Health & Spirit

Wash away UTIs

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

Remember Adam Sandler in "Billy Madison," Bill Paxton in "True Lies" and (most poignant) Jeremy Blackman in "Magnolia"? In those movies, it's the men and boys who, finding themselves in some supposedly amusing or heartfelt situation, fail to hold their water, so to speak, and pee on screen.

But peeing in your pants because of a urinary tract infection is not funny -- and is overwhelmingly more common in women than men. Half of all women experience one episode by age 32. Among middle-age folks, women are 30 times more likely to have a UTI than men. And of the 9 to 10 million people each year who see a doctor for those burning, stinging infections, 84 percent are women.

The standard treatment is antibiotics, but although effective, they can damage your gut biome and fuel antibiotic resistance. And antibiotics don't keep the infection from returning.

Now there's an easy, healthier way to fight off UTIs: New research from the University of Miami School of Medicine shows that instead of avoiding liquids, you should increase your fluid intake (water is best) to at least 48 ounces daily.

In the study's group of 140 healthy, premenopausal women, those who upped their water intake to that level reduced the incidence of UTIs by almost 50 percent over the course of a year -- also reducing their use of antibiotics by around the same amount. We like phenazopyridine (in AZO and other products) as a way of tolerating the pain until the water therapy or antibiotics take effect.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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