Sunday, July 01, 2007

Drinking Water Is Key to Kidney Stone Prevention

(HealthDay News) -- Staying hydrated in the summer is important for many reasons, including prevention of kidney stones, says Dr. Gary Faerber, associate professor of urology at the University of Michigan Health System.

A lack of fluid can lead to the development of kidney stones, and typical summer physical activities can shake loose kidney stones and result in painful symptoms.

"One of the best ways to prevent kidney stones is to stay hydrated throughout the entire 24-hour period. I recommend may patients have at least six to eight glasses of water a day, and I ask them to make sure that they spread that throughout the entire day and up until night time. This is important year-round but especially important in the summer months," Faerber said in a prepared statement.

"It is very important for people to be aware of how to prevent kidney stones because many people -- about 13 percent of men and 7 percent of women -- will have kidney stones sometime in their lives," he added.

Faerber offered the following tips on reducing your risk of developing kidney stones:

Drink plenty of water.

Reduce your consumption of soda and iced tea, which contain an acid called oxalate that can increase the risk of certain kinds of kidney stones.

Exercise and lose weight. The large number of sedentary and overweight people in the United States is a major factor in the increasing rate of kidney stones in the country.

Drink lemonade, but not the powdery mix. Real lemonade has been shown to reduce the risk of kidney stones.

Ask your doctor about medications that can help prevent kidney stones.

Ask your doctor if you should continue taking calcium supplements, which may increase the risk of kidney stones.

People with highly acidic urine may have to eat less meat, fish and poultry -- foods that increased the amount of acid in the urine. Discuss this with your doctor.

More information
The American Medical Association has more about kidney stones.

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