Kidney stones more common in the summer months: you can do that

Kidney stones more common in the summer months: you can do that

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So reduce the risk of kidney stones

If temperatures rise in the summer months, the risk of developing kidney stones increases, even if you have never had them before. Among other things, this has to do with the fact that we spend more time outdoors in summer and with the amount and type of food and drinks we consume.

As the renowned Mayo Clinic (USA) explains in a recent article, there are various causes for kidney stones, including nutrition. A family or personal history of kidney stones increases the risk, as do certain medications and diseases.

Different causes

Why kidney stones occur more frequently in summer has to do with the fact that people spend more time outdoors in warmer weather and high temperatures, increased sweating and inadequate drinking promote the phenomenon known as "summer disease urinary stones", the German Society for Urologie eV (DGU) in a communication.

As the Mayo Clinic explains, diseases such as bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, renal tubular acidosis, liver disease, cystinuria and urinary tract infections can increase the risk of kidney stones. A high body mass index (BMI), a large waist size and weight gain are also associated with an increased risk of kidney stones. Gastric bypass surgery and taking certain medications can also increase this risk.

Inheritance also plays a role. People who have a family member with kidney stones develop stones at least twice as often as people who don't have this family history. Although kidney stones can also occur in people over the age of 20, this usually only happens between 40 and 60. After someone has a stone, the probability of getting another one within a year is around 15 percent.

Drink a lot

One of the easiest ways to lower the risk of kidney stones, according to experts, is to drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Additional fluid dilutes the urine and makes stones less likely.

It is important to drink a lot, especially during the summer months. About eight to ten glasses of water a day, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, causes a urine volume of about 2½ liters per day. Sugary drinks should be avoided as they can increase the risk.

The appearance of the urine can indicate whether the fluid intake is sufficient: the urine should be light and clear.

Various preventive measures

Nutrition also plays an important role. Eating too much salt increases the amount of calcium that the kidneys need to filter, which increases the risk of kidney stones. This also applies to many foods that are popular especially in summer, including processed foods and meats like hamburgers.

As the DGU writes in a patient information, a balanced diet contributes to the prevention of kidney stones. The experts recommend:

  • Reduction of protein (meat, sausages) to 0.8 g / kg body weight
  • Reduction of salt intake to max. 6 g a day
  • Reduction of oxalate intake (spinach, rhubarb, chard, cocoa, nuts)
  • Normal calcium intake (approx. 1 g per day): no avoidance of dairy products
  • Setting the urine pH to 6.5 - 7.0: mineral water rich in bicarbonate, citrus juices, fruits, vegetables, lettuce

Furthermore, regular exercise and a "normalization of weight" are recommended.

According to the experts, in the event of repeated stone formation, despite compliance with the general preventive measures, a metabolism test including urine collection should be carried out. Depending on the result, medical prophylactic treatment is then necessary. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Video: Preventing Kidney Stones (December 2022).