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Not drinking enough water? Hot weather and dehydration cause UTIs in women & children!

With the city experiencing higher-than-average temperatures as summer approaches, hospitals in Mumbai are noticing an increase in instances of dehydration, which is contributing to an increase in urinary tract infections (UTI) among women and children. Since April 19, the state capital has routinely seen above-average temperatures. The temperature hit 38.9 degrees Celsius on April 21 and 38.5 degrees Celsius on April 24. The relative humidity has fluctuated between 70% and 75%. A heat wave over North India and the Konkan is also likely to raise temperatures in the coming days.

Dr Arati Adhe, the gynaecologist at PD Hinduja Hospital in Mahim, stated that they notice an increase in UTI infections among working women throughout the summer. ‘There has been a seasonal increase in UTI infections, with one or two patients coming in every day’. Perspiration causes significant water loss in the heat. This causes dehydration. Furthermore, the need to pee is relatively low, therefore the bladder is cleansed less frequently, which can lead to the growth of germs. ‘The longer the bacterium survives, the greater the risk of illness,’ she explained.

Meanwhile, Dr Ashutosh Baghel, urologist at Wockhardt Hospitals in Mira Road, stated that retaining pee while driving to work might also result in UTIs. ‘The offices are now open. Holding the desire to urinate while driving to work or during a meeting may result in UTI. During the summer, people tend to sweat a lot, don’t drink enough water, have bad menstrual hygiene, or fail to maintain appropriate personal hygiene, which can lead to illness. In the previous month, I’ve seen between 24 and 26 cases of dehydration and UTI.’

Doctors are also detecting a rise in recurring UTIs as a result of widespread self-medication. ‘There is a rapid surge in UTI infections, primarily due to dehydration,’ said Dr Sudeshna Ray, a gynaecologist at Jaslok Hospital. ‘UTIs account for three of the ten consultations. We’re also seeing a lot of UTIs. Seven of the 10 UTIs are recurring. Patients are self-medicating, which explains why this is the case. They begin taking antibiotics before completing a urine culture test.’

She further stated that poor therapy owing to self-medication/treatment without a culture, sensitivity test, and incomplete course of antibiotics may frequently result in the bacteria becoming latent in the body. ‘The infection flares up if there is stagnant pee/concentrated urine. The symptoms have returned. Recurrent cases of UTI must be properly evaluated to avoid problems,’ stated Dr Ray.

While UTIs are widely reported in women over the summer, physicians are also finding an increase in the illness among children, with youngsters being brought to them with symptoms such as burning while peeing and a frequent need to urinate.

‘The start of the summer also indicates a quick spike in UTI infections among youngsters due to dehydration,’ said Dr Tejal Shetty, paediatrician at Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital. Urine becomes more concentrated, making it easier for bacterial diseases to establish themselves. ‘According to our experience, over 30-40% of all paediatric patients complain of UTIs during the summer months. Parents must make certain that their children drink enough water and bring their own water bottles to school’, he added.

Kidney stones are an additional problem. ‘Not drinking enough water each day raises the danger of stone,’ says Dr. Kishore Sathe, expert in emergency medicine at PD Hinduja Hospital-Mahim. Dehydration can develop in any age group in a humid area if water intake is inadequate.


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