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The lifetime risk of kidney stones among adults in the US is around 9%, and apparently global warming may be increasing this risk. As the temperature rises and climate becomes warm, humans are more likely to get dehydrated, which increases the risk of stone formation.
There are four major types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate/calcium phosphate, uric acid, struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) and cystine.
Dehydration is a risk factor for all stones, regardless of the type of stone. A person who is prone to kidney stones should be careful to maintain good hydration.
A randomized trial has shown that drinking 2 liters of fluid a day reduces the chances of stone recurrence by almost 50%. The American Urological Association guideline for medical management of kidney stones also recommends that patients who form kidney stones should aim to drink more than 2.5 liters of fluid per day.
All kidney stone sufferers should remember the phrase, “Dilution is the solution to the pollution.”
Good hydration is a safe and useful therapy for all stone formers. But, it is important to have a thorough discussion with a urologist about the right approach to evaluation, treatment, and strategies to keep new stones from forming (Harvard).
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA