Introduction and Objectives
Overactive bladder (OAB) imposes a significant socioeconomic burden on the healthcare system. It is a commonly held belief that increased fluid intake is beneficial for one’s health; however, increased fluid intake exacerbates OAB symptoms. We reviewed the literature to determine the true potential health advantages of increased water intake for the general population.
•A systematic review of published articles on Pubmed, MEDLINE, and EMBASE was conducted. Articles published through 2013 were included.
•The data was reviewed independently by two individuals (SO, LW).
•Search terms included hydration, water intake, disease, chronic disease, recommended water intake, orthostatic hypotension, constipation, headache, coronary disease, cognition, and venous thromboembolism.
•Studies were included if they explored water intake in relation to decreased risk for a particular disease.
•Exclusion criteria included articles evaluating contaminants in water, the effects of fluid intake other than water, and parenteral hydration.
•The role of hydration in prevention of recurrent nephrolithiasis, acute episodes of orthostatic hypotension, and contrast-induced nephropathy is well-established (Table 1).
•There is insufficient evidence to advise increased hydration for prevention of headaches/migraines, or cardiovascular disease.
•Although some studies point to a link between dehydration and cognition, the nature of these effects are not well-defined, and the evidence thus far is inconclusive.
•The evidence regarding a link between bladder cancer and dehydration is inconclusive.
•Other than in prevention of nephrolithiasis, orthostatic hypotension, and contrast-induced nephropathy, there remains little evidence that consumption of high volumes of water improves one’s overall health.
•In patients suffering from OAB with no other conditions that may be worsened by dehydration, fluid restriction can be safely encouraged.