Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Reduced by Drinking Alcohol in Moderation

What is “Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms”?

Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) refers to a group of urinary tract symptoms that affect both men and women. They used to be called prostatitis or prostatism.

Common signs of LUTS include these.

  • lower urinary tract symptomsFrequent urination
  • Urgent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Excessively frequent urination at night
  • Weak stream
  • Irregular or hesitating stream
  • Terminal dribbling
  • Incomplete voiding of bladder
  • Overflow incontinence (with chronic retention)

Risk Factors for LUTS

Factors increasing the risk of developing LUTS include these.

  • Age (for men but not women)
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Childhood bed-wetting
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Depression
  • Diabetes (men only)
  • Heart disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Neurological problems
  • Recurrent urinary tract infection
  • Sleep disorders

Research on LUTS

Researchers made a longitudinal study of 9,712 healthy men 30 or older. They did so to investigate the possible association of alcohol consumption with LUTS,

Light to moderate alcohol consumption (drinking up to slightly more than two drinks per day) was associated with decreased likelihood of developing moderate to severe LUTS. On the other hand, drinking at higher levels was associated with increased likelihood of developing moderate to severe LUTS. As heavier consumption increased, so did the likelihood of developing the problem.

The researchers found the risk of LUTS to be reduced over time by light to moderate drinking .

Source:  Suh, B. et al.  Alcohol is longitudinally associated with lower urinary tract symptoms partially via high-density lipoprotein.   Alco Clin Exper Res., 2014, 38(11), 2878-83.


These resources may be helpful to learn more about LUTS.

Popular Books

Bachmann, A. and de la Rosette, J. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Lower Tract Symptoms. Oxford: Oxford U Press, 2011.

Kaplan, S. and McVary, K. Male Lower Tract Symptoms and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Chichester, UK: Wiley Blackwell, 2014.

Research Articles

Abrams, P.  New words for old. Brit Med J,  1994; 308(6934): 929-930.

Penson DF, et al. Obesity, physical activity and LUTS. J Urol. 2011;186(6): 2316-2322.

Prezioso D., et al.  Life-style in patients with LUTS Suggestive of BPH.  Euro Urol, 2001, 40(sup 1), 9-12.

Rees J, et al. The management of LUTSs in men. Brit Med J, 2014; 348:g3861.