3 bladder health travel tips from a urologist

TThere is no doubt that seeing more of the world is a transformative experience that enriches life, but it also tends to throw your body off balance. Whether you can’t shake your jet lag or you’re always a little, er, regressing while you’re on the go, it pays to do a little self-care planning ahead of time so you can get the most out of your trip. Unsurprisingly, one bladder expert says your urinary system can feel the effect of 10,000 feet, too, so it’s a good idea to have some bladder health travel tips in your back pocket before you board.

According to urologist Karyn S. Eilber, MD, co-founder of the personal lubricant company Glissant, there are a few factors that can change how you feel there while traveling, and it’s important to keep all of them in mind as you view the sites, partake in food and drink , and meet new people. Below, Dr. Eilber lists the three most common culprits of bladder irritation while traveling (plus how to prevent them).

First things first: How can you tell if your bladder is irritated on vacation?

Good question. Dr. Eilber says there are some indications that his bladder is not happy with you. “If you’re not drinking much on purpose and still feel like frequent going [to the bathroom] then you may have a small bladder infection, or if you have pain associated with it,” she says.

Generally speaking, Dr. Eilber says these symptoms should go away within 24 hours, as everything you’ve been drinking leaves your system. However, if he starts running a fever or experiences chills, it’s time to see a doctor.

3 Common Culprits of Bladder Irritation While Traveling and How to Prevent Them

1. Drink more spirits and coffee, and less water

When you’re on vacation, your usual drink rotation can be disrupted (and, well, that’s okay). Maybe you’re drinking more coffee to avoid jet lag, enjoying an extra glass or two of wine, or just No Carry your emotional support water bottle wherever you go. “Typical bladder irritants are caffeinated beverages, carbonated beverages, alcohol, and anything acidic,” says Dr. Eilber. “It’s not necessarily bad for your overall health in the long run, but you might think, ‘Wow, why am I peeing so often? Oh, it’s because I had, you know, four cups of coffee this morning and three glasses of wine. the previous night'”. relatable?

If this sounds like something you experience on vacation, Dr. Eilber recommends making sure to check in with your body and ask yourself, “Am I thirsty? Is the next glass of wine going to be amazing, or is my bladder going to hurt?” Do I feel worse?” There is no judgment in these questions. “If you are thirsty, drink; if not, don’t worry. If you feel like you have bladder discomfort, maybe skip that glass of red wine and opt for something a little less acidic. Or, if you’re urinating very, very often, maybe you don’t have that second cup of coffee or that extra cocktail when you go out,” says Dr. Eilber.

2. You’re having… a little more sex than usual.

If you tend to feel a bit more playful in remote destinations, you’re not alone. “If you plug in more, that can definitely put you at higher risk for bladder infection,” says Dr. Eilber. “Sexual activity in general puts women at increased risk of bladder infection.”

Sex essentially pushes bacteria up the urethra (which is one of the reasons it’s really important to urinate after your intimate moments). While you may be able to help treat the symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) by drinking plenty of water, using a heating pad, and (you guessed it) avoiding irritating beverages, you should also see a doctor if the pain persists.

3. Being in a new environment

Maybe you have a specific position in the office that’s your favorite place to go number one…and now you’re missing out. While this is a bit of a silly example, being immersed in a new schedule can, in fact, affect your bladder health. “Let’s say you just like to drink a lot of fluids and when you’re home and it’s very easy, you know, just use the bathroom, that’s fine, but then you might want to cut back on your fluids.” [when you’re traveling]says Dr. Eilber. Alternatively, you can continue to drink the same amount of water and then have a hard time finding a bathroom in the city you’re exploring.

All of this can stress your bladder, but in this case, you can control it with the right balance of a go-with-the-flow attitude and pre-planning. Take time to plan the bathroom situation you will go to if you feel better, or try to drink a little less than normal.

Be sure to take care of yourself, but don’t be afraid to let yourself be carried away by the spontaneity of a great destination. You can go back to your normal rule of eight glasses of water per day when you return home.

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