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Health Tip: Avoiding Kidney Stones

Drink plenty of water, watch diet

(HealthDay News) -- During the past 20 years, the incidence of kidney stones has been increasing in the United States.

Up to 10 percent of men and 5 percent of women will form a stone during their lifetime -- and it's a pain they will never forget.

Kidney stones affect mostly young and middle-aged adults in their 20s to 40s. While they are more common in men, the number of cases of kidney stones in women has been increasing. Once you have had one or two stones, you have an increased chance of developing more.

Some people may have a disease or inherited condition that causes them to keep getting stones. Once your doctor knows the type and cause of your kidney stones, it may be possible to prevent them with medication and changes to your diet. Here are some suggestions from the National Kidney Foundation:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • If you have symptoms of a kidney stone, such as pain, nausea and vomiting, blood in the urine, more frequent urination, fever or chills, see your doctor at once.
  • Your doctor may do blood and urine tests, ultrasound and possibly a CT scan or special X-ray called an IVP to confirm the diagnosis and decide what treatment is best.
  • Most stones pass on their own. Treatment may be needed if a stone is too large to pass, blocks the flow of urine, or causes infections, kidney damage or constant bleeding.
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