So, you've got a urinary tract infection? Hey, it happens. And let's say that over the course of a few weeks of antibiotics, your urinary tract infection becomes a kidney infection. Yeah, that can happen too. Bacteria are weird like that. But, could you have prevented your UTI or made your UTI become a kidney infection by drinking beer?
If you have or think you have an urinary tract infection and you haven't already been to the doctor to get some antibiotics, please stop reading and do so now. Antibiotics are one of the best (and quickest) ways to treat a UTI.
There are a few ways you can prevent a UTI - like peeing after sex, staying well hydrated, or taking cranberry pills on the regular - but sometimes you're bound to get an infection anyway. Women are more prone to UTIs than men because their urethras are shorter than men's. This was just some poor planning by Mother Nature. Beer will generally not help you prevent a UTI even though it causes you to pee a lot. Beer is a diuretic. If you think you're getting a UTI and you get plastered in order to stave it off - you will most likely end up in the hospital with a high-grade fever & horrible pain. But if you keep yourself hydrated, drinking a moderate amount of beer won't cause you to get a UTI.
But once you have officially been diagnosed with the UTI & are on antibiotics, what do you do to get rid of it? Take your meds, drink plenty of water, and pee a lot while the meds run their course. You can also drink unsweetened cranberry juice (make sure you buy the stuff that's 100% juice) and take over the counter pills, like Azo, to help with the infection. Personally I find that those OTC drugs will mask the severity of your UTI if for some reason the antibiotics you were given aren't working. I asked doctors what food and drink (like beer) should be avoided while taking antibiotics for a UTI or kidney infection. All of the doctors I spoke to told me that as long as one stays well hydrated, drinking alcohol of any kind wouldn't be a problem. In fact, one of them said that a glass of wine or beer a day, is generally beneficial to overall health.
The things you have to worry about when you drink a lot of alcohol while you're on antibiotics for a UTI is the dehydration and possibility of incurring additional illness, like a yeast infection or cold. Dehydration makes your symptoms worse and can cause your UTI to become a kidney infection quick. For every glass of beer or shot of alcohol you consume you should be drinking a full glass of water. (I'm still not advocating getting blitzed at this point in time either.) You'll keep yourself hydrated and flush out your system repetitively. Holding in your urge to pee will not make your UTI any better either. Plus, drinking a moderate amount of alcohol can also work satisfactorily as a pain killer, in case you can't take OTC drugs or they're just not working. Eating yogurt with active cultures and taking additional vitamins & probiotics can reduce your risk of yeast infections and other bacterial infections that can be caused by your compromised immune system. You'll want to help yourself by taking these supplements since the alcohol also suppresses your immune system. The antibiotics you're taking for the UTI don't know to only kill the bacteria in your urinary tract; they kill all the bacteria in your body, so probiotic supplements help balance out the bacteria in your body and help prevent further illness.
Don't let yourself be fooled. The best way to take care of a UTI so that it doesn't become a kidney infection, is to see a doctor immediately and begin taking antibiotics exactly as proscribed. But sometimes you can get a kidney infection from a UTI even if you do everything right. Just don't be fooled into thinking it's those few glasses of beer you drank that caused your kidney infection. It's the bacteria in your body. If you're taking all the other appropriate steps to treat your UTI or bladder infection, go ahead and enjoy that glass of beer.
Also - beer doesn't cause yeast infections either. It's a totally different strand of yeast.