Sure, sugar is addictive – and it can certainly taste great – but you might be getting more than you bargain for when you consume it. Along with negatively impacting weight, sugar has been linked to UTIs and poor gut health. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is A UTI?
A UTI, also known as a urinary tract infection, can impact your kidneys, bladder, urethra, or ureters. While UTIs affect women more often than men, either gender can experience them. They are often marked by a burning sensation, a strong urge to urinate, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
When treated early with antibiotics, UTIs are usually simply frustrating and painful. If UTIs become more serious, however, they can move to your kidneys and cause major health complications.
UTIs And Gut Health
UTIs often go hand in hand with leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, and other gut issues. The health of your gut bacteria can also be a direct reflection to the overall well being of your urinary tract. Research has also found a connection between UTIs and Crohn’s disease, a stomach and gut issue. When your gut isn’t able to properly process and flush out certain bacteria, your urinary tract may have similar issues—which in turn leads to UTIs.
So Where Does Sugar Come In?
If you have a diet that consists of lots of sugar, starch, or unhealthy foods, you may be more likely to experience both gut issues and UTIs. Because sugar isn’t great for your gut, it also isn’t great for your urinary tract – the two systems are strongly connected. This may also be the case if you have a weakened immune system, hormonal issues, or atypical gut flora. There’s also the fact that when you experience high blood sugar, your body often expels the excess sugar through the urine, which, you guessed it, can lead to a UTI. Sugar may also slow down your digestive process and lead to bloating and constipation.
Research has found that in mice, ingesting high amounts of sugar leads to a change in gut bacteria. This change made it difficult to adapt to changes and reduced the quality of their memory. In these mice, the sugar encouraged harmful bacteria to grow at a higher rate. Some scientists are concerned that sugar may have this same impact on humans.
Sugar can increase your likelihood of developing certain diseases and health issues. They can increase your risk of diabetes, liver issues, and many other ailments. Alternative sweeteners, like fructose and honey, may also lead to similar issues. The more sugar you consume, the greater risk you are posing to the health of your gut.
How To Take Care Of Your Gut – And Your Urinary Tract
You can make great strides in your health by eliminating as much sugar and artificial sweeteners from your diet as possible. Avoid processed foods and sugary treats when you’re able. Eat a diet rich in vegetables, protein, moderate amounts of fruit, and healthy fatty acids. Enjoy fresh water and unsweetened tea instead of sugary beverages.
Also aim to increase your fiber intake, and with your doctor’s okay, regularly take probiotics. As with many health imbalances, reducing stress, getting quality sleep, and increasing your exercise can also make a major difference. Your gut wants what’s best for you, so help make its job easier. Your body deserves it!
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