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Why Do More People Get Kidney Stones in the Summer?

Yes, there is a correlation between summertime and emergency room visits due to kidney stone pain. This is because the summer brings hot, dry weather, and plenty of dehydration. 

The extra physical exertion, combined with a lack of water intake, causes bodily fluids to become more concentrated with dietary minerals, leading to kidney stones. 

However, it’s not only that more stones form inside our bodies during the summer; they tend to move in the summertime. And that movement is what causes the pain. 

Let’s explain that in a bit more detail.

Why Are Kidney Stones More Common in the Summer?

Close to 80 percent of kidneyman holding his back in pain due to kidney stones. stones are made of calcium. Your body produces more calcium in urine during winter when you are less likely to be active. Having too much calcium (a condition called hypercalciuria) increases your chances of developing kidney stones. These stones that form during the winter often lay dormant until you become more active as the weather warms.

Increased physical activity often jostles kidney stones, making it more likely that you’ll begin to feel the symptoms and eventually pain. And it’s this pain that ultimately sends you to the emergency room. 

How to Prevent Kidney Stones

Kidney stone attacks lead to more than 2 million visits to the doctor and over 600,000 visits to the ER each year. Meanwhile, with lost time from work, kidney stones’ diagnosis, treatment, and prevention cost almost $5.3 billion each year. Take action to lower your risk of kidney stones and healthcare costs. 

The main reason kidney stones form is dehydration. Therefore, staying hydrated is essential for general health and kidney stone prevention. 

Along with getting plenty of water, you should also employ these other preventative measures:

  • Drink enough fluid with a goal urine output greater than 2 liters (or 64 ounces) daily. This means you will be drinking 12-16 glasses of fluid daily.
  • Along with water, add citrus drinks such as lemonade and orange juice to your diet.
  • Limit your sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day.
  • Calcium from food does not increase stones. The recommended dietary allowance for calcium (1,000-1,200 mg/day) will not cause kidney stones. Certain supplements can lead to stone formation. Consult your doctor.
  • Reduce the amount of non-dairy animal protein you eat. Please keep it to no more than 6 oz per day. Meats such as eggs and fish can cause uric acid stones. 
  • Increase the fruits and vegetables in your diet
  • Visit your doctor regularly for checkups. You can even ask your doctor about consulting a dietician for more individualized advice.

How Can a Urologist Help Me Prevent Kidney Stones?

Certain patients may benefit from a metabolic evaluation to assess stone risk factors. These patients include people with: 

  • recurrent stones
  • a strong family history
  • recurrent urinary tract infections
  • obesity
  • other medical conditions predisposing them to stones (diabetes, gout, hyperparathyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.)
  • those with a solitary kidney

Metabolic testing can help guide further dietary recommendations and potential medications to prevent kidney stones. 

In addition, your urologist will order one or two 24-hour urine collections to better identify your stone risk factors and guide prevention strategies. 

To schedule a consultation to discuss your risk for kidney stones or recurrence, call The Urology Center of Colorado’s at 303-825-8822 today.

We’re here to help.

For appointments at any TUCC location, request an appointment online.