Your health is impacted by stress in a variety of ways.
Short-term stress, such as that experienced prior to a performance, test, or job interview, is unlikely to have a negative impact on your health.
However, stress that lasts too long or is too intense might alter how your body works.
You’re more susceptible to significant health issues if you experience chronic stress.
According to research, experiencing too much stress might result in:
- Digestion issues
- Heart conditions
- Blood pressure problems
Although there isn’t conclusive proof that stress can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI) on its own, stress may have an impact on your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to infections.
Additionally, some lower urinary tract problem symptoms may be made worse by stress.
Read on to find out more.
✅ Although stress does not directly cause UTIs, it can weaken your immune system, making you more prone to infections and other ailments.
✅ Even if you don’t have a UTI, stress can start or exacerbate symptoms related to the urinary system.
✅ Your whole health depends on your urinary system.
✅ You can discuss your risks, preventive measures, and treatment options with a doctor or other healthcare provider if you believe stress may be having an impact on your urinary health.
✅ Additionally, you can prioritize reducing stress in your life by engaging in yoga, meditation, and counseling.
What the research reveals about whether stress might result in a UTI
Inflammation of the bladder, kidneys or the tubes that connect them is known as a UTI (ureters). E. coli germs are typically to blame for UTIs. Other microorganisms can also result in UTIs, including:
The proteus mirabilis
Strep group B
UTIs can also be brought on by:
a lot of sex
Structural alterations brought on by aging or trauma to your vagina or vulva
Alterations in your vagina’s flora
Personal or family history of UTIs
Obstruction like a kidney stone or a swollen prostate
Have recently used a catheter
Used spermicidal vaginal diaphragms
A blood type that is non-secretor.
Stress and how it can bring on UTIs
Although stress doesn’t directly cause an infection, it might lessen your body’s natural ability to fight off disease and infection.
Your body creates the hormone cortisol when you are under stress. Your body can’t effectively fight infection or reduce inflammation if too much cortisol is around for too long. Chronic infections can be caused by immune system dysfunction.
There is a symbiotic relationship between stress and urinary tract health. Infection can result from stress’s negative effects on the immune system. You may experience more stress if you have an infection or illness.
A review of studies from 2017 found that, according to a reliable source, people who have problems with their urinary tract are more likely to experience psychological stress, which can make their symptoms worse.
The impact of stress on symptoms of the urinary tract
You might have some of the following signs, depending on where your UTI is and what is causing it specifically:
- discomfort, stinging, or burning when urinating
- lower back or stomach ache
- hazy, reddish, or dark urine
- an increase in the frequency of urination
- a more pressing desire to urinate
Even when there is no infection, anxiety, and stress can trigger — or make worse — a number of additional lower urinary tract symptoms.
For instance, a 2015 study found that people with overactive bladder (OAB), a disorder that makes you urinate more frequently, experience much greater levels of stress than those who do not.
The urgency you have while needing to urinate increases along with your level of stress. Interstitial cystitis (IC), a long-term urinary illness, can potentially have its symptoms exacerbated by stress.
Researchers discovered that over 20% of adolescents and teenagers with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) had considerably greater levels of stress than those without symptoms in a 2019 study. Their anxiety consequently caused their symptoms to worsen.
The connection between stress and UTI symptoms is linked in this manner: Chronic stress can erode your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to illness or symptoms of the urinary tract. The symptoms themselves then add to your tension.
What Medications are there for UTIs?
Antibiotics are the most typical treatment for UTIs brought on by bacterial infections. Painkillers could also be recommended by a medical practitioner.
What lifestyle recommendations are there to avoid UTIs?
Try some of these methods for preventing UTIs if you experience them frequently:
- Drink plenty of water. To maintain a healthy urinary system, you must drink water.
- If you have a vagina, stay away from using scented products there or close by.
- Don’t hold it; urinate as soon as you feel the urge.
- Urinate immediately before and after sex.
- Try cranberries or cranberry juice without added sugar. Although there is conflicting evidence regarding their efficacy, unsweetened varieties have many health advantages.
- Discuss with a medical expert whether your form of birth control could be the cause of your UTI.
- Consume a probiotic supplement that contains lactobacilli, a bacteria that supports urinary health.
How to unwind
The evidence is overwhelming: Reducing stress can improve your body’s immunological response. Here are various strategies for reducing stress and enhancing natural immunity that is supported by science:
- Stress reduction with cognitive behavior
- training in mindfulness and meditation
- Physical exercise and activity
\When to consult a healthcare expert
It’s appropriate to ask a healthcare provider any questions you may have about your urinary health. Early treatment of urinary tract infection symptoms is crucial because a bladder infection can spread to your ureters and kidneys.
Urosepsis, an infection that spreads to other body systems and can result in organ failure and death, can also result from an untreated UTI. The urinary tract is where about 25%Trusted Source of sepsis cases start.
If you believe that stress is having an impact on your health, it’s also a good idea to speak with a reputable healthcare provider. In addition to benefiting your urinary system, reducing stress also benefits your mind and other bodily systems.