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Why Are Kidney Stones On The Rise

Dr Oz: Global Warming Causes Kidney Stones

Hi9 | Why the incidence of Kidney Stones is on the Rise | Dr. Gutta Srinivas | Urologist

Dr Oz said Global Warming is believed to be one reason why Kidney Stones are on the rise. Find out why drinking Lemonade with natural Citrates can help.

Dominique, a Brooklyn woman who is preparing to move to Pennsylvania, was very excited to be a part of the show. She has never had a Kidney Stone, but a family member has. Dr Oz explained that they can be caused by dehydration. Even doctors can get them from long days in the operating room with no water.

Doctor Oz also said that Global Warming could also be a factor. Higher temperatures mean we are sweating more, and if we dont increase our water consumption to replace that, we could end up with Kidney Stones.

It’s Not Just The Oxalate

Oxalate is naturally found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, grains, legumes, and even chocolate and tea. Some examples of foods that contain high levels of oxalate include: peanuts, rhubarb, spinach, beets, chocolate and sweet potatoes. Moderating intake of these foods may be beneficial for people who form calcium oxalate stones, the leading type of kidney stones.

A common misconception is that cutting the oxalate-rich foods in your diet alone will reduce the likelihood of forming calcium oxalate kidney stones. While in theory this might be true, this approach isn’t smart from an overall health perspective. Most kidney stones are formed when oxalate binds to calcium while urine is produced by the kidneys.

It is important to eat and drink calcium and oxalate-rich foods together during a meal. In doing so, oxalate and calcium are more likely to bind to one another in the stomach and intestines before the kidneys begin processing, making it less likely that kidney stones will form.

How Are They Formed

Kidney stones result when certain chemicals in urine concentrate and form crystals.

The crystals grow into larger particles , which move through the urinary tract.

If the stone gets stuck on its path and blocks the flow of urine, it can become painful and potentially dangerous.

Most stones are a combination of calcium and either oxalate or phosphorous.

Think of this process as putting Lego pieces together. Once you have one, you can stack another, and another, until you have a big piece, in this case a stone.

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Who Gets Kidney Stones And Why

The lifetime risk of kidney stones among adults in the US is approximately 9%, and it appears that global warming may be increasing that risk. There are four major types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate/calcium phosphate, uric acid, struvite , and cystine.

A risk factor for all stones, regardless of type, is dehydration. Anyone who is prone to kidney stones should pay attention to good hydration. A randomized trial has shown that drinking 2 liters of fluid a day reduces the likelihood of stone recurrence by about half. The American Urological Association guideline for medical management of kidney stones recommends that patients who form kidney stones should aim to drink more than 2.5 liters of fluid per day.

Anyone with symptoms of kidney stones should be referred to a urologist. The initial evaluation will often include blood, urine, and imaging studies. Decisions about testing, and ultimately treatment, should be made jointly by the physician and the patient. Lets look at specific risk factors and treatment for each of the major stone types.

Treating And Preventing Kidney Stones

This Study Reveals Why Kidney Stones Cases Are On The Rise ...

Most kidney stones are small enough to be passed in your urine, and it may be possible to treat the symptoms at home with medication.

Larger stones may need to be broken up using ultrasound or laser energy. Occasionally, keyhole surgery may be needed to remove very large kidney stones directly.

Read more about treating kidney stones.

It’s estimated that up to half of all people who have had kidney stones will experience them again within the following five years.

To avoid getting kidney stones, make sure you drink plenty of water every day so you don’t become dehydrated. It’s very important to keep your urine diluted to prevent waste products forming into kidney stones.

Read more about preventing kidney stones.

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Why Kidney Stones Are On The Rise

Obesity is the primary culprit, but experts say there’s plenty we can do to reduce the risk of these painful particles

Few things in life are as unpleasant as kidney stones, the hard, solid particles of mineral and acid salts that form in the urinary tract and sometimes get stuck there and cause extreme pain.

There’s plenty to go around these days. Americans are developing kidney stones at almost twice the rate as 20 years ago, wreaking particular havoc on middle-age adults. According to UCLA research, kidney stones now affect 1 in 11 Americans, more than diabetes, heart disease or stroke. The rate was 1 in 20 as recently as 1994. Men are affected by kidney stones more often, but the number of women impacted is rising as well.

Many stones are as small as a grain of sand and pass through us without incident. But the pain caused by larger particles drive 500,000 people to emergency rooms nationwide each year, according to the National Institutes of Health. At that point, stones can be broken up with sound waves, removed with the help of a stent inserted through the urethra or addressed through surgery.

“The risk for developing kidney stones is greatest in middle age,” says Dr. Charles Scales, Jr., a urologic surgeon at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a co-author of the study. “The risk increases for men in their 40s and continues to rise until age 70. For women, the risk peaks in their 50s.”

Treatment For Kidney Stones

Many factors must be considered in the diagnosis, management and treatment of children with kidney stones. To address the unique needs of children with kidney stones, we created the Pediatric Kidney Stone Center, a program within the Division of Urology that is solely dedicated to the management of kidney stones. Last year, our Stone Center treated 350 patients with kidney stones.

Urology and Nephrology work closely to treat patients seen at the Kidney Stone Center. Metabolism specialists help make sure all factors that may affect a childs stone disease are addressed.

Many families are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with their childs diagnosis of a kidney stone. We are committed to educating families about the diagnosis and tailoring a management plan specific to each patient. Treatment options may include medications, dietary therapy, nutritional assessments and counseling, or surgery.

We have an experienced surgical staff and a state-of-art approach using minimally invasive surgery whenever surgical intervention is needed. Our outpatient management team helps families manage active stone disease and prevent stone recurrence.

To choose the best treatment for your child, your doctor will consider the size of the stone, the number of stones and their location. Most small stones can pass on their own. We may ask your child to strain his urine with a special filter so we can send the stone for testing, if necessary, to determine what kind of stone it is.

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Dr Oz: Ideal Urine Color

Dr Oz introduced a game called Wheel of Urine to illustrate different shades of Urine. You can control the color of your Urine by changing how much you drink. There is no set amount of water you need to drink it depends on your health, environment, and physical activity level.

Dr Oz suggested that you should aim for Straw Colored Urine (completely clear urine may mean youre getting too much water. But if you see colors that are bright yellow, orange, or brown, its a red flag that you need to drink more water.

Lets Start With Why Kidney Stones Form

Kidney stones on the rise

Kidney stones develop when certain chemicals in the urine, such as calcium or uric acid, form crystals.

Risk factors for stone formation include:

  • low intake of fluids
  • diet, including high intake of animal protein, sodium, and sugar
  • certain conditions, such as gout, diabetes, and obesity
  • some medications, including calcium supplements
  • family history and genetics kidney stones can run in families, although the specific contributions of shared genes versus shared environments and diets are uncertain.

While a specific cause may be impossible to identify, kidney stones are common, affecting about 19% of men and 9% of women by age 70 and growing!

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It’s Not One And Done

Passing a kidney stone is often described as one of the most painful experiences a person can have, but unfortunately, it’s not always a one-time event. Studies have shown that having even one stone greatly increases your chances of having another. “Most people will want to do anything they can to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” said Dr. Jhagroo. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be the case that people make the changes they need to after their first stone event.”

Research conducted by Dr. Jhagroo shows that those with kidney stones do not always heed the advice of their nephrologists and urinary specialists. About 15% of kidney stone patients didn’t take prescribed medications and 41% did not follow the nutritional advice that would keep stones from recurring. Without the right medications and diet adjustments, stones can come back, and recurring kidney stones also could be an indicator of other problems, including kidney disease.

Kidney Stones Can Be Many Different Sizes

You may have heard that passing a kidney stone is just as painful as childbirth and while that may be true in some instances, the pain level depends on the shape and size of the stone.

Kidney stones can be the size of a pea or although rare can grow to the size of a golf ball. The largest kidney stone ever recorded, according to Guinness World Records, was just over 5 inches at its widest point. Although very small stones can pass without you even noticing, the larger they are, the more they usually hurt.

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Dr Oz: Are You Hydrated

Dominique put on purple gloves to examine Kidney Stones, which she said felt like rocks. They can contain Calcium, the same thing bones are made of. Dr Oz said that the outsides can be sharp, scratching your Ureters.

He said that this would be much more painful than a Urinary Tract Infection . Dr Oz took us inside the body with an animation to show what happens internally when Kidney Stones form. Water can flush them out in urine without a problem.

But if youre not getting enough water, the stones may be too large and can get stuck along the way, leading to pain and problems. How much water do you need to drink?

Complications Of Disease Progression

Kidney stone prevalence on the rise

Although PH1 is a genetically inherited disease and patients may experience symptoms during childhood, many patients are not diagnosed immediately since kidney stones are not common in children. As a result, patients with PH1 may not be diagnosed until they are adults or presented with severe kidney disease. PH1 can progress and result in end-stage renal disease in which the kidneys are unable to filter fluids and waste from the body. Oxalate buildup can also be deposited in the eyes, skin, heart, and nervous system which may cause blurred vision, ulcers, heart failure, bone fractures, and other complications.


Edvardsson, Vidar O, et al. Hereditary Causes of Kidney Stones and Chronic Kidney Disease.Pediatric Nephrology , U.S. National Library of Medicine, 20 Jan. 2013,

Hyperoxaluria and Oxalosis.Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Mar. 2019,

Kidney Stones.National Kidney Foundation, 2 Oct. 2020,

Scales, Charles D, et al. Prevalence of Kidney Stones in the United States.European Urology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 31 Mar. 2012,

Understanding Primary Hyperoxaluria-Symptoms and Causes: Alnylam®.Alnylam,

Ray Reza Goshtaseb MD, FASN

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Kidney Stones On The Rise Among Women

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Feb. 13, 2018 — Kidney stones are becoming more common, especially in women, new research has found.

Better diagnostic tools could be part of the reason for the steady rise in diagnoses, according to Mayo Clinic researchers.

By using CT scans, “we are now diagnosing symptomatic kidney stones that previously would have gone undiagnosed because they would not have been detected,” lead researcher Dr. Andrew Rule said in a Mayo news release.

Rule and his colleagues analyzed the records of more than 7,200 residents of Olmsted County, Minn., who were diagnosed with kidney stones for the first time between 1984 and 2012.

The investigators found that women — especially those 18 to 39 years old — developed stones more often than men. They were most likely to have so-called infection stones, blamed on chronic urinary tract infections.

Bladder stones were less common. However, they were found more often in men, because of blockages involving the prostate gland.

People prone to kidney stones should make some changes to their diet to help prevent recurrences, the researchers advised. This may include drinking more water, reducing salt intake and eating less meat.

The researchers noted that their findings may not apply to everyone because study participants were mainly white. White people have a higher risk for kidney stones than other racial groups, they said.

The findings are published in the March issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Water Can Stave Off Stones

Salt may lead to stones, but good old H2O can help prevent them.

Water intake is the single most important dietary risk factor for kidney stone formation, Nabhani says. Not drinking enough water is estimated to play a role in 50% of kidney stones. We recommend patients drink enough water to make 2.5 liters of urine per day, or try to keep their urine clear to very pale yellow.

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More Than One Type Of Stone Exists

There are four major types of kidney stones: calcium, struvite, uric acid and cystine. At around 80% of stones, the calcium type is the most common.

Struvite stones sometimes occur after repeated urinary tract infections. Uric acid stones form when urine is too acidic. Cystine stones, which are the rarest, form due to a genetic disorder.

Research Is Revealing More About Sars

Rise In Kidney Stone Cases In Teens Has Doctors, Parents Worried

While kidney damage in COVID-19 is still not well understood, more data will reveal how this occurs. Sperati, who also conducts research on kidney disease, says the Johns Hopkins Division of Nephrology is exploring exactly how SARS-CoV-2 and the bodys response to it is affecting kidney health.

He says that patients with COVID-19-related kidney damage should follow up with their doctors to ensure kidney function is returning to normal. Lasting kidney damage might require dialysis or other therapies even after recovery from COVID-19.

Mostly, Sperati stresses the importance of adhering to guidelines around physical distancing and hand-washing, the basics of prevention. For everyone, especially people with underlying chronic disease, avoiding infection with COVID-19 for as long as you can is crucial, he says.

Right now, we dont have a treatment or vaccine for this disease. The longer a person can go without getting infected, the better chance they have of benefiting from a future therapy.


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Not Drinking Enough Water

Though dehydration may be the result of a medical condition, many people who get kidney stones simply dont drink enough water. This is especially important if you live in a place with a warm climate, like Florida.

Not all contributing factors to kidney stones are controllable. For example, youre more likely to develop kidney stones if you have a family history, and as mentioned, your risk increases with age. However, if you have any of these risk factors, its important to be extra cautious and take whatever steps you can to prevent kidney stones.

Kidney Stone Emergency Department Visits On The Rise

MILANEmergency department visits for kidney stones in the U.S. have increased, especially among women, but admission rates for kidney-stone patients have remained stable, according to study findings presented at the 28th annual congress of the European Association of Urology.

From 2006-2009, the estimated incidence of ED visits among women increased by a significant 2.85% annually, compared with a non-significant 1.19% annual increase among men.

The study also showed that the overall incidence of ED visits for kidney stones was highest in July and August and lowest in February .

Study investigator Khurshid R. Ghani, MD, a urology fellow at the Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, said increased use of medical expulsive therapy for kidney stoneswhich only came into wide use in recent yearscould explain why kidney-stone-related hospital admissions have not risen even though ED visits for kidney stones has increased.

Dr. Ghani and his colleagues analyzed 2006-2009 data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, the largest all-payer ED database in the U.S. The study looked at 3.6 million ED visits with upper urinary tract calculi as the primary diagnosis.

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Why Kidney Stone Cases Rise During The Summer

Each year in the United States, three million people seek relief for painful kidney stones with their doctors or urologists, and a surprising number of these visits take place during the summer months. The reason for the uptick in kidney stone treatments during the summer is akin to hibernation the stones tend to form during the winter and then go on the march during spring and summer.

At our Houston urology practice, Dr. Robert J. Cornell understands the nuances behind kidney stones and knows the best ways to treat them whatever time of year. But since summer is here, we wanted to explain why the incidence of kidney stones rises.


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