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Summer's worst gift to America is the kidney stone

I got that summertime, summertime hydration.
I got that summertime, summertime hydration.
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One-tenth of American adults are likely to develop a kidney stone in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since dehydration encourages the growth of kidney stones, you're more likely to develop one if you're not drinking enough water in hot climates or seasons. So drink up — just make sure to drink liquids low in sugar, ideally water.

Age, heat, maleness, genetics, and sugary soda can all lead to stones

A recent Wall Street Journal article reviews how hot climates encourage dehydration, making summer a dangerous time for those looking to avoid this sometimes painful fact of life:

Doctors say more people suffer the condition when the weather is hot and dry and people become dehydrated. That can encourage minerals in the body to crystallize in the kidneys.

Diet choices and obesity rates play into the development of stones and their increased likelihood in the US population:

Doctors say there are steps to help prevent a recurrence, mainly through changes in diet, such as drinking lots of water and avoiding sugary sodas.

Even if you watch what you eat and drink, though, there are additional contributing factors that are unavoidable: genetics and family history matters, and men are more likely to develop kidney stones than women; being white is also a contributing factor. Age matters, too: both sexes are more likely to develop them after the age of 40.

Hotter summers nationwide could be contributing to the unusually high rate of kidney stones, too, but there is little to no documentation of it yet. We know little about correlations between dehydration rates and hotter weather due to climate change, but Americans are likely to see more days which are 95°F or higher over the next 100 years:

Risky Business Project. Data Source: Rhodium Group

With this long list of factors and an increase in hotter days, no wonder one in 10 American adults will likely develop kidney stones.

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