Dr. Raul Fernandez-Crespo Breaks Down the Best Ways to Keep Your Urinary Tract Healthy at Home
Maintaining your urinary tract health is important to achieve optimal health. Dr. Raul Fernandez-Crespo MD, a specialist in urology and penile surgery, shares his best tips for keeping your urinary tract healthy at home. You can use these tips to keep a healthy urinary tract, kidneys functioning, and overall better health.
The first thing to do is stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Dr. Fernandez-Crespo says, “Water is magical. Not only does it help flush toxins from your body, but it also helps keep your urinary tract healthy. You wouldn’t believe how many patients can experience issues with their urinary tract and kidneys simply by not drinking enough water.” While everyone is different, a general rule is to aim for eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. For pregnant women, this number might go up to help support a growing baby.
However, it’s vital to follow your doctor’s orders. People with End-Stage Renal Disease, or ESRD, may need to limit their fluid intake. In addition, limiting caffeine and alcohol intake may be needed, as both can be irritants to the urinary tract and lead to dehydration.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Following a healthy diet is another key way to maintain your urinary tract health. Dr. Fernandez-Crespo recommends avoiding processed and sugary foods, which can contain high levels of sodium that can impact kidney functioning. “A diet high in salt can put a strain on the kidneys since they need to constantly filter out salt and other toxins,” he explains. “Overtime, you could develop high blood pressure, or even worse, kidney disease.”
A balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains is essential for keeping your urinary tract healthy. Eating foods high in fiber, such as beans and oats, can also help keep your urinary tract functioning properly.
In addition, for people with diabetes, it’s essential to maintain blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can cause kidney damage, so managing your diabetes is an important part of keeping your urinary tract healthy. “Your kidneys can flush out sugar, but not the damage it may have already caused,” Dr. Fernandez-Crespo says. It’s always best to continue your low-sugar and low-carb diabetic diet, as well as check with your primary care physician for any dieting restrictions that may need to be followed.
Practice Urinary Tract System-Focused Exercises
Today, there are a plethora of exercises available to help strengthen our urinary tract system. “Exercises targeting the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles can help with urinary incontinence, as well as general bladder health,” says Dr. Crespo. Simple exercises like Kegels, which involve squeezing your pelvic floor for a few seconds at a time, are incredibly beneficial for people with bladder and urinary tract issues.
To perform the exercise, start by lying on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Contract your pelvic muscles for 10 seconds, then relax for 10 seconds, repeating the cycle up to ten times. In addition, you can also do modified planks or side-to-side leg lifts to help strengthen the pelvic floor.
If you have difficulty laying on your back, you can also perform Kegels while sitting, standing, or even walking. Remember to always listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain. The goal of these exercises is in the repetition and length of time you hold your muscles open, not the strength of the contraction, so starting slow is recommended.
Practice Good Hygiene
For people with chronic urinary tract infections, practicing good hygiene is essential. Always wipe front to back when going to the bathroom, and urinate after intercourse and before bedtime. Dr. Fernandez-Crespo also advises, “It’s important to avoid using harsh soaps or sprays that can irritate the skin in your genital area.” Opt for gentle, unscented soaps or wipes to help keep your urinary tract happy and healthy. You should also let your genital area breathe by wearing breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics.
Additionally, avoid wearing tight clothing or underwear for long periods, as these can cause chafing and irritation to the sensitive areas around your urinary tract. if you’re experiencing any discomfort in your bladder or urinary tract area, you must contact your doctor or primary healthcare provider.
By following these tips, you can keep your urinary tract healthy at home without making drastic lifestyle changes. With the right diet, fluids, and exercise plan, you can stay healthy and prevent any issues from arising in the future.
About Dr. Raul Fernandez Crespo
Dr. Fernandez-Crespo is a urologist helping patients in Tampa, Florida, and a current assistant professor in the Department of Urology at the University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine. He received the prestigious General Surgery Award from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine and has been working in medicine for over a decade. In 2013, he graduated from Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences with his MD and continues to conduct research and use the latest technology in urology medicine.