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2014-01-24 14:45:00
Summer Especially Risky for Those Susceptible to Kidney Stones Because of Dehydration
For Immediate Release
Michael Hinck, Director, Public Affairs
(718) 206-8739
mhinck@jhmc.org

Idan Sims, Sims & Associates, Inc.
(917) 940-7876 /(212) 725-3838
idan@simsinc.com

Even though kidney stones are less than a centimeter in size, they can still cause intense discomfort. And the risk is heightened during the summer.

“With adequate hydration, calcium and other crystal forming substances cannot concentrate in the urine,” said Ricardo Ricciardi, MD, Director of Urology at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in Queens, N.Y. “But when someone is dehydrated there is not enough fluid to dilute these substances, potentially causing kidney stones to form. And with summer’s heat and more outdoor activity, dehydration is a more likely occurence.”

Kidney stones are made of mineral and acid salts that develop in the urine. No single factor causes kidney stones, and not everyone is susceptible to them. Several factors often work together to create and environment in which at risk people develop kidney stones.

People most at risk for kidney stones include:
-adults
-males
-those with a personal history of kidney stones
-those with a personal history of digestive diseases and/or surgery

Although genetics, family history, and some medical conditions can increase your odds of developing kidney stones, you can still play a role in preventing them through the following steps according to experts at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in Queens, NY:

- Drink enough water. “if you’re prone to kidney stones, your best defense is to stay hydrated during hot summer months,” says Ricardo Ricciardi, MD, Director of Urology at Flushing Hospital Medical Center. “Hot temperatures make your body lose more water than usual, so it is important to replenish it throughout the day. You may need more than 64 ounces of water per day, depending on your weight and activity level.”

- Eat less meat. Diets rich in animal protein increase your risk for kidney stones, so try to substitute other protein sources, such as beans, nuts and seeds.

- Limit your salt intake. Excess salt absorbs water in your system, which can also dehydrate you. Limit your daily sodium intake to 1500 mg or less per day by avoiding fast food, reading nutrition labels when you buy groceries, and cooking with less salt and more herbs and spices.

- Drink less caffeine. Even though you may think you are getting enough liquid by consuming caffeinated sodas, coffee, or tea, caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it can dehydrate you.

In general, kidney stones form when the fluid and various minerals and acids that make up urine are out of balance.

Dr. Ricciardi of Flushing Hospital warns that kidney stones sometimes do not cause symptoms. “If the crystals are small enough, they may pass through urinary tract and out of the body without being felt. If a stone is large enough to attract attention, however, the first symptom is usually severe pain in the back and side that begins when the stone moves into the urinary tract, blocking the flow of urine.” The pain may later spread to the groin and lower abdomen. Other symptoms include a persistent urge to urinate, painful urination, and pink, red, or brown urine.

Seek medical attention if you have pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting or fever and chills, or if pain is so severe that you cannot sit still or find a comfortable position, advises Dr. Ricciardi.
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