Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is caffeine bad for you if you have a urinary tract infection?"
I had a UTI a few weeks back, all cleared up now. Could all the coffee I drink make it come back? Should I not have drank coffee while I was being treated for the UTI? Are caffeine and UTI's related?
Urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria from the rectum travel upward into the urinary tract system (bladder, urethra, ureters, and kidneys) and multiply in normally sterile urine to cause an infection. The main culprit is a type of bacteria known as Escherichia coli that normally live in the bowel (colon) and around the anus. Therefore, caffeine intake is not a cause of UTI. Caffeine is considered a diuretic that is irritating the bladder and makes you feel the frequent urge to empty your bladder which decreases hydration in the body. If your body is dehydrated, your urine becomes concentrated with salts that irritate your bladder and therefore can worsen this symptom of UTI. Excessive urine production from caffeine intake may indirectly increase your risk of UTI if you resist the frequent urge to urinate as needed and thus harbor bacterial growth in your urine. During your recovery from UTI, I recommend that you drink plenty of water to flush UTI-causing bacteria through your urethral tract as well as drinking unsweetened cranberry juice, which helps prevent bacteria from binding to your bladder. I hope you find the information helpful. However, if you have more concerns about the possibility of an UTI relapse, I would suggest a consultation with a primary care physician for more information. Good luck.
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