Drinking enough water is known to be important for good health. It makes it easier for your heart to work, keeps your temperature regulated, helps your muscles perform better, and cleanses your body of toxins. But new research published in the Journal of Internal Medicine reveals a new benefit to boosting hydration: prevention of bladder infection, the most common
type of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
Women are particularly prone to UTIs; UTIs are, in fact, the most common bacterial infection in women, with 50% of women having at least one episode in their lifetime. Moreover, having had one UTI is a risk factor for continuing to have them: between 44% and 70% of women who have a UTI will have another one within the year.
While UTIs are usually cleared up quickly with the use of antibiotics, if left untreated they can cause more serious kidney infections. In the elderly, particularly elderly women, UTIs are more frequent; more than 10% of women over 65 have a UTI each year, and nearly 30% of women over 85 have one.
UTIs in older people can have different, more distressing, symptoms than the classic symptoms of frequent, burning urination. An older person with a UTI can have such symptoms as confusion, agitation, or lethargy.
Adequate hydration has always been recognized as a way to prevent the risk of UTI, but there’s not been much data to support this advice. Until now. The new study randomized women into one of two groups: a control group that did not change their regular fluid intake, and an experimental group which had women add an additional 1.5 L of water (nearly 6 ½ cups) to their regular intake.
The results were dramatic: over the course of twelve months, the women in the water group had half as many bladder infections as the women in the control group. Even those women in the water group who developed bladder infections benefited: they were able to go nearly twice as long without a recurrence
as the women in the control group.
At Hamilton Grove Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ, the care we take of our residents extends from our variety of fun and stimulating activities to the care our dietitians take in ensuring that all our residents eat healthy, delicious meals — and have enough hydration to ensure optimal health.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 609-588-5800 or by clicking here.