When travelling, one issue you may encounter is health problems. One that may be overlooked is a urinary tract infection. Travelling to a new location means you drink less water than usual. In addition, you may have more movement and sweat. Eating different foods can also affect your gut microbiome. Changing your workout routine also changes your urological movements. You can end up with constipation, UTIs, and kidney stones. A UTI isn’t serious if treated within a few days. However, they can still be uncomfortable to deal with.
How to prevent UTIs when you travel
The best way to prevent a UTI is to prepare. Remain aware of everything you’re eating when you’re travelling. Consult your doctor on which medications you’ll need to carry with you.
It’s important to stay hydrated even when you’re travelling. You need at least two litres of water a day. Most of that comes from other beverages but you need at least a litre of clear, fresh drinking water. You can use the colour of your urine or your skin’s elasticity to determine if you’re dehydrated. Your pee should be a pale yellow. If it’s clear, you need to reduce how much water you’re taking. Concentrated dark yellow or almost brown pee means drinking more water. Staying hydrated prevents UTIs, kidney stones, and constipation.
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2. Go to the toilet as soon as possible
Don’t try to hold any pee in and wait until you can use a bathroom. When you’re travelling you need to pee as often as possible. This is because your body has new microbes that it needs to flush out. Peeing helps get rid of them before they can multiply. When bacteria are left in the bladder for too long, it can cause a UTI. If you’re somewhere you can’t pee, try to locate a bathroom in a hotel, petrol station, or mall, or ask a residential shop for a key to a toilet. Bad Bladder Habits You Need To Stop
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3. Remove your bathing suit as soon as you’re done
When you’re done swimming, get rid of your swimming costume immediately and take a shower. Washing off the chlorine or beach water is great for your skin. However, retaining your bathing suit creates a warm environment for bacteria to thrive. If you can change out of your wet suit, carry a change of suits. A dry bathing suit reduces the risk of infection.
4. Prevent constipation
When you travel, you’re likely to experience constipation. This is because new food carries different bacteria which will affect your gut microbiome. Before you travel, ensure you eat foods rich in prebiotics. This includes bananas, whole grains, onions, garlic, soybeans, or artichokes. These foods help feed your friendly gut bacteria and help you ensure you avoid constipation. In turn, this helps prevent a UTI. 7 Foods To Avoid For Constipation Relief
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5. Carry a pH-balanced soap
Hotel soaps can be harsh and perfumed. It’s better to carry your soaps to avoid allergic reactions, inflammation, or irritation. Harsh soaps can also affect the pH balance of your vagina which can lead to vaginosis or vaginitis. Using harsh soaps doesn’t prevent a UTI. A simple water and soap wash is enough to prevent a UTI.
6. Eat appropriately
When your diet is balanced, you’re less likely to experience constipation and a UTI. Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean you should abandon your health. While you may be consuming alcohol more often, you should still take a lot of water. Eat more fruits and vegetables, ensuring they’re well-washed and properly cooked. Recent studies also found that cranberries and unsweetened cranberry juice can prevent and help treat UTIs. They do this by making the urine more acidic which is unfriendly to the bacteria that cause a UTI. They also make it harder for the bacteria to stick to the uterine walls. This doesn’t work for everyone. In addition, if you’re on blood thinners, and are prone to kidney stones, avoid cranberries.
If you can’t be sure you’ll find fresh fruit and veg, carry multivitamins and fibre supplements. Green powder superfoods can help you meet your nutritional needs when you’re travelling.
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7. Practise safe sex
Sex can increase the risk of a Urinary Tract Infection. When you have sex, try to pee immediately before and after. Before going for another round, try to clean your genitals and anal areas. Remember to wipe front to back. Stay hydrated during sex.
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When on holiday, it can be easy to get swept away in the moment but remembering to stay vigilant can help prevent UTIs.
Health: 9 Things That Can Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
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Read more to know about how to stay on top of your travel health:
Health: Things to consider before you travel
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