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Preventing Kidney Stones

July 14, 2010 3:10:12 PM PDT
One out of ten people will get a painful kidney stone sometime in their lives. Once you get a kidney stone you're at risk of getting another. Preventing kidney stones requires knowing what causes them.

There are many reasons people develop kidney stones. If there is a family history of kidney stones, you are more likely to get them. They can also develop in people who eat too much protein, take too much vitamin D, or don't drink enough water. The reason you develop kidney stones is part of the solution to knowing what will keep them from coming back. Because they come back, the pain is said to be one of the worse known to man.

"I knew immediately that something was wrong because I was in severe pain," said Jeff Conn, a kidney stone patient.

The pain of recurrent kidney stones kept developer, Conn, away from his job.

"I hated to be away," he said.

However, there was no way Conn could work through that agony.

Mayo Clinic Nephrologist Dr. William Haley and Urologist Dr. Michael Wehle are working to stop the pain of kidney stones for people, like Conn, by educating them on prevention.

Kidney stones occur when certain substances in your urine increase in concentration and begin to crystallize.

The stones can move into the opening of the kidney or ureter and cause blockages. This causes pain and could also cause infection or loss of kidney function.

The reason each patient develops kidneys stones is unique. For instance maybe certain foods you eat can cause them, or maybe you don't drink enough water.

Blood and urine samples analyzed in the lab can pinpoint the culprits. From the results, doctors can suggest dietary changes, changes in fluid intakes, and sometimes suggest medications.

Conn made some dietary changes.

"All types of cola products are not longer allowed. I can't eat spinach," he said.

Luckily, since those preventive measures, Conn has not had one single kidney stone.

Men over age 40 who are heavier in weight are the most likely candidates for kidneys stones, although they can happen in anyone. See your doctor if you have pain, or see any changes in urine habits or color. After, learn to follow a plan that can help you avoid recurrence.

For more information please visit: http://www.mayoclinic.com/


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