Summertime means more carefree time spent outdoors in hot weather. But hot weather also means more opportunities for urinary problems. For some, one common summer weather-related urinary issue can be frequent urinary tract infections or UTIs. Even men’s health issues like an enlarged prostate may relate to a “summer-like” phenomenon of being outdoors.
So, why is the summer season more likely to cause urinary problems, and what are you doing to resolve these issues by maintaining and improving urinary health at the same time?
Summer and urinary health
All of us know that spending time outdoors on hot, humid days means one thing for sure – you’re going to sweat profusely. When your body heats up, certain bodily systems react in various ways. For instance, as temperatures soar, more blood comes to the skin, helping transfer heat to the surface, helping you sweat, which evaporates, helping cool you down.
At the same time, your blood vessels expand as your body temperature rises, helping lower your blood pressure. While these reactions are occurring, they affect the way your urinary system works in warm weather.
To reduce by preventing certain urinary system summer problems, here’s a list to keep your urinary health functioning properly, no matter what the temperature says:
- Drink plenty of fluids each day – Summer outdoor physical activity – fun or job-related – can cause you to sweat about two liters each hour. Excessive sweating requires extra fluid to flush out bacterial toxins and waste products. When toxins and waste products are not carried out the body, bacteria can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI) in the kidney, bladder, or urethra. That’s why filling up with fluids such as water, unsweetened tea, and water in foods – 13 cups a day for men and nine cups a day for women – is a smart way to prevent painful UTIs.
- Pay attention to the color of your urine – A quick check of your urine after urinating can be a good clue to your hydration. Your urine should be clear or pale, if you are healthy and well-hydrated. If you are dehydrated, your urine will be more yellow, concentrated, and have a noticeable odor. Pink or orange-colored urine may indicate a hematuria but could be a clue to blood in the urine, kidney stones, or an enlarged prostate.
- Monitor alcohol intake – Fun summer cocktails, on occasion, are fine to enjoy. But drinking throughout a long summer evening or going over the limit for your gender, increases your risk of kidney stones. Alcohol is a diuretic causing dehydration. A good rule of thumb is to have a glass of water first, followed by an alcoholic beverage, and followed by another glass of water. This helps keep hydration in balance and lowers the saturation of minerals and salts in urine.
- Get outdoors but wear sunscreen too – This one is for men: low levels of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, may increase your risk for an enlarged prostate and overactive bladder. For women, higher levels of this vitamin may help enhance libido and sexual functioning. Up to thirty minutes at least three times a week is helps people to make vitamin D naturally from the sun’s UV light. Otherwise, be sure to wear sunscreen and consider taking vitamin D3 to keep levels in check.
- Be active with aerobics, strength training, and flexibility – Exercise is not just for strong bones and muscles. Your urinary system wants you to move for it too. That’s because certain targeted moves, like yoga, help improve certain urinary tract conditions like women who develop pelvic floor prolapsed. In addition, research has found that men running at least ninety minutes a week have less ED. And, of course, Kegels exercises help both men and women by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles to help reduce urinary incontinence and prolapse of the bladder.
Keep your urinary system fit this summer
By following the tips in this article, such as staying hydrated, being physically active, or spending enough time outdoors to produce vitamin D, you’re well on your way to good urinary health, no matter what age.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.