Summertime is sometimes known as “kidney stone season,” and for good reason. We often see a sharp rise in kidney stone patients during this time of year.
The main cause for kidney stones, and the reason there are so many in the summer, is dehydration. Sweating leads to water loss, and water loss leads to decreased urination. When the body is unable to eliminate excess minerals through urination, these minerals can settle and form stones. The simple solution? Drink more water!
Kidney stones have increased by as much as 30 percent in the past decade. Of the four main types of kidney stones, calcium-based stones make up 80 percent of all stones treated. Too much calcium in the diet, however, is very rarely the cause of stones. Rather, you should exercise caution when taking calcium supplements. It is best to only take calcium supplements with the approval of your doctor.
Watch out for those summertime barbecue foods! The second biggest cause for kidney stones, after dehydration, is a diet high in protein, salt and sugar. Make sure to monitor your intake of these, and keep your diet full of fresh vegetables and whole grains.
The good news is that treatment for most small stones can be as simple as drinking lots of fluids and taking pain relievers. The recommended fluid intake for stone treatment and prevention is two liters or around nine cups per day.
Remember that if you get one kidney stone you can be prone to get them again, that’s why it’s so important to know what causes them and how to prevent reoccurrence.
If you have more questions or need to talk to someone at our offices, call 1-877-321-8452.