Kidney stone cases rise along with summer temps
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Thursday, August 04, 2011
8/04/11 at 5:47 AM
In addition to the danger of heat stroke and the discomfort of record-breaking high temperatures, doctors are warning that the excessive heat presents a greater likelihood of kidney stones.
Continued high temperatures often lead to dehydration, which can cause kidney stones.
Often during the summer, doctors see as much as a 15 percent increase in patients with the condition, said Dr. Raji Gill, a urologist who teaches at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.
"Usually, the hotter it is the more incidents we see," he said.
Gill said people should drink a lot of water daily to help avoid kidney stones. Lemonade and juice can also be good, but stay away from coffee and soda.
He recommends drinking at least half your body weight in ounces.
So someone who is 150 pounds would drink 75 ounces of water.
Most people drink liquids when they are thirsty and during meals, meaning they usually don't get enough, Gill said.
"Pretty much, we're set up to get dehydrated," he said. "You combine that with this heat, and you have a real uphill battle."
Dehydration results in concentrated urine, causing minerals to build up to an excess and form stones. Avoiding calcium isn't likely to help, but staying away from excess salt is, according to the American Urological Association.
With 31 days above 100 degrees this summer, keeping hydrated is key to avoiding immediate health problems like heat-related illnesses as well as for preventing kidney stones, Gill said.
"It's so hot, moisture is leaving the body, literally," he said.
The main symptom of kidney stones is severe pain in the back or abdomen. Some can be passed through the body while others must be surgically removed.
Original Print Headline: Kidney stone cases rise along with summer temps
Shannon Muchmore 918-581-8378