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UTI & the Bad Effects of Caffeine

By Julie Hampton

Starting your day with a hot cup of coffee is a morning tradition for many Americans. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, decreases fatigue and increases mental alertness. However, not all caffeine effects are positive. Consuming too much caffeine may lead to urinary tract infections as well as other complications. Keep your daily caffeine intake around 200 to 300 mg per day or approximately 2 to 4 cups of coffee, suggests MayoClinic.com. Caffeine effects may start as soon as 15 minutes and last up to six hours.

Insomnia

Drinking too much caffeine may keep you awake at night. You may feel restless, have anxiety and simply be unable to fall asleep. Avoid drinking any caffeinated beverages eight hours before your bedtime, to decrease the caffeine in your system. Caffeine may cause you to wake up at night and prevent you from falling into deep sleep. Missing even small amounts of sleep on a regular basis does add up over time and decrease daily performance and concentration levels. Regular bouts of insomnia lead to sleep deprivation. Depression may also result with continuous sleep deprivation. The cycle of insomnia becomes difficult to break because many people simply drink additional coffee in the morning after a restless night of sleep.

Drug Interaction

Caffeine may negatively affect medications and drugs you are currently taking. Antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin may cause caffeine to stay in your system longer and increase effects. Theophylline is a common drug prescribed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma patients. The bronchodilator, when mixed with caffeine, may increase the effect of theophylline in your body. Side effects include nausea, vomiting as well as irregular heartbeats.

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Urinary Tract Infection

Caffeine irritates the lining of the urinary tract including the bladder. The irritation may lead to urinary tract infections. Caffeine is considered a diuretic and decreases hydration in the body. Dehydration is often associated with UTIs. Symptoms include amber-colored urine, foul smelling urinary odor and pain when urinating. Antibiotic therapy often treats the condition. Drink additional fluids when suffering from a UTI and decrease your caffeine intake during this period.

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