible to getting a bladder infection, especially if you are prone to them, since some women get them over and over again.

It is important to drink plenty of fluids to help flush any bacteria or germs out of the urethra. With Summer on its way, and more sweaty, vigorous workouts too, make sure you stay well-hydrated. If drinking plain water doesn't feel like it is doing the trick, try adding a Nuun hydration tablets to your water bottle. They add electrolytes to your water and those are the minerals you lose when you sweat.

If your UTI symptoms increase, be sure to see your doc. Left untreated, it can develop into a kidney infection, a much more serious condition. Remember that unsweetened cranberry has been shown to help fight bladder infections.


VeeKeeTee VeeKeeTee 8 years
getting a cup of water right now
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
UTIs are brutal!
kelsee kelsee 8 years
OMG! I was just on the phone with my husband telling him I thought my UTI was from not drinking enough water. This was the next story I read. I do drink water all day long but it looks like I'm not drinking enough. I take a spin class and the pain seems to come on the following morning. Thanks for the post!
glitter-junkie glitter-junkie 8 years
I've had UTIs after being dehydrated. I need to be extremely careful and drink at least 2.5 litres of fluids a day - not because I try to, I have to to feel well. It's just one of those things - if you stay on top of your hydration it'll be a lot better. There's two types of cystitis - honeymoon, caused by irritation and will clear up on its own - and bacterial, which will not go away and if left for a long time can lead to kidney infection which is very serious. If you have had cystitis symptoms - burning on peeing, for example, for a few days and then develop a pain in your lower back you need to see a doctor sharpish and get some antibiotics. Whatever you do, don't ignore it.
lemamike lemamike 8 years
I get a lot of UTIs but I notice if I drink a lot in one night the next day i feel mild symptoms of UTI until I am hydrated again. Not that you drank too much by the dehydration and lack of consistent peeing for a few hours probably made you feel those symptoms. Just drink as much water as possible!
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
I used to get frequent, very serious UTIs and I always thought dehydration was linked in some way. What you said, thedanmole, makes a lot of sense, as cystitis isn't as serious (well, at least in my opinion) as a full blown UTI. There seem to be a lot of over the counter remedies for cystitis, but whenever I have had a UTI, the only thing that could put me out of my misery was a pack of antibiotics. I'll have to remember to stay hydrated at all times.
SunnyMutt SunnyMutt 8 years
Another reason to stay on top of drinking water. I am so bad about that!
thedanmole thedanmole 8 years
I used to get UTI's all the time from dehydration (or so I thought) it turns out it was just causing cystitis, so it felt like I was having a UTI but no infection was present - just the annoying symptoms. You might want to check that out as well.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Lots of things can cause UTIs, but like Fit said, if you stay hydrated so that you're peeing about once every 2 hours or so (the more often, the better), you'll prevent the bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urethra. If they don't stick, they won't grow. Other sources of UTI bacteria: improper wiping technique...always wipe front to back so you don't get feces near the urethra, not peeing after sex, and keeping a wet bathing suit on for extended periods of time.
Another good tip is to change out of those workout clothes right away.
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