Can Eating Sugar Cause Urinary Tract Infections?
UTIs occur when any part of the urinary system becomes overwhelmed with bacteria. Many claim that eating sugar can lead to UTIs, but you may be wondering if this is really true. Unfortunately, it is. Here’s what you should know about the link between sugar consumption and UTI development, as well as what you can do to prevent UTI recurrence.
What Sugar Does To the Urinary System
When it comes to UTI development, bacteria are primarily to blame (specifically the E. coli bacteria). But, there are other factors that can contribute to infection as well, including diet. Sugar consumption can increase your chances of developing a UTI by feeding E. coli and helping it thrive in your system.
Sugar is one of the preferred nutrients for E. coli and can create the perfect environment for the bacteria to rapidly grow and cause unpleasant UTI symptoms, including:
- Unpleasant burning sensation when urinating
- Strong and constant urge to urinate (even when very little urine needs to be expelled)
- Strong-smelling urine that appears cloudy
- Pelvic pain in women (specifically around the pubic bone and pelvis)
- Cola-colored, red or bright pink urine
It’s important to limit your intake of sugar if you feel any UTI symptoms. The good news is that even though diet has been linked to UTI development, it has also been linked to UTI prevention. The key is to incorporate the right foods and supplements into your diet. Eating foods high in vitamin C, for example, can give you an immunity boost and change the pH of your urine so it’s less hospitable to E. coli.
There are many things you can do to prevent UTIs. In addition to removing added sugars from your diet and consuming more vitamin C, you can also drink plenty of water, use antibiotics as needed or regularly consume a preventative drink that will keep your urinary system healthy and unfriendly to harmful bacteria.
Now you know that the sugar/UTI link is not a myth. Fortunately, you also know how to prevent recurrent UTIs with simple dietary changes.