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Are your high heels causing UTIs?

Are your high heels giving you more than a few extra inches of height? According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for more than 8.3 million doctors visits each year and are the second most common infection in the body. Often women simply deal with the problem of recurring UTIs and never actually figure out the cause.

Solange Knowles in checkered high heel shoes

Don’t feel like a heel

So are your high heels causing your problems with recurring UTIs? Some leading medical experts have performed some “sole” searching and found that when women don their heels, their torsos tilt forward, which takes their hips and spine out of alignment.

By repeatedly wearing heels that are too high for your hip and leg structure, you can also cause “lordosis,” an often painful condition that creates pressure on the nerves in the lower back. Lordosis can also contribute to inefficient urination, a precursor for urinary tract infections.

How to avoid UTIs

In addition to limiting the time you spend in high heels, there are several other things you can do to avoid UTIs. Retired urologist Dr Larrian Gillespie, author of the best-selling book, You Don’t Have to Live with Cystitis, weighs in with some tips on steering clear of UTIs — which will help you whether or not you’re strapping on some stilettos.

Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water [and other fluid] promotes regular urination, so it is very important to stay hydrated in order to help flush out bacteria in your urinary tract.

Respond to “nature’s call”
It’s always a good idea to urinate as soon as you feel the need. While “holding it in” does not directly cause a urinary tract infection, it can cause over-distension, which can damage the lining of the bladder, making it more vulnerable to bacteria. 

Take Cystex
Consider taking Cystex as a preventative, as it is the only urinary tract medication available over-the-counter that contains methenamine, an antibacterial agent that attacks bacteria and helps prevent it from adhering to the cell wall lining of the bladder. Cystex can be taken before activities or situations that you believe have contributed to urinary tract infections, such as sexual intercourse.

Take a vitamin C supplement
About 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C taken throughout the day can help inhibit the growth of some bacteria by acidifying the urine, thereby helping you avoid contracting a UTI. Cranberries contain hippuronic acid, which is a natural antiseptic that can also help prevent the adherence of bacteria to the bladder lining. Cranberry juice is the easiest way to get your daily dose (though cranberry supplements are also available in capsule form).

Maintain control with cranberries

Although you might be addicted to your pumps, it’s always wise to wear your high heels in moderation. Then you’ll always be able to step out in comfort!

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