Health Tips

Kidney Stones on the Rise

It seems like everyone has either had a kidney stone or knows of someone who has suffered from the condition. And if you think you’re hearing about it more these days, you’re right.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, the prevalence of kidney stones in the United States increased from 3.8 percent in the late 1970s to 8.8 percent in the late 2000s. In fact, the lifetime risk of kidney stones for men is about 19 percent and the risk for women is 9 percent.

These small, hard mineral deposits that form inside your kidneys have multiple causes ranging from dietary habits to genetics, and can affect any part of your urinary system. Passing a kidney stone rarely causes permanent damage, but it can be very painful, even requiring surgery if a stone becomes lodged.

Most people don’t know they have kidney stones until symptoms occur. And the larger the stone, which typically ranges in size from a grain of sand to a pebble, the more noticeable the symptoms. The most common symptoms include:

Here are steps you can take to reduce your risks of kidney stones:

If you suspect you have a kidney stone, see your doctor right away. There are a number of effective treatments to reduce the size of the stone and intensity of pain. But left untreated, kidney stones can increase your risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus and in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Schedule an appointment online today.