Ensuring adequate fluid intake helps keep the urinary system in good condition. When cystitis has developed, what is it necessary to drink? ‘It all depends on the characteristics of the infection. Sometimes it will be essential to reduce the intake of fluids’, underlines Dr. Alberto Saita, urologist from Humanitas.
It is important to distinguish between acute cystitis and frequent cystitis: ‘In the first case, one of the typical symptoms is intense dysuria, which is a general urination difficulty, associated with constant irritation. If you drink a lot, this stimulus is intensified so it is better to moderate the intake of water, especially before sleeping if you have a tendency to urinate during the night. Only when the cystitis is accompanied by fever and sweating, it will be necessary to drink a bit more in order to restore the water balance’, explains the specialist.
‘These mainly occur in young patients, who are affected by several episodes every three to six months due to dietary changes, lack of fluids or lifestyle changes. To reduce the bacterial concentration in the urine, it is essential to drink a lot in order to dilute them’.
The only warning is represented by the presence of the so-called urinary residue: ‘an ultrasound will tell us if a certain amount of urine is present in the bladder after urination. Only in the presence of problems with emptying the bladder, an restricted intake of fluids is essential’.
But how much water will it be necessary to drink in case of recurring cystitis? ‘Generally, rather than looking at the amount of water to drink, in these cases we must look at the amount of urine expelled during the day. Drink frequently, drink more if you practice sports and avoid drinking high amounts of water in one go are all valid indications for those people affected by cystitis’.
In addition to water, what else can you drink?
‘Natural fruit juices, in order to control the intake of sugars, centrifuges and herbal teas such as mauve or chamomile, which also have a soothing effect. Remember that liquids can also be taken with food, by consuming soups or fruits and vegetables. Blueberry juices can also help to maintain hydration and also support drug therapy for bacterial infection’.
What is better to avoid? ‘Alcohol and carbonated or sweetened drinks should be avoided’.
These tips mainly focus on women, since recurrent cystitis is a disorder that mainly affects females: ‘They are bacterial infections of ascendant origin, with pathogenic microorganisms ascended from the vagina to the bladder. In men, on the other hand, cystitis tends to occur at a later age and in association with prostatic problems and associated with problems of emptying the bladder. Therefore, drinking more could increase post-voiding residuals’, concludes Dr. Saita.